How to monetize your passion - An example in the game industry

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As someone who has been able to turn their passion into their source of income, this lecture is aimed at Desucon 2014 attendees who have a passion for either drawing, animating, costume design and (of course) making games. During the lecture, Vlad will provide a quantified view of his career experience, rounding up all the numbers that include his income, expenditures and adventures to create a formula that anybody interested in media or games can adopt to create an income out of their personal passion.

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How to monetize your passion - An example in the game industry

  1. 1. An example in the game industry How to monetize your passion http://www.slideshare.net/VGVisionary HD Redux Edition
  2. 2. Table of contents • Who is this guy!? • Where does this talk come from? • Some examples • Summary • Questions
  3. 3. Who am I? This is a talk by Vlad Micu Now Head of Studio at Critical Force Entertainment Used to be the PR Manager of Grambleworld.com Did production, game design and creative direction for arkavis Siam co. ltd. in Thailand Wrote for many other international outlets including Gamesauce.org, TechInAsia.com, PocketGamer.biz, Control Magazine, Gamer.nl, XBLAFans.com, Casual Connect Magazine and many more. @vgvisionary
  4. 4. Partners & Clients
  5. 5. Our games Critical Strike Portable • 16+ million downloads since 2012 • 300.000 DAU • 4.3 Rating (265.900 ratings) • Web, iOS, Android, Ouya, ??? • Reskinned multiple times into CM: Swat & CM: Space • 3rd party controller support • Ad revenue based • Revenue: 0-700 dollars a day. Company of Tanks (Beta) • 350.000+ downloads since Dec ‘13 • 2.000 DAU • 4.0 rating (6807 ratings) • Google play, coming to WP • 50.000 euro Appcampus funding for Windows Phone version • IAP revenue based • Revenue: 0-10 dollars a day.
  6. 6. Most recently
  7. 7. Bad News
  8. 8. Good News
  9. 9. From passion
  10. 10. To career
  11. 11. #1: The principle of adding value
  12. 12. Volunteer Three words: behind the scenes
  13. 13. Being involved: bringing value Make yourself invaluable
  14. 14. Cover an event as press “I guess if nothing else, being a part of the gaming press has allowed me to draw from a nearly unlimited well of knowledge and inspiration that I may have otherwise never had access to. “ – Chris Morris (Microsoft)
  15. 15. Putting the spotlight on others: bringing value Write 90% about others and 10% about yourself
  16. 16. YouTubers & Streamers are the perfect example
  17. 17. Being where most people can’t be: bringing value Travel is a 110% investment in yourself
  18. 18. Having knowledge & connections that others don’t: bringing value
  19. 19. Example Rule for students: never present yourself as a student! Present yourself based on what you have to offer!
  20. 20. #2: The principle of the snowball effect Good stuff comes to those who work for it 2004 2005 2006 2007 2007 2008 2009 2012 2011 2013
  21. 21. The key challenge: Seizing opportunities
  22. 22. My first invoice
  23. 23. How have you embraced the power of timing?
  24. 24. Examples •Resogun on PS4 (Housemarque) • Company of Tanks on Windows Phone(Critical Force Ent.)
  25. 25. #3: Defining your value • Creators • Connectors • Organizers • Business types Together, they can create awesome start-ups!
  26. 26. Which one are you?
  27. 27. Freelancer rule #1 • For free or for the full rate, never for a discount.
  28. 28. Find your blue ocean It’s simple Supply vs Demand: What do you have that others don’t?
  29. 29. (Weird) Example
  30. 30. Don’t be afraid for change Even adversity brings opportunity
  31. 31. #3: Building your network Read this book
  32. 32. My #1 Network rule: Everyone is interesting! Example: how I got here
  33. 33. Network your *ss off #wolfireisawesome “While waiting in line just to get into E3, you may find yourself standing next to the principle engine programmer for the Halo team […]. Anyone you see holding a fancy looking camera is probably affiliated with a major gaming news site, so go say hello (I stalked as many as possible). […] Any afterparties you can find are networking bonus rounds.” - John Graham (Wolfire)
  34. 34. Are we pitching to everyone we can? • Blow people away • Show your ideas • An awesome presentation/portfolio helps
  35. 35. Always be closing When you present your services/expertise
  36. 36. #4: It’s not what you do It’s how you do it! • Create a product • Run a Webshop • Organize events • Write articles • Give workshops • Consult • Stream on Twitch/YouTube
  37. 37. 20/80 rule Value is created if your ROI > Investment
  38. 38. My own first publishing deal (2009)
  39. 39. The Numbers • 12.000 euros budget. – 3 members got paid to made a new prototype • 1 team member got a full- time job. • Pulse was later developed for 100k by an external developer. • Pulse flopped with only 1000 sales on iOS.
  40. 40. Another example 16 hours x 80 euros (1680 euro) of my time = 160 hours x 20 euros (3200 euro) of your time Thus, ROI > Investment.
  41. 41. #5: How well/often do you showcase your work?
  42. 42. When was the last time you applied for a showcase or competitions? • To volunteer • To showcase • Or even speak
  43. 43. Example www.promoterapp.com/calendar www.gameconfs.com
  44. 44. #5: Do people consider you/your product a ‘must-have’? And can you make them believe it’s ‘must-have’?
  45. 45. Are you prepared to do business? • Website/portfolio/Lin kedIn • Elevator pitch • Business cards • Referrals? Check Kadri’s awesome talk here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXRverBntZc
  46. 46. Where’s your business plan? http://www.seriesseed.fi/
