Today’s Q&A Wednesday is with Anthony Castoro, the CEO of Heatwave Interactive. The company has been at SXSW Screenburn showing off Platinum Life, their iSamJackson iPhone app, and Gods & Heroes. Perhaps you were at their party at The Belmont last night?
Give us the elevator pitch for Heatwave?
Heatwave is an interactive media company comprised of industry veterans from the interactive, music and film industries who have gathered in Austin, Texas to make amazing video games played by millions.
How did the company get started? Who had the idea? Was there an “A Ha!” moment?
The “A ha!” moment occurred when I was introduced to Heatwave’s co-founder through a mutual business contact. I was working in England and he was based in Philadelphia. We spent 4 hours on the phone discussing our motivations to do a video game startup. 6 months later, Heatwave was already incorporated and Donn and I met for the first time in Manhattan the night before we signed our first contract with MTV.
The founders have gaming backgrounds. Is the iPhone the hot new entertainment platform?
Well, yes and no. The iPhone is a great platform for playing casual games, but because of the low barrier to entry and the amount of competition, it’s not a platform I’d base an entertainment company on. We’ll make more iPhone apps like the iSamJackson, but not as our core business.
How has the company been financed so far? Are you looking for additional capital?
The company raised $7.5 million in Series “A” financing, and has taken on an additional amount for the acquisition of Gods & Heroes. Video games are a capital intensive business, so there’s always a need for capital.
What was your first indication that you really had something interesting here?
Probably the fact that Heatwave was almost acquired in the first year of existence?
What can we expect to see in the future from your company?
Heatwave’s just getting started with iSamJackson, Platinum Life and Gods & Heroes. So I think we’ll continue to surprise people with the variety
of our products and the quality of people we work with!