Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
FUNDING AND
PUBLISHING
OPTIONS FOR
INDEPENDENT
DEVELOPERS
DUMB
MONEY
SMART
MONEY
JULY 20...
Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
WHO AM I?
GIORDANO BRUNO CONTESTABILE
VP Product Management & Revenue, Tilting Point
Pre...
Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
New generation mobile partner
for top independent game developers
WHO ARE WE?
TM
Focus o...
Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
An innovative platformer from 1337+Senri
with cutting-edge graphics, starring a lovable,...
Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
Tower offense and defense game
with a collectible card game twist
from Uber Entertainmen...
Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
LET’S GET STARTED
ENOUGH ABOUT US
Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
IN THE OLD DAYS…
Publishers were needed because of:
Very high
cost of
development
Retail...
Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
AS A RESULT
Publishers held sway,
and terms weren’t
favorable to developers
8
Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
NO OR LIMITED
IP OWNERSHIP
9
Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
HIGH COST
STRUCTURES
AND LOW
ROYALTIES
Resulting in low chance
of receiving any over
lif...
Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
LIMITED CREATIVE CONTROL
11
Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
APPROVAL PROCESS
OFTEN ARBITRARY
12
Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
FREQUENT CRUNCHES
And “death marches”
13
Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
WHAT HAS
CHANGED?
(WHAT WAS THE TILTING POINT !?)
14
Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
No physical distribution infrastructure needed
Platform barrier of entry effectively eli...
Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
Cheaper and more accessible engines
Smaller teams
Shorter development cycles
Unlimited u...
Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
WHAT CHANGED?
AUDIENCE HAS BECOME
SIGNIFICANTLY LARGER AND BROADER
100MFROM
“GAMERS”
2BT...
Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
The work doesn’t
end with a
big launch
In fact, that’s just
the beginning
WHAT
CHANGED?
...
Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
BUT GOING ALONE
IS STILL DAUNTING
19
Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
PRODUCTION
VALUES AND
COSTS ARE
RISING
GOING ALONE
IS DAUNTING
20
Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
$-
$0.50
$1.00
$1.50
$2.00
$2.50
$3.00
$3.50
$4.00
$4.50
$5.00
Jan-12
Feb-12
Mar-12
Apr-...
Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
MORE AND MORE GAMES
RELEASED EVERY MONTH
GOING ALONE IS DAUNTING
Number of game
submissi...
Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
MAKING GAMES IS NOT
JUST ABOUT MAKING GAMES
GOING ALONE IS DAUNTING
Domain knowledge is ...
Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
IN A PUBLISHING DEAL?
24
Now that the playing field is tilted
in the de...
Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
WHAT TO ASK FOR
Depending on factors such as level of completion
of the game and investm...
Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
WHAT ARE
YOUR OPTIONS?
26
Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
WHAT ARE
YOUR OPTIONS?
BOOTSTRAPPING
VCs AND ANGELS
CROWDFUNDING
PLATFORMS
INCUBATORS
& ...
Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
PROS
No external pressure
Complete creative control
No dilution
Availability of
affordab...
Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
PROS
No dilution
Creative control
(but careful about
upsetting your backers!)
Crowdfundi...
Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
PROS
Office space
Some funding (often limited)
Mentorship
Introductions to investors,
pl...
Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
PROS
Access to
sizeable funds
Access to other investors,
talent and resources
CONS
Stron...
Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
PROS
Strong production and
marketing support
through the whole
development cycle
Guarant...
Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
PROS
Full-service support
(development, marketing,
operations, business)
Funding without...
Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
CONCLUSIONS
34
Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
Best partner depends
on genre, platform, scope,
team and goals
ONE SIZE FITS ALL
DOESN’T...
Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
In today’s market, developers
have more options and more
negotiating power
POWER
SHIFT
36
Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
Creative control
and not
relinquishing
IP ownership
are key to building
a long-term busi...
Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
You will be working with your
partner at least through the
game’s lifecycle - better enj...
Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
Managing all aspects
of a business is harder
Most developers need partners
MAKING A GAME...
Til$ng	
  Point	
  Confiden$al	
  
QUESTIONS?
www.tiltingpoint.com
hello@tiltingpoint.com
twitter - @tiltingpoint	
  
giord...
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Dumb Money, Smart Money: Funding and Publishing Options for Independent Game Developers

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Publishers, investors and partners: do you need them? This is a question every independent developer faces when deciding whether or not to self-publish. What do you give up and what do you get in return in each scenario? In the past the publisher was the gateway to the marketplace, but today anyone can publish a game by themselves. This talk will explore the financing and publishing options available to independent developers today, covering traditional publishers, investors, strategic partners and self-funding options such as Kickstarter. Each one offers different benefits and resources, from capital, to marketing and analytics, to strategic relationships with platform owners. This session will give you a better understanding of the modern publishing landscape and arm you with the tools to evaluate your options, ask the right questions and come to the decision that's best for your company

Dumb Money, Smart Money: Funding and Publishing Options for Independent Game Developers

