A new regionally-focused game company called Midwest Games officially launched on Tuesday and one of its co-founders is former XSET co-owner and Chief Experience Officer Rob Martin III. The new studio headquartered in Green Bay, Wisconsin, is co-founded by Martin and industry veteran and former Netflix senior management Ben Kvalo.
Martin left esports organization XSET in January, citing personal and family issues. During his time at XSET, Martin brought his expertise from running Beverly Hills-based talent and marketing agency Astoic Management for more than eight years to the company, working with founders, esports talent, and influencers to create activations, apparel lines, events, and more.
In addition the studio formally launches with former Vice President at Crunchyroll and Discovery Communications Jennifer Corbett serving as chief marketing officer, former ProbablyMonsters and Harebrained Schemes Production Leader Chris Klimecky as chief project officer, and former CTO of Striking Distance Studios and Vice President of Technology 2K Games Mark James and Meta Finance Director Liz Kuehn serving as advisory board members.
The company said in an announcement that it will “focus on creating opportunities for the abundant talent across the Midwest and other underrepresented regions.” Also of note, this new studio is headquartered at the offices of partner and lead investor TitletownTech, a venture capital firm backed by the Green Bay Packers and Microsoft.
Midwest Games revealed its debut game title, RA RA BOOM developed by Cincinnati-based Gylee Games. RA RA BOOM is described as a 2D “beat ’em up” featuring four-player co-op gameplay and a hand-drawn art style.
The company will make its public debut as an official sponsor of 2D Con, Minnesota’s largest games and esports event, taking place Aug. 25-27, 2023. The event features tournaments, live music, games, cosplay, industry guests, retro games, and more. As a sponsor, Midwest Games’ presence will include a panel introducing the company to the public on Aug. 26, 1:00 p.m. The company will also sponsor a RA RA BOOM competition on Aug. 27, 1:00 p.m., where four contestants will compete on stage for the highest kill count.