Whitethorn Digital cover feature

Whitethorn Digital

Indie Friendly Video Game Publisher
$7,235 Raised
Ended December 31st
21 Investors

Great games bring people together.

Invest in Whitethorn Digital

Whitethorn Digital is a video game publisher with a brand focus on games that bring people together. We're uninterested in games that mediate their interactions with the world down the barrel of a gun, and instead publish experiences that put people on the couch in competition, collaboration, or discussion. 

We're bringing the couch back, one great game at a time. Whether you're beating your friend, working together to overcome challenges, or enjoying a single-player experience that provokes discussion, we believe games are a medium through which friends and family can come together. 

We're an indie-friendly publisher, with a revenue share goal of no more than 25%. We leverage low overhead costs, deep industry knowledge, and a small number of highly curated releases per year to make sure every game developer we sign can have a great quality of life and make a fair return on their work.  

We're backlogged through 2019 and into 2020, and are drowning in opportunity, so we're attempting to raise a seed round to help us grow. In the spirit of togetherness, and the crowdfunding that is common in the indie games space, we thought a Small OPO through StartEngine would make a wonderful addition to our overall raise.  

Join our seed round today and get access to common units of Whitethorn Digital LLC, as well as access to our games, social events, and more. 

Please take some time to check out our games, visit our links, read our story, and get to know us. Please feel free to contact me personally with any and all questions you may have.   

- Dr. Matthew White, Founder and Managing Director

Screenshots from Tinselfly and Where the Bees Make Honey above are computer generated and represent products in development. Final products may vary.    

The Offering

$3.20/share│When you invest you are betting the company’s future value will exceed $3.3M.


$320+ First five games for free - The first five titles released by Whitethorn will be made available to you as PC keys.  Keys are non-transferable, have no cash value, and may not be sold.  

$3,200+ Backer wall brick - as part of its office renovations, Whitethorn is building a decorative backer wall.  At this tier, you may engrave any message, company or personal name, or similar onto a single piece of that wall, pending our approval of the message.  This wall will be a permanent fixture of our office in Erie, PA.  

$6,400+ Subscription for life - All games published by Whitethorn will be made available to you as PC keys in perpetuity.  Keys are non-transferable, have no cash value, and may not be sold.

$12,800+ Be our guest - From time to time, and particularly at industry and local events, Whitethorn may host, for example, parties, networking events, or mixers.  As part of our team of investors, you will receive complimentary preferred admission to each of these events before tickets are made available to the general public.  Travel not included.  Tickets are non-transferable and must be redeemed in your name.  Reasonable accommodations will be made for guests, partners, +1's, etc.

$25,600+ Come visit - Whitethorn will, at a time of mutual convenience, fly you to Erie, PA - economy class on a reasonable route - and provide you reasonably priced accommodations.  During the visit, Whitethorn will cover your expenses and give you a personal tour of the office, the city, and the local tech and entrepreneur scene.  Subject to expense approval and discussion.

*All perk tiers include all subordinate perk tiers.  Perks are non-transferable and have no cash value unless otherwise specified.  All perks occur after the offering is completed.

For details on the bonus, please see the Offering Summary below.

"Whitethorn Digital publishes off-beat games that bring people together."

- Dr. Matthew M. White 

Managing Director


We're rebuilding the rust belt one office at a time - specifically, our own. After spending the summer renovating, we are in a gorgeous space in the historic Renaissance Centre in downtown Erie, Pennsylvania. 

Whitethorn Digital operates on a yearly cohort. We publish five games per year that are heavily vetted, and have no more than five games in publishing at any one time. This attention to detail and managed release schedule allows us to give 100% of our attention to every project.  

By leveraging our industry experience, competitive pricing, brand identity, conference presence, and the quality of life offered in Erie - it's our pleasure to announce that we are backlogged with leads into 2020.  

We release games on all major current generation consoles, and have established relationships with dozens of industry leading companies that allow us to help our clients succeed. 

Whitethorn HQ Under Construction, June 2018

Screen capture from interview courtesy of GameSpot.

Our first five clients in our 2018 Cohort include:

Where the Bees Make Honey - Wakefield Interactive

BOMBFEST - Sudden Event Studios

StarCrossed - Contigo Games

Tinselfly - Flopsy Koala

IO Interloper - Dang Computer

Our games have already shown to wonderful reception at E3, PAX, ReplayFX, [email protected], PixelPop, and more, and are continuing to travel the country and build their audience.  

We'll be bringing these and more to all major consoles starting in Q1 2019. Read on to learn more, or follow us on Twitter to see where you can come play one of our games!

Our Clients

Where the Bees Make Honey
Images are computer generated and represent a product in development. Final product may vary.  
XBOX One, PS4, PC - Q2 2019

We've had spectacular traction to date.  While our physical office only opened as recently as September 2018, we were so inundated with high quality client leads during our work-from-home period that we had to take out a business line of credit and rapidly establish a working space!

Our games have already shown at the world's premiere games conferences and dozens of smaller independent news outlets.  

Indie publishers are the future of the independent games market, and we intend to disrupt this space by leveraging our industry experience, offering better value for price, and maintaining a small, highly-curated catalog of games that fit our brand. 

We heavily vet our games by relying on decades of industry experience. Independent games suffer from lack of visibility, and often get lost in the backlog. We believe more than 10,000 games will be released this year in one form or another.  

As a result, we believe clients seek industry knowledge and experience to help them remain competitive. This has been the source of our positive response to date.  By hand selecting games that offer a unique perspective, and meet industry quality standards, we can remain competitive.

