Published on February 15, 2009
Confessions: Jussi Laakkonen Everyplay February 10-12 2009 Casual Connect Europe 2009 Starting your own game business
http://jussilaakkonen.wordpress.com February 10-12 2009 Casual Connect Europe 2009 Full presentation with notes & audio track:
Hi, I’m Jussi!
since Aug 2008 CEO, founder
Main organizer Entrepreneur for 15 years Demo & LAN party with >6000 visitors a year
Business development director Multimillion € deals Produced games Filled the dishwasher Console racing games >3M units sold previously
Why start a (game) business?
Passion – I got to do it!
Passion – I got to do it! Do your own thing
Passion – I got to do it! Do your own thing Nobody else gets it!
Passion – I got to do it! Do your own thing Nobody else gets it! Change the world
Passion – I got to do it! Do your own thing Nobody else gets it! Change the world The last great adventure
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
must have killer idea, right?
your first idea will suck .
get over it. get going.
so, my first idea? confessions
” Hype or real deal?” panel virtual worlds, microtransactions heureka! the future of games! confessions
Guild Wars + ” Diablo 2 Casual MMO” & confessions
a ”me too” idea P.S. check out Guild of Heroes on Facebook ;-) killed it early confessions
Just a speed bump. I knew the future! confessions
Look for the opportunity
big risks high growth new audiences mass distribution change in behavior disruptive technology unclear business models something that currently sucks
Customer base Viral distribution Rule changing
Persistent online Virtual goods Flash
Distribution Paying customers Finally mobile doesn’t suck
Persistent online Virtual goods Unity, Flash XBLA / PSN?
Games in non-game apps New domain & customers Unproven
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
an idea & promising market =
ideas are a dime a dozen
execution is king
PEOPLE, PEOPLE, PEOPLE!!!
PEOPLE, PEOPLE, PEOPLE!!! So good that they can walk on air!
2-4 founders tech, biz, art, design
because you have to get more done with less
Smart people who get things done Marissa Mayer, Google
Get somebody who hates selling less than starving don’t hire a suit
No assholes A single person can destroy your new company.
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
GET STUFF DONE FAST
Agile & Lean for EVERYTHING Not just code, but also business and management
All your plans are just guesses
Release early & often Measure Learn Implement
9/10 startups die because they couldn’t find customers
Develop your customers
Don’t worry, be crappy. Guy Kawasaki
We game developers in general SUCK at real user driven iterative development. Radically new stuff for me. confessions
Scrum for production Customer development for biz. confessions Still learning it.
It always takes longer than what you expect. 5 months of iterating, learning. Reduced scope for earlier launch. confessions
So, where do I get the money so that I can start?
nobody said it was easy.
your own savings 1.
Friends & Family 2.
Work for hire games and other industries 3.
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.
Preproduction grants National, regional & EU wide programs 10 – 100 k€, max 50% 5.
Angel investors Not many ”game millionaires” vs. a lot of ”IT millionaires” Hard – not impossible 6.
publisher advances a.k.a. paying customers Only after you’ve already spent lots of money on the prototype 7.
Seed funds Semi-governmental e.g. VeraVenture in Finland 50-500 k€ SeedCamp, Y-Combinator... 10-50 k€ 8.
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.
2007-2008: VCs invested $1,7 billion in online games Still available for best game businesses.
Own savings Multiplied by public grants and R&D support Started with confessions
Multiplied by public grants and R&D support
Our success recipe for public grants & loans: confessions
Strong team Bold vision Game + platform Own money invested Experience with the paperwork Win one, and a snowball effect starts confessions
So, what does it feel like?
Loving every minute! confessions
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