Local game developers team up with Grammy winners “Train”

Bettendorf’s David Nelson was eight years old when he programmed his first gaming website.

That was 12 years ago and he hasn’t stopped since.

“When he was 11, I was [still] the master,” David’s father Mark Nelson told News 8 back in 2009, “Then, he became the master.”

Four years ago, the father-son duo launched Muziic.com, a website and media player that was downloaded millions of times around the world.

“It was basically a desktop media player that tapped into YouTube, make playlists and listen to songs that way,” David said.

Fueled by that success, they launched other websites and Facebook apps, many linked to the music industry in some way, shape or form.

Now, they’re back with their newest venture– a gaming company called Mass Threat– with a video game created in collaboration with Grammy Award winners, Train.

“Train has lots of hit songs:  ‘Hey Soul Sister,’ ’50 Ways to Say Goodbye,'” said David.

And it’s that song, “50 Ways to Say Goodbye,” that inspired the band and their management to create a video game, “50 Ways to Survive,” and they knew just where to turn to get the game made.

“It’s about a girl who dumps him, but rather than tell his friends, he makes up all these excuses of how she died – all these crazy ways, so one day they realized that it would make and amazing video game,” said David.

In the game, people can play as a band member and try to survive as they go, all searching for Virginia (an obvious nod to the band’s first hit back in 1998, “Meet Virginia”).

“We’re over 350,000 downloads – it’s very good,” Mark added. “We’re ecstatic about how it’s taken off.”

So, this father-son team sojourns on together, creating hit after hit online, building their personal relationship together as they reach for professional success on the worldwide web.

“We’re just grown closer,” Mark said. “I couldn’t have a better business partner in the world.”

“It’s great – we have our home office across from each other in the hall, so we’re constantly collaborating back and forth,” David added. “I couldn’t ask for a better dad.  It’s amazing that I have a business partner who’s my dad.  It’s kind of cool.”

“50 Ways to Survive” can be downloaded for free through Apple’s App Store or via Google Play. More details are available at 50WaystoSurvive.com.

Train donates all proceeds made from the game to a San Francisco-based charity.

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