River City Labs founder backs new Brisbane games accelerator

A new mobile games accelerator has launched in Brisbane and is now open for applications, with successful teams set to receive up to $50,000 each in addition to office space and mentorship.


Right Pedal Studios, backed by River City Labs founder Stephen Baxter, will help small teams build quality mobile games by providing access to capital, resources, advice and mentorship from industry experts.


Prior to River City Labs, Baxter co-founded PIPE Networks, which listed on the ASX in 2005 with an initial capitalisation of $14 million, and recently sold to TPG Telecom for $373 million.


Baxter founded River City Labs in an attempt to fill a gap for Brisbane tech start-ups, and Right Pedal Studios appears to be an extension of that.


“Australia is home to some of the greatest mobile game developers in the world, and we’re excited to help up-and-coming developers reach their potential,” he says.


The studio, which is housed within River City Labs in Fortitude Valley, will be open all year, with the first intake of teams expected to begin production in February or March.


Teams will typically consist of two to five developers, who will make games for iOS or Android that will be ready for release in less than five months.


Teams will gain access to working capital of up to $50,000 in addition to office space, mentorship and an alumni program. In return, the studio will take a 25% stake in each game.


The studio will be managed by industry veteran John Passfield, who says the goal is to allow teams to focus on making “the best games possible”.


Passfield, who has been involved in the games industry for more than 20 years, is the founder of Red Sprite Studios.


He was also the creative director of 3 Blokes Studios and Electronic Arts’ Pandemic Studios in Brisbane, and was the design director of Krome Studios, which he co-founded.


In addition to Baxter and Passfield’s involvement, teams will benefit from an impressive lineup of mentors including Dan Vogt, co-founder of Halfbrick Studios.


Other mentors include Morgan Jaffit, co-founder of Defiant Development, Matt Hall, founder of KlickTock and developer of Little Things Forever, and David Zwierzchaczewski from Autodesk.


Also on the list is Gordon Moyes from Griffith University’s game program, and Pras Moorthy, product manager of Kixeye and co-owner of the Mana Bar.


Right Pedal has also partnered with industry players including Griffith University and Pitcher Partners, each providing access to goods and services for teams involved in the program.


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