Being a (pure evil) business developer #2

Lest just dive into it. So, what is it like to be a business developer in a small indie studio? Well, let me be straight about it: it’s a nightmare πŸ™‚ Nobody knows you, nobody respects you and nobody gives a fuck about you and what you’re trying to achieve. Well, except your boss of course, but that’s different, obviously. Your most important task as a business developer is to merge the skills and responsibilities of a diplomat with those of a merchant. Sell (and / or buy!) with class. Maintain great relations with business partners. Look out for new opportunities. Co-create the company’s strategy of development. Diversify revenues. Minimize costs. Be well informed (hunt for every gossip!). Know everything about games, platforms, trends and companies. Travel around the world, meet people, attend networking events. Sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it? Of course it does! In my humble opinion it’s the best job in the world. Sure, it’s not as hard as being the miner. Or a surgeon. But there are significant problems…

The biggest problem is the contemporary market. One beautiful Wednesday couple of weeks ago exactly 83 games launched on Steam. One Wednesday. There are around 700 thousand games in the App Store. All these amazing engines like UE4 are available for free and there are hundreds of tutorials how to handle them, also for free. Basically, there are no entry barriers in the industry any more, but costs rise, hence it’s more and more challenging to achieve demanded ROI (Return on Investment) because of evergrowing competitiveness. Oh, and also, you have no idea what your competition is doing and when they are going to show any piece of their new project to the world. Being a business developer is a little like being a goalkeeper in a football (soccer for you, Americans) team. You’re on your own, you’re the last line of defense but also first to attack. If you let the ball get inside the net – you fucked up. If you save the shot – you’re just doing your job. And sometimes you’re a hero. But not very often… Once a hundred matches maybe πŸ™‚

There are thousands of studios like iFun4all in many countries. And all of us are trying to do exactly the same – find a publisher, who will give us money so we could finish our game (and get some sales revenues). Build international reputation to transform into Rovio, or Supercell someday. Become famous and rich. Sit and wait for invitations to meetings in San Fran and Paris and not spam people about meetings. Grow. Make our creative dreams come true. Not think about the possibility of being broke soon. Breath games and play as much of fascinating, innovative indie games as possible. Hire super cool, talented employees and make friends with interesting people. Be nominated to awards and win at least one. Support charity thanks to the tremendous success we just achieved. Quite a list of tasks to perform before death πŸ™‚ It’s not going to be easy, but it’s worth it!

I guess that’s enough for the first main theme on this blog. I’ve introduced myself and shared some very general thoughts running through my head. I hope you’ll read these with interest and feel personal attachment to the form I decided to take πŸ™‚ Also, I thought it would be great to finish every post with one of those generic quotes that teach how to live better. I love all those motivational coaches and other charlatans. The can really make my day and I hope that I can make yours the same way πŸ™‚ Hence the quote for today is:

“Constantly improve”


Thanks for your attention and see you soon πŸ™‚