  1. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   FUNDING AND PUBLISHING OPTIONS FOR INDEPENDENT DEVELOPERS DUMB MONEY SMART MONEY JULY 2014
  2. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   WHO AM I? GIORDANO BRUNO CONTESTABILE VP Product Management & Revenue, Tilting Point Previously seen at PopCap and EA Executive Producer, Bejeweled franchise Mobile Product and Business Strategy Asia Pacific Operations Mobile gaming since 2002 SMS / WAP / J2ME / BREW and other horrors Happier since 2008 (App Store launch date) Twittering away @giordanobc 2
  3. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   New generation mobile partner for top independent game developers WHO ARE WE? TM Focus on mobile and tablet platforms Full service: •  Funding •  Product management •  Production support •  Marketing & user acquisition •  Tech platform •  Insight, analysis and research •  Reach •  Scale Sounds interesting? hello@tiltingpoint.com 3
  4. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   An innovative platformer from 1337+Senri with cutting-edge graphics, starring a lovable, unique main character 4Tim Cook’s Keynote at WWDC 2014 Unveiling of Android TV at Google I/O On stage at the ADA Ceremony
  5. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   Tower offense and defense game with a collectible card game twist from Uber Entertainment Featured by Apple in 120 countries “Toy Rush could be the game I’ve always wanted.” 148Apps “This game looks seriously awesome… Marvelous.” Touch Arcade “Toy Rush is a game I’ve been waiting desperately for.” App Invasion 5
  6. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   LET’S GET STARTED ENOUGH ABOUT US
  7. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   IN THE OLD DAYS… Publishers were needed because of: Very high cost of development Retail distribution very important, and very expensive Large marketing budgets required Console platforms mostly closed to smaller companies 7
  8. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   AS A RESULT Publishers held sway, and terms weren’t favorable to developers 8
  9. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   NO OR LIMITED IP OWNERSHIP 9
  10. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   HIGH COST STRUCTURES AND LOW ROYALTIES Resulting in low chance of receiving any over lifetime of product 10
  11. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   LIMITED CREATIVE CONTROL 11
  12. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   APPROVAL PROCESS OFTEN ARBITRARY 12
  13. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   FREQUENT CRUNCHES And “death marches” 13
  14. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   WHAT HAS CHANGED? (WHAT WAS THE TILTING POINT !?) 14
  15. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   No physical distribution infrastructure needed Platform barrier of entry effectively eliminated Performance-driven marketing lowering overall costs Indie developers can reach mass audiences directly WHAT CHANGED? DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION PLATFORMS HAVE REVOLUTIONIZED THE MARKET 15
  16. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   Cheaper and more accessible engines Smaller teams Shorter development cycles Unlimited upside WHAT CHANGED? MAKING GAMES FOR DIGITAL PLATFORM CAN BE MUCH MORE AFFORDABLE 16
  17. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   WHAT CHANGED? AUDIENCE HAS BECOME SIGNIFICANTLY LARGER AND BROADER 100MFROM “GAMERS” 2BTO “PEOPLE THAT PLAY GAMES” 17
  18. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   The work doesn’t end with a big launch In fact, that’s just the beginning WHAT CHANGED? GAMES ARE NOW SERVICES 18
  19. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   BUT GOING ALONE IS STILL DAUNTING 19
  20. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   PRODUCTION VALUES AND COSTS ARE RISING GOING ALONE IS DAUNTING 20
  21. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   $- $0.50 $1.00 $1.50 $2.00 $2.50 $3.00 $3.50 $4.00 $4.50 $5.00 Jan-12 Feb-12 Mar-12 Apr-12 May-12 Jun-12 Jul-12 Aug-12 Sep-12 Oct-12 Nov-12 Dec-12 Jan-13 Feb-13 Mar-13 Apr-13 May-13 Jun-13 Jul-13 Aug-13 Sep-13 Oct-13 Nov-13 Dec-13 Jan-14 Average Cost Per Install Android CPI iOS CPI Facebook CPI MARKETING BUDGETS & USER ACQUISITION COSTS ARE RISING GOING ALONE IS DAUNTING Source: EEDAR, 2014 21
  22. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   MORE AND MORE GAMES RELEASED EVERY MONTH GOING ALONE IS DAUNTING Number of game submissions by month on the iOS App Store 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000 2008-06 2008-08 2008-10 2008-12 2009-02 2009-04 2009-06 2009-08 2009-10 2009-12 2010-02 2010-04 2010-06 2010-08 2010-10 2010-12 2011-02 2011-04 2011-06 2011-08 2011-10 2011-12 2012-02 2012-04 2012-06 2012-08 2012-10 2012-12 2013-02 2013-04 2013-06 2013-08 2013-10 2013-12 2014-02 1.2 MILLION GAMES IN THE iOS APP STORE 200K LAUNCHED IN THE PAST 6 MONTHS Source: Tilting Point / 148Apps 22
  23. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   MAKING GAMES IS NOT JUST ABOUT MAKING GAMES GOING ALONE IS DAUNTING Domain knowledge is required in: CONSUMER INSIGHTS | MARKETING | USER ACQUISITION ANALYTICS | MONETIZATION | QA | ETC. 23
  24. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A PUBLISHING DEAL? 24 Now that the playing field is tilted in the developer’s favor, what should you be asking for?
