Startup Spotlight: Pixel Press Turns Your Drawings Into Video Games

Each month in 2019, we’re showcasing a Downtown St. Louis-based startup that demonstrates the community’s innovative spirit. Thinking about starting or moving a business to Downtown St. Louis? Start here.

There are people who play video games, and there are people who create video games. But Pixel Press, a technology company in Downtown St. Louis, hits the sweet spot between the two.

After years of researching and experimenting, the founders of Pixel Press introduced one-of-a-kind technology that transforms paper drawings and building-block configurations into interactive games that be played, edited, and shared on computers, game consoles, and mobile devices.

“To us, it’s about so much more than giving players the reigns,” says Pixel Press. “It’s about helping everyday people become mastermind architects. It’s about opening up entire universes. It’s about exercising your whole brain — the analytical left side and the creative right side. It’s about unlocking new potential at any age.

But don’t just take their word for it — Joystiq said Pixel Press “might be the most magical thing you’ll hear about today” while The Verge touted it as “A potential gateway drug to game design.”

It all started with Floors, a draw-and-play game that lets users create, play, and share their own games. Then came Adventure Time: Game Wizard, which allows fans of the Cartoon Network series to create their own adventures with their favorite characters. But the most notable product is Bloxels, a hands-on platform that lets gamers build, collaborate, and tell stories through video game design.

“Bloxels is an amazing technology that is unlike anything on the market,” said Steve Ziemniak, Global Director of Brand Marketing, Mattel, Inc.

The team has been building these engaging experiences at their 11th Street office for a few years, but Pixel Press has leveled up to a household name, both locally and on the national stage. The tech company has landed high profile deals with the likes of Cartoon Network, GameStop, and Mattel among others.

Pixel Press’s success is one more notch in the belt of Downtown St. Louis in its resurgence into a startup town. The Gateway City was cited as “the right way to build a tech city” by Forbes, called an “entrepreneurial boomtown” by researchers at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Popular Mechanics noted St. Louis as a top city to start a business, and it was called a Top 10 city to work in tech.

Needless to say, STL is the place to be for tech-minded entrepreneurs, and Pixel Press is taking full advantage of it.