Daniel Bernstein is back in the startup game. The Seattle area entrepreneur, best known for founding Sandlot Games, has formed a new company by the name of UpTap that’s focusing on tablet-based games, GeekWire has learned.
The 2-month-old company just landed a seed round of $645,000 from Seattle angel investors, cash that the young upstart will use to continue development on free-to-play tablet-based games. The first titles from UpTap will likely be released in the next six months, and as was the case with Sandlot much of the development is being handled by UpTap co-founder Vitalii Vostrikov of Saint Petersburg, Russia.
With the rise of the iPad, the Kindle Fire and the coming Microsoft Surface, tablet-based gaming is certainly a hot area. And Bernstein believes UpTap, made up of several former Sandlot Games staffers, is poised to take advantage of the trend.
As prices come down on tablets and the devices move into the hands of older Americans, Bernstein said that the trends align very well with casual game developers.
And that’s certainly a sweet spot for Bernstein and his crew of developers who met with tremendous success with Cake Mania, the hit franchise from Sandlot Games. At Sandlot, the company recorded more than 300 million downloads of its games.
And that success led to Sandlot being sold last year to Digital Chocolate for an undisclosed price.
Bernstein wouldn’t offer too many clues on the new games he’s developing at UpTap, though he said he’s toying with some time-based and hidden object titles. But he also added that they are investigating some new genres. “We’re looking at some original things that haven’t been done before,” he said.
“We’ve never had the opportunity to be focused on the tablet 100 percent,” said Bernstein.