  47. 47. How well do you know yourself, your product and your market? • SWOT analysis • Competitors • People with similar backgrounds (and what they’ve done)
  48. 48. #6: What kind of partnerships would we need to flourish?
  49. 49. Examples
  50. 50. Our example
  51. 51. #7: What are you sharing? • Insights and numbers • Valuable contacts • Opportunities and jobs • Even a place to stay
  52. 52. Especially our mistakes
  53. 53. #8: Are you making yourself better & stronger?
  54. 54. My work = an investment in myself If you don’t enjoy your job, GTFO
  55. 55. Preparing mentally for success, just as much as failure. Both Failing and/or Succeeding Hard = Growing Up Incredibly Fast
  56. 56. Bonus tip: Quantify your life/work My numbers (2007-2013)
  57. 57. My career in numbers (2007-2013) • 22 talks given (next one being at Digital Dragons in Krakow, Poland next month). • 232 articles written from September 2007 – today. • 3 website staff managed filled with talented young writers for Gamesauce.org, Windowsphonefans.com and PSNFans.com • 1 super-talented development team managed (for arkavis Siam Co. ltd.) • 13 videogames that I’ve been credited on (only six have been released till this day). • 30 countries visited in the first 27 years of my life. 9 countries that I’ve lived in. • 60 video items created with 85.253 views (16324 of which were for Control Magazine). • 500+ people interviewed as an industry journalist (most of them game developers). • 4500+ business cards handed out • 8621 contacts in my Gmail (categorized thanks to Smartr). • 1200+ hours spent playing League of Legends between summer 2011 and today spread over my 2x EUW, 1x US and 1x Thai account. • 1917 friends on Facebook (of which 1016 are Game Industry-related). I’ve spoken at least 5 minutes to 99% of them. • 2000+ LinkedIn connections I have no clue what to do with. • 97+ press badges collected • 3 months per year spent traveling or abroad on average (4.5 months in 2013) If I can do it, so can you
  58. 58. Summary • Give and thou shall receive • Find a way to offer value to others • Create opportunities, seize them and embrace the snowball effect • Define your value, promote it • Find your blue ocean • Expand your network • Be smart with what you do, 20/80 rule • Promote yourself • Become the ‘Go-To’ person and/or have a must-have product/service • Create partnerships if needed • Share with your network/community • Grow as a person • Optional: keep track of your progress • Rinse and Repeat 
  59. 59. Handy dandy links • http://www.copyblogger.com/freelance-copywriter-negotiation/ • http://www.wikihow.com/Network-at-a-Conference • http://entrepreneurs.about.com/b/2009/03/13/top-10-conference-networking-tips.htm • http://factoidz.com/how-to-get-a-press-pass-for-bloggers/ • http://www.gamecareerguide.com/features/295/so_you_want_to_be_a_games_.php • http://www.willcocks.co.uk/Introductions.htm • http://www.whattheydontteachyouatstanfordbusinessschool.com/work-a-conference-notes.htm • http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/218776/Market_your_games_effectively_with_the_Vlambee r_toolkit.php?elq=31d0d30f1634498683c3775ea6db8fa3&elqCampaignId=4232 • http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/18/how-to-get-an-mba-from-eminem/ • http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/18/how-to-get-an-mba-from-eminem/ • http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2013/10/28/business-mentorship-and-muses/ • http://www.freeenterprise.com/free-enterprise-tour/inside-edison-nation-charlottes-willy-wonka- style-warehouse- inventions?utm_source=Taboola&utm_medium=Article_RSS_Feed&utm_campaign=OngoingPaid • http://blog.readyforzero.com/how-to-create-a-budget/ • http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2014-02-19-five-tips-for-breaking-into-the-industry • http://lifehacker.com/the-most-common-ways-we-fool-ourselves-about-money-1566079910 • http://lifehacker.com/three-common-freelancing-roadblocks-to-avoid-1556393922 • http://lifehacker.com/can-i-really-make-a-living-by-blogging-1537783554
  60. 60. Handy dandy links part 2 • http://videogamecaster.com/ - If you want to be come a YouTuber and or Streamer • http://www.pixelprospector.com/indie-resources/ - If you want to go Indie • http://lifehacker.com/six-times-we-blow-more-money-than-we-should-and-how-to-1515656181 • http://lifehacker.com/five-one-hour-routines-that-will-improve-your-life-as-a-1560495938 • http://lifehacker.com/how-to-take-a-pay-cut-for-a-job-you-actually-love-and-1542091937 • http://lifehacker.com/how-to-to-better-manage-your-freelance-income-1530335057 • http://lifehacker.com/how-to-strategize-for-a-better-salary-in-your-20s-30s-1504980374 • http://lifehacker.com/be-careful-when-saying-yes-or-no-during-a-salary-ne-1041248749 • http://lifehacker.com/why-you-should-never-be-afraid-to-negotiate-a-higher-sa-1477953403 • http://lifehacker.com/5985903/advice-i-wish-someone-had-given-me-for-my-first-job • http://lifehacker.com/the-most-common-ways-you-waste-money-and-how-to-save-i-1183447200 • http://lifehacker.com/how-to-take-on-more-responsibility-at-work-without-bei-798774337 • http://lifehacker.com/eight-small-financial-changes-that-yield-huge-results-1502939683 • http://lifehacker.com/five-things-i-wish-i-had-known-when-i-started-working-f-1497900668 • http://lifehacker.com/the-beginners-guide-to-working-from-home-733412770 • http://lifehacker.com/what-should-i-know-before-i-change-careers-512289050
  61. 61. Bonus tip: watch my other lectures www.youtube.com/vgvisionary
  62. 62. Contact me • @vgvisionary • Mail me at vlad@studioonmars.com • Slides: www.slideshare.net/VGVisionary #imlonely
  63. 63. Thanks! Questions?

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