One of the co-founders of Devolver Digital has formed a new company designed to make games that will help treat medical conditions.
DeepWell Digital Therapeutics is the creation of Devolver’s Mike Wilson, and Ryan Douglas, who is the founder and former CEO of international medical device company Nextern.
The pair, who are co-CEOs, created DeepWell last year, and the company has been quietly involved in “months of development, research and recruiting” before now being officially announced.
According to a statement released by the duo, DeepWell is “dedicated to creating best-in-class gameplay that can simultaneously entertain and deliver, enhance, and accelerate treatment for an array of globally pervasive health conditions.”
In an introduction video for the company (which can be viewed above), Wilson says: “DeepWell is a company that’s going to help a lot of people feel better in their bodies [and] in their minds, [and] we’re going to do it with video games.
“They’re not even gonna know it’s coming, because they’re just going to be having fun.”
Douglas added in a statement that the quality of the games themselves will take top priority, because it’ll be impossible to deliver their health benefits if nobody wants to play them.
“In order to produce games that provide tangible results, we’ve made engaging gameplay DeepWell’s first principle, since without engagement there is no treatment potential for any therapy,” Douglas explained.
“With our team of world-class developers at the helm, backed up by cutting-edge science and medical professionals, we’re building and repurposing games that look like, feel like, and play like pure entertainment, but that come imbued with potent digital therapeutics that align with our hardwired, neurological reward mechanisms.
“This is a ground-breaking moment that will bring video games and medicine together in a way that neither field has ever truly contemplated before, prioritising a level of patient engagement that has eluded most of modern medicine.”
The company has an advisory board consisting of almost 40 people working both the gaming and medical fields, who have been “donating time and resources” into making sure the games will be both beneficial and entertaining.
“Our medium is often harshly judged for its perceived negative impacts on the mind and body,” Wilson said in a statement. “But the scientists who study video games, as well as the developers that build them at the highest levels, already know that the opposite is true.
“DeepWell is bringing entertainment and medical science together to build upon the proven fact that video games can be good for you, and, thanks to global digital distribution, they’re an important tool to make treatment affordable and accessible.
“Moreover, with games that are legitimately fun, patients and players will seek out their positive benefits again and again.
“Soon, some of the best video games in the world will be recognized for what they are – powerful medicine – and game designers will be shaping a new discipline with the potential to reach the biggest audience on the planet.”