Scouting Report: Death Ball brings soccer and wizardry to the arcade

Death Ball The creator of the arcade video game Death Ball moved from the West Coast back home to Iowa to launch his company. Photo courtesy of Death Ball

The cost of starting a company is what attracted Tony Hauber and his wife back to his hometown in Northeast Iowa from San Francisco last Spring.

Hauber is the designer of Death Ball, an arcade wizard video game that involves aspects of soccer. He has three cabinets in the market going through testing. Then later this year, Hauber he will have a booth at the Midwest Gaming Classic in Milwaukee to try and sell ten units of Death Ball and provide an infusion of capital to the company.

“There are all these new arcades around but no new content for them,” Hauber explains.

Here’s the scouting report on Death Ball, and the third part of a three-part series on the video game community in Northeast Iowa:

Midwest advantages

Last year at this time Hauber says he was the director of engineering for a startup in San Francisco when he married his wife and moved back to Elkader, his Northeast Iowa hometown.

“There are trade-offs,” Hauber says. “This was the first winter I experienced in more than a decade. And rural Iowa, there’s not a lot of food variety. But the community here is really behind people who are trying to do interesting things.”

And then the cost of doing business in Iowa compared to the West Coast too…

Hauber said he does 20 hours of contracting a week and spends the rest of his time working on Death Ball. He works out of the local cafe and builds his Death Ball cabinets in town at a sign and frames shop. Then a feature in the Clayton County Register helped further spread the word about what he’s working on.

“My whole goal is to build a model for how to be an entrepreneur in a rural town,” Hauber says. “To show people it’s possible.”

Creating a community

Hauber hopes to replicate the dart and pool league atmosphere, only with video games.

“My game is designed to be fun to watch, fun to play and quick so people can rotate through,” Hauber explains. “It’s all about building a little community around a box. Video games have been pushed into living rooms by yourself, and that’s a sad trend.”

Previous Scouting Reports

Scouting Report: Hunterra – May 9, 2018

Scouting Report: Tokalon Clothing provides a blank canvas for activewear – Jan. 18, 2018

Scouting Report: Creative Habitat working on child-friendly coworking – Dec. 12, 2017

Scouting Report: StemBox moves from Seattle to Des Moines – Sept. 14, 2017