If you’re an Indie and ever wanted to attend a trade show in the gaming industry, then Casual Connect is definitely THE trade show for you! The setting is, as the name suggests, very casual and centralized around Indie’s. Companies and industry professionals from all over the world come to attend so there is a vast array of knowledge and connections provided on the floor. Everything is well organized, whether it’s hanging up your coats, easy entry, quality lunches, meeting facilities, speaking events and of course not to forget; the party’s!
As we all know, the gaming industry is maturing quickly. With annual projected growth rates of up to 27.3% in most areas of mobile and many more markets that yet need to evolve, there are lots and lots of opportunities out there. However, what makes the gaming industry truly unique is the Indie scene. Apart from the music industry, there is almost no other industry in the world where so many hobbyists get together and make quality products for the market purely out of passion. For no other reason than to make their dream come true. This is what Casual Connect is all about, exploring new products and talent in order to give them the needed exposure. Out of the 120 Indie pitches, 11 were awarded and shared in a $500k prize pool to accelerate their business. International teams of skillful graphics & sound artists, game designers, programmers, animators and analysts work together for months, sometimes years on end to make a game. The amount of work input and labor is immense and the results are, more often than not, astonishing.
Besides the Indie’s who dedicate their time to create great products out of passion there are also a lot of sharks out there. People who go wherever the money goes. Since the industry is projected to grow well over the $100 billion dollars in the next years to come, there are a lot of sharks out there in the industry too. Once products are finalized, completed and on the market the commercial side takes over. This is when the sharks come into play.
The old model of developer & publisher is one that is outdated in the mobile industry since the threshold to publish games has become so easy – simply submit. Once in the stores, the biggest challenge of all sets in: how do I build a community? You instantly go from developer to publisher, so now you have to do both. We started GameMarketeers to help conquer this obstacle and make Indie’s more aware of this problem, to bring commercial and marketing knowledge closer to the hobbyists. In today’s market, it is far too easy to strike a bad business deal simply because one side doesn’t know the true value of the deal. We have seen first-hand how sharks dive in on opportunities, offering nothing but dreams and unmeasurable value in order to take advantage of the value created by Indie’s. Now this sounds a bit abstract, so let us give you a few examples of what these sharks could be telling you:
1. ‘We have a great network and valuable contacts’
2. ‘No, we don’t invest ourselves but we know all the angels & VC’s who do. For only X% you get access to all of them!’
3. ‘A merger between our companies would greatly benefit us both, you focus on the product and we focus on sales’
4. ‘Give us an exclusive license deal for X, Y, Z territories and we will market your product through our platform’
5. ‘Revenue share would be the best option for both of us but only after we have a full return on our investments’
Any of those sound familiar? We have seen sharks out there preaching these kinds of deals and getting rich off them. The one big piece of advice we can give you is to always agree on what it is the other side will do exactly. This can be structured in many different ways, such as how many hours of labor the other party will put in, clearly defining tasks and responsibilities, giving a minimum investment guarantee, providing a put option for when a deal has been made and clearly defining when the other party did not meet their end will result in a lot less headaches in the future. Just remember: you have created real value with all your months of blood sweat and tears into your product! If the other party is not willing to commit in the form of $ and/or real time, then it isn’t worth it.
If you want a second opinion on a proposal somebody has made to you, feel free to reach out to us for a second opinion at any time! Whatever happens, don’t get sharked!