By Mark Green
LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 19, 2013) — “Breach & Clear,” an iOS mobile-device video game developed by Lexington-based Gun Media Group and released Thursday, was the fourth most popular game at the Apple app store by midafternoon Friday.
“Breach & Clear” is a turn-based game in which players acting as special operations force members must “breach” spaces and attempt to “clear” enemy combatants by plotting strategy before they and then their opponent initiate action. The game platform is for the touch-based iOS devices such as Apple’s iPad and iPhone.
Video gaming superstar Robert Bowling has played an active role in developing the game after he was recruited by Wes Keltner, CEO of Gun Media.
Gun is a marketing and advertising think tank-turned-game-developer created and run by Keltner. After meeting Bowling, a key creative in the development of the huge hit video game franchise “Call of Duty,” Keltner got him excited about and recruited him into his own first game development project last year.
Keltner raised money for the project in two rounds in mid- and late 2012 and shut down all his boutique agency’s other activities to focus on developing “Breach & Clear,” for which Bowling is executive director.
Keltner said he sent Bowling, whom he had never met, an email when the gaming development star left his position at Infinity Ward more than a year ago over creative differences. Bowling, it turned out, is a native of Northern Kentucky who had plans to visit his home turf, and he agreed to meet. Their first face-to-face exchange took place in a White Castle in Florence, Ky., Keltner said, because Bowling cannot get the small cheap burgers he still enjoys in Southern California where he lives.
The pair hit it off instantly.
Keltner had an impressive digital development pedigree himself. He was the creative behind American Apparel’s launch in 2006 of the first virtual online store in the Second Life community platform, where up to 6 million participants used avatars to live out simulated lives that sometimes included homes, work, relationships and even marriage. Keltner’s idea garnered front-page coverage for American Apparel in Advertising Age, The New York Times and many other media outlets.
Keltner’s small agency team in the past has consulted with companies about how best to use new and changing online technology and social media platforms, and has developed apps for Fortune 500 companies including Ford.
However, the apparent success of “Breach & Clear” has Keltner very excited.
“It’s astonishing,” he said – by online message. “Go open iTunes and go to the App Store. … We’re on the homepage.”
The game can be downloaded for iOS devices at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/breach-clear/id655749677?mt=8.
“Breach & Clear” was the fifth most downloaded app overall, making it more popular during its initial 24 hours than many household name applications. Its cost is $1.99. As of Friday afternoon, its customer rating was four and one half starts.
“More people today are downloading ‘B&C’ than Twitter, Facebook, Google Maps,” Keltner said.
During an interview with LaneReport.com last month, Keltner spoke about the game development process over the past nine months, including working with Bowling, with a top gaming score composer in Los Angeles who hopped a flight to Lexington to sit across the table from him to put the finishing touches on the music, and going to a special “motion-capture” movie studio in North Carolina to record authentic movement for the game’s characters.
On its website, Gun Media describes itself as a “publisher of interactive entertainment comprised of industry veterans with unique and complementary backgrounds. The mission of Gun is to build fresh and exciting interactive experiences for a wide range of platforms and gamers. The team shares a vision that game development is not just the creation of a product, but the blending of art, design and technology to create an experience that engages and entertains players from all over the world.”