On the surface, ATA is a mobile gaming company. That’s the simplest way to describe what we do. Behind the scenes, we’ve become really good at building social communities, which frames every decision we make. It’s not just a games thing—it’s a very human thing. And this focus is multifaceted. We’re enthusiastic about building communities on every level, from our players to our internal team and externally with the people and organizations we interact with. The first tool our founders built was a chat platform called Chatterours. Our original co-founders were two Amazon engineers striking out on their own startup after completing YCombinator, an incubator accelerator program out of Silicon Valley. They already knew they wanted to be involved in creating communities online. The social web was exploding. After YC in 2008, they started building ‘Chatterous’, a group chat platform that combined email, SMS, IM, and the web. They had great success getting the word out and drawing crowds—but user retention was the real challenge. Communities don’t form in a void; knew they needed a common interest to keep people together.
From there, our co-founders saw the opportunity to bind the online community to gameplay and built Kingdoms at War, which won an instant following. The startup experienced rapid growth, invited a third co-founder to join the team, and from there, tapped into an enormous potential around building community-driven games.
Today, ATA creates games that encourage emergent behavior. That means players aren’t just performing simple actions, they are contributing to a collective narrative—a universe—that, on the whole, demonstrates complex behaviors. Emergent behavior allows for a rich player-driven history with real friendships, rivalries, and even political intrigue. Because ATA’s games are highly social and free to play, players can create their own content and turn otherwise trivial online banter into a blood feud, for example.
In the future, we see our communities growing and expanding outside of mobile to a multitude of mediums. We create our own IP and are excited about adding new resources to our team right now so that we can achieve our ambitious goal of producing more games—faster. We believe great communities only become stronger when they are set in compelling universes that we’ve created. We find this stuff fascinating and we want our communities and the universes we create to have a massive cultural impact on the world.
Everything ATA does is rooted in the core value to ‘Keep Growing’ and in the belief that people are the most dynamic element of our business. To constantly adapt is fundamental to innovation. It’s what has made us an innovator in our field. And this innovation is uniquely possible in Vancouver’s creative tech ecosystem. Being here has allowed us to hire top talent and experts in the game development industry, thanks to both the lifestyle that Vancouver offers and the flexible and desirable work/life balance ATA provides.
It allows our employees to work hard and grow while enjoying their personal hobbies without compromise. We understand that when we learn, we see exponential improvement in ourselves, our products, and our company. (Our CEO Kenshi is a big fan of Ray Dalio’s famous quote ‘Pain + Reflection = Progress’.) We repeatedly iterate on the scientific method because we believe the potential for exponential growth in the right environment must never be underestimated. Communities don’t form in avoid. ATA builds them.