Cooper DuBois wants you to step out of your real world and come into his for a few minutes a day. How’s he going to do it?
He and his team at Seattle’s Double Down Interactive are creating fun, social gaming environments where everyone can take a spin around a casino and share the fun with their friends.
After a long career in game design, including a stint at Big Fish Games, DuBois has found the perfect intersection of passion and success. His 120-person company received a big payday itself earlier this year when Las Vegas-based IGT purchased the maker of social games for up to $500 million.
“My two passions are my son, and I love to make money,” says DuBois. Here’s the latest Nextcast interview with DuBois.
- If you ask Cooper DuBois what roles he fills as co-founder at his growing gaming company, you’ll get a long list of titles. “Cheerleader, mascot, art director, the guy who loses it in meetings,” he says, and the list goes on. A jack-of-all-trades on the Double Down team, he’s seen it all.
- DuBois attributes much of the success of his team with the people on it. He encourages other entrepreneurs to “take a chance on people, have some trust, and develop friendships.” He reminds anyone who wants to make it big: “Don’t stay in your box.” Taking chances is key if you’re going to create something big. (8:20)
- How do you know when you’ve got a hit game on your hands? “If you like the game you’re making, that’s great. If your mom likes it, then she loves you. If your friend’s mom likes it, then it’s a good game.” (12:00) Double Down wants to create a fun, sensory environment users can have a great time in and escape the everyday, even just for a few minutes.
- DuBois thinks the future of gaming lies in the social space. The Triple A game companies are “digging their own graves,” he says, by sticking to one formula that works and producing sequel after sequel. Double Down designers love the excitement of creating social games fast and trying a little bit of everything (and taking some risks too!). (13:47)
- DuBois’ favorite thing about Double Down is the team of people he works with. “We hire great human beings,” he says. What does he see down the road? “We’ll still be here, we’ll be bigger, and we’ll be a well-oiled machine.” (22:08)
Nextcast founder Jeff Dickey is passionate about technology, business and philosophy. He works as the chief cloud architect at Redapt, a Redmond-based cloud and big data infrastructure company. Additional reporting by Kate Stull. [Editor’s note: GeekWire is proud to partner with Jeff Dickey who produces the Nextcast entrepreneur interview series].