  25. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   WHAT TO ASK FOR Depending on factors such as level of completion of the game and investment from the partner: Full or partial financing Control of the IP Creative control Product management and production support Platform relationship management Marketing and user acquisition budget & execution Ongoing live operations funding 25
  26. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS? 26
  27. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS? BOOTSTRAPPING VCs AND ANGELS CROWDFUNDING PLATFORMS INCUBATORS & ACCELERATORS PARTNERS (EVOLVED FROM PUBLISHERS) 27
  28. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   PROS No external pressure Complete creative control No dilution Availability of affordable tech CONS Limits scope of project Lack of access to external know-how Hard to be noticed with low / no marketing budget MOST SUITABLE FOR Wealthy people or very frugal people Small teams with a distinctive game that can be developed on a low budget and find its own audience BOOTSTRAPPING 28
  29. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   PROS No dilution Creative control (but careful about upsetting your backers!) Crowdfunding campaigns are also marketing opportunities Niche projects can get funded CONS Difficult to be noticed: most crowd funding campaigns don’t gain traction Obligation to deliver on backers’ rewards No support from “investors” beyond funding (and often a lot of nagging) MOST SUITABLE FOR Anyone that has made a cult game in the ’80s or ’90s Experienced teams that know how to budget for and how to deliver a game Niche games that can find a very enthusiastic audience CROWDFUNDING 29
  30. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   PROS Office space Some funding (often limited) Mentorship Introductions to investors, platforms and publishers CONS Equity dilution, often disproportionate to contribution Limited timeframe: teams have to find their way after a certain amount of time Not all programs are equally useful & reputable MOST SUITABLE FOR Teams with little or no experience in the industry needing a lot of guidance and support INCUBATORS & ACCELERATORS 30
  31. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   PROS Access to sizeable funds Access to other investors, talent and resources CONS Strong dilution Loss of control Most VCs don’t have domain expertise and don’t understand games MOST SUITABLE FOR Very experienced teams with an understanding of the business side of games Companies with significant traction that want to get to the next level VCs & ANGELS 31
  32. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   PROS Strong production and marketing support through the whole development cycle Guaranteed promotion on the platform without cost to the developer CONS Limitations on where the game can be published, (either temporarily or permanently) Giving up control of IP is often a requirement, although this is changing Strong involvement of the platform partner in creative decisions & production cycle Exposure in change of strategy or staffing in the platform partner MOST SUITABLE FOR AAA games Uber-cool indie games that make the platforms look good at E3 while they peddle their shooters Teams that have the experience, processes and patience needed to deal with a closely involved partner PLATFORMS 32
  33. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   PROS Full-service support (development, marketing, operations, business) Funding without losing ownership and creative control Allows developers to focus on making great games while their partner handles everything else CONS Too awesome? LOL J/K (?!) Attractive deal terms only accessible to experienced teams with very high-quality games MOST SUITABLE FOR Successful teams looking to tackle more ambitious projects Commercially-minded teams looking to build franchises and brands PARTNERS EVOLVED FROM PUBLISHERS 33
  34. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   CONCLUSIONS 34
  35. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   Best partner depends on genre, platform, scope, team and goals ONE SIZE FITS ALL DOESN’T APPLY 35
  36. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   In today’s market, developers have more options and more negotiating power POWER SHIFT 36
  37. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   Creative control and not relinquishing IP ownership are key to building a long-term business CREATIVE CONTROL 37
  38. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   You will be working with your partner at least through the game’s lifecycle - better enjoy their company A GOOD FIT IS EVERYTHING 38
  39. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   Managing all aspects of a business is harder Most developers need partners MAKING A GAME IS HARD 39
  40. Til$ng  Point  Confiden$al   QUESTIONS? www.tiltingpoint.com hello@tiltingpoint.com twitter - @tiltingpoint   giordano@tiltingpoint.com twitter - @giordanobc   GIORDANO CONTESTABILE Images: Slide 1 - Volkswagen ad, slide 6 - Lance Runner ad, slide 7 – KFC ad, slide 8 - 6BEstudio for Top Destinos, slide 9 – Harvey Nichols ad, slide 10 – Platinum FMD, slide 11 – Dulux ad, slide 12 – Garyckarntzen, slide 13 - Hu Zheng, slide 14 – Canal Plus ad, slide 15 – Curli ad, slide 16 - Paperboat Creative, slide 17 – Hino ad, slide 18 - Vichy Catalan, slide 19 - Gregor Collienne, slide 24 – Platinum FMD, slide 25 – Naolito, , slide 27 - Ramy on DeviantArt, slide 34 - Radio for Heads ad, slide 35 - Carioca Studio for TNT ad, slide 36 – Philips ad, slide 37 – Shutterstock, slide38 - Kevin Richardson, slide 39 - Koen Demuynck. Sources unknown for all uncredited images.

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