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Here are 05 EXTRA tips on business and marketing from my 23 years of experience developing and publishing games to help you out on decision making. Enjoy!
February 20, 2020
3 Min Read
01 – Be flexible
We live in an industry that is constantly on the move. That could be quite obvious, but we don’t pay enough attention to it, as we are usually very busy. New trends appear all the time, as user behavior cohorts can change in a heartbeat. Fortnite, Free Fire, what’s next? Just to be clear, my main point here is – is you are caught off-guard in the middle of a project, do not discard it. Think about the possibilities, trends and don’t be afraid to pivot it if needed. Do not follow hypes, but do follow clear trends.
02 – Do not overshoot
How big is your team? Are you an one-person army? How big is your budget? Plan accordingly – game development is not poker (even if budget isn’t an issue – oh, lucky you), so never go all-in. Make projects that you can FINISH. More: if possible, try to have a plan B, C and all the letters you can, so the target is to keep a sustainable studio, and not an all-or-nothing initiative.
03 – Investment is not a commodity
From my experience, it is quite overwhelming to look into matchmaking tools (omnipresent in all events, apparently – and that’s a good thing) and see a surreal amount of studios looking for investors for their games. It is like there is a huge amount of people with ready-to-spend cash and all those games are good enough for someone to throw that cash into your face. Honestly, this is NOT going to happen. Investors are looking for as-low-as-possible risk and as-fast-as-possible ROI. Although there are examples of amazing relationships and results between studios and seed and VC investors, it is by far the hardest relationship to build. My adv ice would be for you to look for alternatives – government grants, platform programs, how you can drive great visibility with a solid BP and a great prototype. Get your stuff together, and then, maybe, you get to be seen by a solid investor, and build an awesome experience.
04 – Be seen
It is not location, location, location. It is all about visibility. It all about engagement. If you have a great game, you are 50% ready. The other 50% is getting people to actually know you exist. Social media is just the tip of the iceberg. You need to get deeper. Campaigns, cohorts, being at the right places at the right time, building a community. My advice: talk to a specialist. You have one job – create awesome games. Let the marketing folks do their magic (and trust them).
05 – Ask for help
Lastly, and somehow continuing #04, let me reinforce – do what you do best. If you have the opportunity, ask for help. Mentors, Associations, Public and private initiatives, IGDA, all there to lend you a hand. Creating great games is already a very difficult task – and this is something you excel at. Everything else, consider hiring reports, agencies and experts. Is it expensive? It can be – but I can assure you that those assets are also available for prices indies can pay for. Build a safe and dedicated ecosystem around you, so you can not only build meaningful experiences, but also receive monetary recognition for them.
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