Starting a new game business

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How to start a new game business using our startup Everyplay (www.everyplay.com) as an example case. …

How to start a new game business using our startup Everyplay (www.everyplay.com) as an example case.
Delivered at the Casual Connect Europe conference, in Hamburg, Germany on 12th February 2009.

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    You can find more at my blog http://jussilaakkonen.wordpress.com
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  • Presentation at the Casual Games Europe in Hamburg on 12th of February 2009. For more please visit my blog at http://jussilaakkonen.wordpress.com

Transcript

  • 1. Confessions: Jussi Laakkonen Everyplay February 10-12 2009 Casual Connect Europe 2009 Starting your own game business
  • 2. http://jussilaakkonen.wordpress.com February 10-12 2009 Casual Connect Europe 2009 Full presentation with notes & audio track:
  • 3. Hi, I’m Jussi!
  • 4. since Aug 2008 CEO, founder
  • 5. Main organizer Entrepreneur for 15 years Demo & LAN party with >6000 visitors a year
  • 6. Business development director Multimillion € deals Produced games Filled the dishwasher Console racing games >3M units sold previously
  • 7. Confessions
  • 8. confessions
  • 9.  
  • 10. Why start a (game) business?
  • 11. Passion – I got to do it!
  • 12. Passion – I got to do it! Do your own thing
  • 13. Passion – I got to do it! Do your own thing Nobody else gets it!
  • 14. Passion – I got to do it! Do your own thing Nobody else gets it! Change the world
  • 15. Passion – I got to do it! Do your own thing Nobody else gets it! Change the world The last great adventure
  • 16. Passion – I got to do it! Do your own thing Nobody else gets it! Change the world The last great adventure Get rich quick  epic fail
  • 17. must have killer idea, right?
  • 18. your first idea will suck .
  • 19. get over it. get going.
  • 20.  
  • 21.  
  • 22.  
  • 23.  
  • 24.  
  • 25.  
  • 26. so, my first idea? confessions
  • 27. ” Hype or real deal?” panel virtual worlds, microtransactions heureka! the future of games! confessions
  • 28. Guild Wars + ” Diablo 2 Casual MMO” & confessions
  • 29. a ”me too” idea P.S. check out Guild of Heroes on Facebook ;-) killed it early confessions
  • 30. Just a speed bump. I knew the future! confessions
  • 31. Look for the opportunity
  • 32. big risks high growth new audiences mass distribution change in behavior disruptive technology unclear business models something that currently sucks
  • 33.  
  • 34. Customer base Viral distribution Rule changing
  • 35. Persistent online Virtual goods Flash
  • 36. Distribution Paying customers Finally mobile doesn’t suck
  • 37. Persistent online Virtual goods Unity, Flash XBLA / PSN?
  • 38. Games in non-game apps New domain & customers Unproven
  • 39. social gaming co-creation with users persistent world virtual goods open web APIs Flash client Does it make a tasty soup? We’ll see... confessions
  • 40. an idea & promising market =
  • 41. ideas are a dime a dozen
  • 42. execution is king
  • 43. PEOPLE, PEOPLE, PEOPLE!!!
  • 44. PEOPLE, PEOPLE, PEOPLE!!! So good that they can walk on air!
  • 45. 2-4 founders tech, biz, art, design
  • 46. because you have to get more done with less
  • 47. Smart people who get things done Marissa Mayer, Google
  • 48. FIERY PASSION
  • 49. Get somebody who hates selling less than starving don’t hire a suit
  • 50. No assholes A single person can destroy your new company.
  • 51. confessions Bizdev Sales, marketing Partners Studio mgmt Server lead Game server CEO Product owner Production PR, finance CTO Game client Design Detailed design Game mechanics All art AD
  • 52. GET STUFF DONE FAST
  • 53. Agile & Lean for EVERYTHING Not just code, but also business and management
  • 54. All your plans are just guesses
  • 55. Release early & often Measure Learn Implement
  • 56. 9/10 startups die because they couldn’t find customers
  • 57. Develop your customers
  • 58.  
  • 59. Don’t worry, be crappy. Guy Kawasaki
  • 60. We game developers in general SUCK at real user driven iterative development. Radically new stuff for me. confessions
  • 61. Scrum for production Customer development for biz. confessions Still learning it.
  • 62. It always takes longer than what you expect. 5 months of iterating, learning. Reduced scope for earlier launch. confessions
  • 63. So, where do I get the money so that I can start?
  • 64. nobody said it was easy.
  • 65. your own savings 1.
  • 66. Friends & Family 2.
  • 67. Work for hire games and other industries 3.
  • 68. R&D tax credits Available in most EU countries Tax credits, grants or loans 15-70% of R&D costs Paid months after costs were incurred 4.
  • 69. Preproduction grants National, regional & EU wide programs 10 – 100 k€, max 50% 5.
  • 70. Angel investors Not many ”game millionaires” vs. a lot of ”IT millionaires” Hard – not impossible 6.
  • 71. publisher advances a.k.a. paying customers Only after you’ve already spent lots of money on the prototype 7.
  • 72. Seed funds Semi-governmental e.g. VeraVenture in Finland 50-500 k€ SeedCamp, Y-Combinator... 10-50 k€ 8.
  • 73. Venture Capital Fuel to grow faster. Not for new companies or hit-driven game studios Only for scaleable businesses like MMOs Great if you will be sold for >50M€ in less than 5 years. 9.
  • 74. 2007-2008: VCs invested $1,7 billion in online games Still available for best game businesses.
  • 75.
    • Own savings
    • Multiplied by public grants and R&D support
    Started with confessions
  • 76. Our success recipe for public grants & loans: confessions
  • 77. Strong team Bold vision Game + platform Own money invested Experience with the paperwork Win one, and a snowball effect starts confessions
  • 78. So, what does it feel like?
  • 79. Loving every minute! confessions
  • 80. start smart
  • 81.