Images are computer generated and represent a product in development. Final product may vary.  
Nintendo Switch, XBOX One, PS4, PC - Q1 2019

IO Interloper
Images are computer generated and represent a product in development. Final product may vary.  
PC, Q1 2020

Images are computer generated and represent a product in development. Final product may vary.  
Nintendo Switch, XBOX One, PS4, PC - Q1 2020

Images are computer generated and represent a product in development. Final product may vary.  
Nintendo Switch, XBOX One, PS4, PC - Q1 2019

Whitethorn uses an insufferable pun of a method we call THORNS to evaluate publication candidates:

  • Togetherness - Does the game bring people together, either in competition, collaboration, or discussion?
  • Hundred-Thousand - Do the founders and the advisory board reasonably believe this game could sell 100,000 units?
  • Opportunity - Is this the right time for this game? Is there a market for this kind of game within current games industry trends?
  • Risk - Is this the creators' first game? Can the team reasonably complete the project within the timeline? How expensive is this game to produce? Does anyone else have a revenue share claim?
  • Novelty - Is the game offering something new and needed to the market, or is it simply rebranding, rehashing, or relabeling another successful title?
  • Special Sauce - This is a wildcard, 'gut feeling', best-guess judgement by the founders that this game has something special.  Whether it's a unique mechanic, a socially important message, or something else entirely.

We turn away over 80% of the submissions we receive. By being extremely selective, we are able to ensure that we de-risk our time and monetary investments in our clients.  

We do, however, offer a local, free coworking area in our office where clients who don't quite make the grade can come and receive free mentorship in hopes of grooming them to be a publishable candidate at a later date.  

By rigorously vetting our clients, we seek to establish ourselves as the go-to brand for games that bring people together, are largely family-friendly, and can be shared with your friends.  It's our belief that social gaming need not involve the internet.  

Our Competitors, Our Advantage

Our competitors are of varying sizes.  Some are very small startups, while others are massive companies.  We operate in what is colloquially known as the "double-A" space.  Games that are not quite basement projects, but also aren't big-budget direct-to-console blockbusters. 

Our competitors include companies like Devolver DigitalGood Shepherd EntertainmentArmor GamesBlack Shell Mediaand Raw Fury.  

Game publishers act a bit like record labels for games. Our primary tasks are to...

  • Scout and recruit talent with an eye to revenue and monetization. 
  • Produce and promote that talent to guarantee product completion. 
  • Release, analyze, and monetize the product, then reinvest the talent.

Whitethorn uses its considerable industry contact network and experience to accomplish these tasks, and competes by remaining focused on a small number of releases.  We further monetize each client by re-signing the clients on larger and larger projects through their growth.  

Indie Friendly

Whitethorn offers free workspace, free coffee, access to expensive hardware and software, social events, community, streaming, networking, and new friendships to indies.

Low Revenue Share

Whitethorn takes no more than 25%, often significantly less.  We want indies to grow and thrive, and will never offer a deal at a higher revenue share, period.

Individual Attention

Our competitors often publish dozens of games, diluting the attention they can give. Whitethorn caps at five per calendar year.  We take our time to make sure our clients excel.

Industry Experience

Decades of industry experience, a massive professional network, a world-class advisory board, and dozens of shipped titles makes our team uniquely suited to help our clients find success.

The Games Industry

Image Source: Newzoo

The games industry is a juggernaut.  During the financial crisis of 2008, the games industry saw continued growth where others stagnated.  An estimated USD 66bn will be spent on games on console and PC this year.  

That growth is projected to continue, with the industry expected to eclipse USD 140bn by 2020The larger challenge for us is being able to match the growth pace that the market demands.  

Whitethorn operates in the console and PC market, and generally does not publish mobile games.  Put simply, the business of making and marketing mobile games is fundamentally different from console and PC games.  

Our largest competitors are publicly traded entities like Activision-Blizzard and Electronic Arts.  While they are currently "out of our league", we hope to one day be competitive.  

The industry is also extremely fast-moving.  Console cycles are five to seven years long, and game trends come and go year over year.  What was popular last year ("MOBA" games) is all but forgotten this year in favor of a new trend ("Battle Royale" games).  We are raising funds to stay competitive in our market.  

Our most immediate demand is hiring.  After funding, our immediate hires will be at least one extra engineer and a community manager.  

Image Source: IbisWorld Industry Insider

The Team

Our team benefits from a massive backlog of industry experience. Aside from the experience of our founders, we're supplemented by an amazing contracting team, as well as a wonderful advisory team.  

Between the individuals committed to the project, there is more than a century of startup, business, and games industry experience.  

Our advisory board includes members of: 

Radius Cowork

JFS Wealth Advisors

Sources and Methods Games

MegaCat Studios

Wushu Studios


We're committed to helping undiscovered projects flourish in our industry, and we connect with others who have decades of experience in this and related industries to do so.  If you're interested in our full (NDA protected) partner and contractor lists, please contact us.

Invest in Whitethorn Digital Today!

Thanks for taking the time to learn a little more about Whitethorn Digital. We're committed to finding, cultivating, and publishing only the best game talent the indie space has to offer. We need your help to keep up with our growth and successfully manage this opportunity. 

We hope you'll consider joining us today and together we can help shape the future of a friendlier, more straightforward publishing experience for independent game developers.  

In the Press

Where the Bees Make Honey is an Absolutely Gorgeous Puzzle Game
June 22, 2018

Our client was interviewed on the show floor at E3 this year, Gamespot gave it high praise for its visuals.

Interview with Dr. Matthew White
August 16, 2018

An interview with Dr. Matthew White, founder of Whitethorn Digital.

Whitethorn Digital at [email protected] Pre-PAX Event
August 10, 2018

Whitethorn games featuring at [email protected] pre-PAX private event at Microsoft.

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