At Upper One Games, we weave timeless, living stories into dynamic, engaging and fun games that encourage discovery and exploration. We are confident our products will excite, inspire and connect people throughout the world.
Launched by Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC) in Anchorage, a tribal nonprofit organization
serving Alaska Native and American Indian people in southcentral Alaska, Upper One Games, LLC was the first indigenous-owned video game company in the U.S.
Upper One Games is now a subsidary of E-Line Media of New York, a change that strengthens our collaborative partnership.
Upper One Games is pioneering an inclusive development process that matches world class game designers with members of Alaska Native communities to create unique games.
For the consumer gaming market, we are currently in development with a ground-breaking title, Never Alone (Kisima Inŋitchuŋa)—a beautifully illustrated puzzle-adventure game depicting a young Iñupiaq protagonist and her arctic fox companion.
The pair embarks on a series of challenges and adventures during
a quest throughout the Arctic and beyond.
A unique partnership between members of the Alaska Native community and acclaimed game developers preserved cultural authenticity during the game development process.
The game narrative is inspired by the rich culture and folklore of the Iñupiat people of the Arctic and will be in Iñupiaq with English subtitles.
At Upper One Games our mission is to weave timeless, living stories into dynamic, fun and engaging games that encourage discovery and exploration.
Launched by Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC) in Anchorage, Alaska, Upper One Games began as a collaborative partnership between CITC and its publishing and development partner, E-Line Media of New York. Upper One Games recently became a subsidiary of E-Line Media.
A team of Alaska Native storytellers, artists, community members and top game developers assembled to create the company’s initial game aimed at the consumer market, Never Alone (Kisima Inŋitchuŋa), which is scheduled for release in fall, 2014. Upper One Games invites gamers to discover the unique and enduring cultural legacy of the Alaska Native people through gameplay that highlights the importance of interdependence, resilience, respect and accountability.
Gloria O’Neill is President and CEO of CITC. As part of a long-term sustainability plan to fund essential CITC programs serving the indigenous community, Ms. O’Neill and CITC's leadership team explored what it would take to form a game company that could promote Alaska Native values and culture while engaging youth around the world.
After a careful search, E-Line Media, a pioneering developer and publisher of game-based learning products and services, was identified and recruited as a partner. CITC and E-Line Media then launched Upper One Games. In mid 2014 Upper One Games became a subsidiary of E-Line Media, further strengthening the collaboration of two companies with aligned values.
Weaving timeless, living stories into dynamic, fun and engaging games that encourage discovery and exploration.
President & CEO
Cook Inlet Tribal Council, Inc.
Never Alone (Kisima Inŋitchuŋa), an emotionally stirring puzzle platform adventure game featuring on a young Iñupiaq girl’s struggle for survival in a harsh Arctic environment.
The name is a nod to Alaska’s status as the “Upper One” state above the Lower 48” states in the continental United States. As a for-profit subsidiary of Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC) in Anchorage, our Alaska location is a key part of our identity. But our primary goal is to create compelling, innovative and impactful games for anyone to enjoy—so our connection to the “Lower 48” and gamers around the globe is very important.
Upper One Games is an initiative launched by Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC) in Anchorage, a tribal nonprofit organization serving indigenous peoples of southcentral Alaska, and its publishing and development partner, E-Line Media of New York, a pioneering developer of game-based learning products. Upper One Games is a property of CITC Enterprises, Inc. (CEI), the for-profit subsidiary of the CITC. Upper One Games shares executive and support staff with CITC. Dividends from Upper One Games will flow back to CITC to help fund programs and services in education, workforce development and support services benefiting Alaska Native and American Indian people residing in Alaska’s largest urban area.
Upper One Games was formed to create highly engaging digital game experiences while sharing the rich traditions of Alaska Native culture and values with the world at large. With a mission to create a financially successful global gaming brand, Upper One Games will contribute revenue toward CITC programs and services, as well as promote game design and development as a viable industry and career path in Alaska. Upper One Games was formed in 2012 and publicly announced at the 10th Annual Games For Change Festival in New York in June, 2013.
E-Line has an ownership stake in Upper One Games and oversees all game development in conjunction with CEI. Likewise, CEI has an ownership stake in E-Line, which helps insure alignment of interests. E-Line Media is a pioneering developer and publisher of game-based learning products and services that engage, educate and empower. E-Line partners with foundations, academics, nonprofits and government agencies to develop and publish games for learning and health and social impact. E-Line has a long history of success within the digital games market, and CITC, E-Line and Upper One Games enjoy a true alignment of values and vision.
To create profitable, fun, engaging games while supporting the core value of self-determination for Alaska Native people through increased financial independence. Alaska Native values align with universal theme and therefor have relevance worldwide.
Being the first indigenous-owned game developer brings multiple benefits. First, Upper One Games will help share Alaska Native culture while contributing to the digital games medium. Upper One Games taps into the storytelling abilities and cultural heritage of the Alaska Native people in an authentic manner, giving us the ability to share Alaska Native philosophy and values with the world. Finally, indigenous ownership allows the benefits of financial success return to CITC and the community it serves.
