Becker alumni celebrate their game company’s fifth anniversary
Published on: May 5, 2020
Five years ago, a small group of friends, all of whom were seniors majoring in game design and development at Becker College, were preparing to graduate. Rather than following the typical career path, the group, including Ryan Canuel ’15, Christina Andriano ’15, James Spavold ’15, and Oliver Awat ’15 — as well as Aaron Lin ’15 and Chris Bruno ’15, who have since moved on to other opportunities— decided to take a leap of faith and start up their own game studio in Worcester.
Today, Petricore Inc., the company they started in May 2015, is thriving.
“When we started Petricore, I told the team we’d try and make it one year and then see how it goes from there,” said Ryan Canuel, CEO of Petricore. “To reach this milestone, and still be going strong, growing, and remaining profitable — it’s amazing. We could not have done it without the huge outpouring of support — especially from Becker — we received early on, and continue to, to this day.”
That support included being accepted into the initial cohort of the Start-Up Worcester program run by the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce. Canuel went on to earn the Chamber’s Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2016. Petricore has also received important support from Becker College and is the company-in-residence at the MassDiGI New Ventures Center, located in the Barrett Center on the Worcester Campus.
“Companies like Petricore are exactly what we love to see here in Worcester,” said Timothy Loew, executive director of MassDiGI. “They’ve been able to stay here and grow their business, bringing game development jobs and internships to our corner of the world.”
Since its establishment, Petricore has earned revenues of nearly $2 million. Some notable projects include developing software for Bose, Mitsubishi, Yale University, The Ellen Show, and Star Trek. Petricore’s own titles, which include mobile games “Mind the Arrow,” “Gelato Flicker” and “Battery Boy,” have been downloaded and played over 750,000 times worldwide.
“One of my fondest memories growing up was getting a Game Boy and Pokemon Yellow on my sixth birthday,” said Oliver Awat, lead designer at Petricore. “Looking back throughout most of my childhood and adolescence, I still remember the many games that I played and can match them to the different pivotal moments of my life. Though it takes a lot of coordination and effort to get games out, there’s no greater privilege than when others play our games, and to know we are building in them the same feelings I had growing up..”
Petricore’s latest game “DogFight,” is a change from their previous titles, and will be released on PC and major game consoles. “DogFight” is a zany air combat game taking you to the skies of a world in conflict between humankind’s best friends and the evil cat empire. Players can go through a series of story missions against the claws of the cat empire solo, or with a friend in co-op mode. Up to four players can also battle each other locally.
“We’re really excited to be working on a game like this.” said Canuel. “Over the years, we have taken on a lot of work that we’ve never done before, and it’s always a challenge, but in the end a rewarding experience. We’ve shown “DogFight” at many events big and small, and the reception has been wonderful. We can’t wait to release DogFight in 2021 and have people start playing.”
For more information about Petricore, go to https://www.petricoregames.com/. To learn more about Petricore’s projects, please follow them on Facebook or Twitter. For more information about DogFight, go to https://petricoregames.com/dogfight/. Players interested in “DogFight” can add the game to their wish list on the popular PC game marketplace Steam here: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1266900/