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What is it like to be a business developer in a small indie studio? (and how to get my job?)

Marcin Kaleta, Blogger

June 20, 2018

4 Min Read


My name is Jacek Głowacki and I’m the head of business development at iFun4all (the developer behind such games as 'Serial Cleaner', 'Green Game: TimeSwapper' and 'Red Game Without a Great Name'). Ok so let’s dive in into a second part of my ramblings about business developer at indie studio. 

Last time I’ve already wrote couple of introductory words and described crucial skills every business developer needs to have, as well as usual tasks we, business developers, have to perform.

Still, I realize that a short blog post is definitely not enough to describe all the secrets of my job. Damn, it’s obvious that you won’t learn most of tips and tricks unless you become one of us… (appropriate evil laugh like BUAHAHAHA here).

But, I hear constantly from my friends who are not hired in gaming industry that they dream only about working in the gaming industry. At the same time they don’t know any programming language, can’t draw, compose music or design, well, anything. Seems like their chances aren’t too high, are they? One would say that they should forget their dreams and focus on their lives of players, but not me! As a very empathetic and experienced business developer I do know that all of them can actually become necessary parts of gamedev – become business developers!

Of course, you need to know SOMETHING when you apply to your first BD position, but let’s take myself as an example.

After few years as a gaming journalist at Onet, the biggest Polish information service in Poland, I started looking for a change. I tried to become a Brand Manager in Techland, but I was refused. A year later Techland called me and offered an interview for the position of Business Developer. And you know what? I actually had to check the job’s description, because I had no idea what does business developer actually do! I learned as much as possible before going to the interview and I was sure that I will not get the job. I had zero experienced and basically zero theoretical knowledge. You need to know that interviews at Techland are pure nightmares. You have to perform all the tasks, tests and chats with potential future colleagues in one day. If you start at 9 AM, you leave the building after 5 PM and you don’t even know what your name is… Przemek Marmul, my then-future boss and one of the best business develoepers in the industry, massacred me showing that I don’t know shit about negotiations, contracts, P&Ls and mysterious abbreviations such as ARPPU, ROI, CPC etc. But he was pleased and the BizDev team has also said yes and to my surprise I became a part of one of the most talented and skillful groups of people I’ve ever met in my life!

Few weeks later I asked Przemek why did he decide to hire me – in my opinion I performed really poor. He told me he noticed that I was creative, fast-thinker and showed impressive knowledge about games. And that was enough!

Hence, time to present five most important features you need to have to take my job (or any other business developer’s – I personally recommend the second option!)

  1. English skills – easy for Americans and UK citizens, Aussies etc. Not so easy for everyone else. If you don’t know gaming industry terms in English, you’re not able to make good use of your…

  2. Charisma – like meeting new people? Traveling? Events? Networking? Talking in English about games and making money thanks to games? Yes? You’re the man! No? Well, that’s a pity, because you obviously you have to…

  3. Know your shit! Live games, think games, dream games and breath games and first of all, PLAY EVERYTHING you can! Know titles, mechanics, trends, sales figures, estimates, but remember that your knowledge is not important, if you don’t know how to convince you bosses / partners to buy / sell certain titles. Soooo, you have to be sure that…

  4. Excel is your best friends! Maths is your friend too! Whenever you analyze competition, prepare SWOT analysis, estimate sales and revenues, you need to have the right tools to collect and go through data. But also to present them in an easy and clear way. Find your favorite presentation software and never stop analyzing, because you need the…

  5. Drive! Motivation! If you don’t like what you’re doing, you’ll never be good at the job. I consider myself one of the happiest people in the world, because I have a great family, I’m healthy and love every day at work. Of course, there are problems and issues and conflicts and errors. Lots of errors. But without errors, there’s no experience, right?

So, now you know what does it take from you to become a business developer. Think you’ve got it all? Then don’t hesitate any longer and start applying! I’m sure that sooner or later you’ll take your place in the industry. And don’t worry if you’re rejected several times. If you really want it, you’ll be succesful, I promise!

It’s now time for the generic motivational quote. Here it is:

„Knowing is not enough; we must apply” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

That’s all for today! Thanks for reading and see you soon!



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