Everyone! The themes of the core values of interdependence, resilience, accountability and respect in Alaska Native culture are universal—we are creating games to engage the modern global gaming audience.
Games will reflect many different themes, including Alaska Native heritage. Games in our education portfolio may not directly reference our specific culture, but they are based on a foundation of our core values, which we see as having a broad affinity to a larger audience. All games will be built with the pillars of interdependence, resilience, accountability and respect as touchstones. Educational games will focus on the experiential style of learning that is integral to Alaska Native culture.
Whether they are of Alaska Native heritage or not, everyone involved with game development is committed to respecting the community’s values and stories. Members of the community also have a public voice and offer feedback on Upper One Games initiatives throughout the process.
Upper One Games will give Alaska Native people an opportunity to share their vibrant cultures with a global audience. We hope to show the diversity of Alaska Native people beyond stereotypes, while offering outsiders a chance to experience our values, philosophy and sense of fun. It’s important to note, the success of Upper One Games ensures financial benefits return to CITC-administered programs serving Alaska Native people.
Upper One Games will support all relevant and recent platforms based on the specific product and target audience.
March 21, 2014
Upper One Games and E-Line Media are using video games to help preserve lore of Alaska Native people.
How one woman, tired of seeing derogatory Native American cliches, decided to make games about her people.
Polygon, August 21, 2013
Gloria O'Neill talks about the cliches that we've all seen, and has resolved to make changes.
Scientific American, February 2013
Video games could transform education. But first game designers, teachers and parents have to move beyond both hype and fear.
The Future of Video Games is also the Future of Storytelling
Forbes, June 24, 2013
Upper One Games aims to make meaningful and scalable social impact by creating world-class games infused with Alaska Native values and culture.
Meet our Leadership Team
Meet our Board Members
Patrick Marrs, Owner
Douglas Fifer, Owner
Amy Fredeen, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Upper One Games and Cook Inlet Tribal Council, Inc.
Michael Angst, Chairman and CEO, E-Line Ventures, LLC.
Amy Fredeen, CPA & CGMA
Pita Jelley Benz
Alan has spent the last twenty years at the intersection of entertainment, technology and social entrepreneurship. He is currently President and Co-Founder of E-Line Media, a publisher of digital entertainment that engages, educates and empowers – with a core focus on computer/video games. E-Line works with leading foundations, academics, non-profits and government agencies to harness the power of games for learning and social impact.
Prior to E-Line, Alan spent seven years as CEO and Co-Founder of netomat, a leader in mobile-web community solutions. As CEO, Alan helped to transform a network-based art project into a pioneering software company, raising funding from VCs, strategic investors (Motorola, WPP, Forbes), foundations (Rockefeller’s ProVenEx double bottom line fund) and securing clients and partnerships with leading technology and content providers such as Electronic Arts, Warner Brothers, Motorola and Miramax. netomat was selected as a Technology Pioneer at the 2007 World Economic Forum at Davos.
Before netomat, Alan spent six years at Activision, a global leader in entertainment software. He was a member of the executive management team that rebuilt Activision from bankruptcy into a profitable industry leader with more than a billion dollars in revenue. At Activision, Alan served as Senior Vice President of Activision Studios where he supervised all product development at the company’s Los Angeles studios. Titles released under Alan’s leadership include Civilization: Call to Power, Mechwarrior 2, Asteroids 3D, Muppet Treasure Island, Spycraft, Shanghai, Pitfall, Zork and Tony Hawk Skateboarding.
Before Activision, Alan spent nearly ten years in the film industry where he worked in development, production and post-production roles on numerous feature films and documentaries. As a writer, Alan was a film critic for the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong, co-author of Game Plan, a book about the computer and video game business published by St. Martin’s Press and has published articles on video games for learning and social impact in numerous publications including Scientific American, Education Week, Huffington Post, Slate and Knowledge Quest.
As a speaker, Alan has been a featured speaker at a wide variety of conferences throughout the world including South By South West, CES, E3, Games for Change, Game, Learning & Society, Sundance Film Festival, Game Developers Conference, CTIA, Teach For America, National Writers Workshop, LAX Conference, PC Forum, Game On Texas, SoCap, Serious Play, ICE/Toronto, MIT Fab Lab Conference India and Peru, Milia/Cannes, Serious Games Korea and the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland and Dalian, China. Alan has also led game design workshops throughout the works for students, teachers, parents and policy makers, including at the invitation of the White House for the 100 Presidential Math and Science Teachers Award Winners.
Alan is currently a Founding Industry Fellow at the Center for Games and Impact at ASU and serves on the Board of Directors of FilmAid International, a nonprofit that uses film and video to empower refugees throughout the world. Alan also serves on the Advisory Boards of PBS Kids New Media, Creative Capital, iCivics and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center For Educational Media and Research (Sesame Workshop). He is also on the Advisory Board and former Chairman of the Board of Games for Change.
After clicking the shuffle button, click any square next to the open square to slide that piece into position.
Unscramble the puzzle and download a Never Alone Kisima Inŋitchuŋa desktop wallpaper.