Liz met a zombie at Thursday’s Pier Screening in Los Angeles, but rather than eat her brains, as is customary, he offered her a brain dump on GameZombie.tv, a scruffy but popular multi-platform game industry news/interview site with an interesting background, unique premise, and ambitious development plans. As our resident games writer, I followed up with Liz’s undead interlocutor, Dmitrii Gabrielov, the site’s Director of Business Development, from a safe distance.
In the cutesy alternate reality of GameZombie, the world’s been overrun by hordes of the undead, and for some reason, all that remains to keep the survivors sane are games. (“We owe it to the remaining members of humanity,” they they somewhat helpfully explain, “to continue to play video games and produce quality video game reviews in this, this darkest of hours.”) It’s a weird but fun way to distinguish themselves from major game sites.
“We are no IGN,” Gabrielov acknowledges, “but our video traffic across the web is competitive with other top game video producers.” Launched in May 2007, they built much of that traffic by making direct appeals to existing online communities, especially Bebo, as with this intro vid from lead GameZombie VJ Jessica Frasher.
A Webby Honoree in this year’s Student category, GameZombie was originally developed as the Indiana University Master’s thesis project of the founder, Spencer Striker; broadcasting episodes across several video sharing sites and an iTunes podcast, they’ve so far attracted 1.5 million total views– 1 million of those, says Gabrielov, since May 2008. At the moment their revenue comes from in-video brand sponsorships, rev share from video partners, and a partnership with Tremor Media. (Keeping costs down, most of the production is still done in Indiana, with Gabrielov the company’s sole representative in LA.)
GameZombie expects to turn a profit by next year, Gabrielov tells me, and in the coming months, plans to add a fictional webisode series as well as a division developing Flash games. Not bad for a horde of low-budget flesh eaters from Bloomington.
Image credit: gamezombie.tv.