City Road Communications

Tech City Slickers: Project M

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According to this trusty map, there are currently 1,472 companies residing in Tech City. Not all of them have a foosball table in the basement and a hacky sack to throw around during meetings, but a huge number of them definitely fall under the ‘exciting start-up’ umbrella.

Given our location next to Old Street’s Silicon Roundabout – something of a figurehead for the Tech City region – we’re fortunate enough to come across many brilliant businesses that are working just a stone’s throw away from our offices. And to thrust some of the brightest entrepreneurial talents into the limelight, we recently launched our Tech City Slickers blog series. Our first post kicked things off with Appear Here, an online marketplace that enables individuals and businesses – from independent artists through to large retailers – to find short-term spaces to rent.

Now we are proud to present our second Tech City Slicker: Project M.

Based in Aldgate, Project M is one of London’s most unique game studios. And while app-makers may be springing up left, right and centre, none are creating anything quite like the company’s flagship game – Dig That Gold.

Having caught wind of the game, which is free to get on iOS (with Android launching nearer the end of the year), the team here at City Road Comms downloaded it and we love it. Here’s why: it’s the first mobile game that actually provides real world awards for its players – better yet, those awards come in the form of real 24-carat gold bars!

Within the game a player travels through dozens of gold-laden worlds where they are challenged to successfully extract gold nuggets from the mines located on each island. As your character dashes through the mines, you must be quick and tactical to smash through rocks and gather gold. Players are then tasked with panning the gold nuggets to separate them from the dirt – and once a gamer has earned enough virtual gold nuggets the app actually delivers them a solid, 24-carat gold bar directly to their door anywhere in the world within 14 days.

Whether you have a taste for mobile games or not, the very premise of this app is certainly unique. Dig That Gold is, in every sense, a game changer – by combining real world awards for in-app success, the app breaks through the fourth wall. Unsurprisingly, the game has already been downloaded by more than 50,000 people, and that’s before it even officially launches.

And as if the gaming side of Project M’s first creation wasn’t enticing enough, there’s also an intriguing investment model behind Dig That Gold. In short, investors are able to buy mines (levels) on the game in the same way as someone could buy a franchise outlet of a fast food chain. Investors can acquire a mine, call it whatever they like, design it to their own custom specifications, and promote it to gamers willing to take up the challenge of navigating their way through the level.

Many investors have the appetite to get involved in the rapidly-growing mobile gaming industry, but few have the know-how or skills to create their own app. Project M changes all this, enabling these investors to purchase virtual real estate and own a piece of the game – something that has never been seen before.

For gamers and investors alike, Dig That Gold is a hugely exciting and innovative prospect that promises to change the relationship between app and user. It bridges the gap between the virtual and real worlds, and it will be fascinating to see how the game evolves as it prepares for an official launch in the coming weeks.

sean-mcnicholas-1Q&A with Project M CEO Sean McNicholas

In a sentence, what makes Project M special as a business?

Project M is launching a mobile game that will revolutionise the gaming industry forever.

What advantages does being based within Tech City offer the Project M team?

It’s really important to be immersed with like-minded people that think outside the box and Tech City is the place to be in that respect.

What is your proudest achievement with Project M to date?

Personally, it was when we went live on the AppStore. I cried because a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into getting to that point, but we did it!

What do you hope to have accomplished in five years’ time?

Project M plans to role out a number of top title mobile games, each with their own unique award facility.