Making a Business Strategy

Pick a Revenue Model

Pick one or more Revenue Streams and create a Revenue Model that is best suited for your game.

Typical Revenue Streams:

Advertisement

  • Revenue is generated when players click or view ads.

Donations

  • Development is supported by generous community supporters.

Merchandise Sales

  • Revenue is generated by selling clothes, figurines, art, and soundtracks.

Game Sales

  • Revenue is generated through direct game sales.

Microtransactions

  • Revenue is generated through the sale of in-game currency and digital content.

Subscriptions

  • Reoccurring payments grants players access to a game or more content within a game on a monthly, seasonally, or yearly basis.

Common Revenue Models

Indirect Sales

  • Game is released for free.
  • Main source of revenue is through ads, donations, or merchandise.

Free To Play

  • Game is released for free with the intention of getting players to spend money on microtransactions or subscriptions.
  • The game is purposefully designed to incentivize players to make purchases with pay-to-win mechanics, cosmetics or skins, gacha or lootboxes, boosters or time savers.
  • Typically utilizes limited time events and rewards.

Direct Sales

  • Game is sold at a given price point.
  • Additional content may be released for free or for a price.
  • May include microtransactions.
  • May release paid dlc in the future.

Subscription Model

  • Game is free to download.
  • All or a majority of the game is locked behind a subscription.
  • May include microtransactions.

Choose a Post-Launch Plan

No Support Post-Launch

  • After the game is released, no further work will be done.
  • This was very common before the rise of digital distribution.

Hotfix Support

  • Updates are made to patch major bugs and glitches in the game.
  • May include minor balance changes.

Expansions and Content Updates

  • Large updates that introduce new features and content.
  • Typically includes bug fixes and balance patches.

Live Service

  • Studio is solely dedicated to the development of one game.
  • Updates are released regularly in order to retain players and draw in new players.

Evaluate the Cost of Development

Temporal Costs:

  • What skills are needed to develop the game?
  • if you need to learn new skills, how long will it take to learn them?
  • Will you make the game by yourself, or with a team?
  • How long will it take to make your game? What is the production schedule? What is your planned release date?
  • What platforms and devices are you targeting?

Monetary Costs:

  • Do you need to rent an office, or purchase new equipment?
  • How will you compensate yourself and your teammates?
  • What software and web applications will you use? How much are the licenses to use them?
  • Will you use premade assets, or have them custom made?
  • Is your game multiplayer? How much will it cost for hosting multiplayer services?
  • How will you market your game?

Evaluate the Return on Investment (ROI)

What are the rewards for investing your time and money on the project?

Personal Experience

  • Improve one's professional skillset.
  • The experience can be documented on your resume and social media, which could lead to career opportunities.

Business Recognition

  • Build up the company's brand and ip recognition.
  • Completing a successful project can lead to greater success on future projects.

Strengthen Partnership

  • Successful projects can boost relationships with partner companies and lead to more business opportunities.
  • Could lead to better licensing deals, exclusive contracts, and long-term partnerships.

Monetary Gain

  • The intention is to make a large amounts of profit by providing a superb gaming experience.
  • Money is distributed among teammates and partners.

Acquire Funding

Self-Fund it

Work a Full-Time Job and use your savings to fund the project.

Partner with a Publisher or Investor

Work with a Publisher or Investor to pay you to finish the game in exchange for a cut of the revenue or equity in the studio.

Crowdfund it

Kickstarter Logo Indiegogo Logo Patreon Logo

Apply for Grants

Local Government Grants

Epic Mega Grant Logo IndieFund Logo

Picking a Publisher / Investor

Research Publishers and Investors

  • Find a publisher that publishes games with a similar genre and/or art style as the game you are making.
  • Your game should align with the publisher's portfolio.

Make a Pitch

  • Make youre Pitch clear, concise, detailed, and marketable.
  • Show a working prototype, a solid concept, concise design descriptions, and captivating screenshots or videos.
  • Introduce the team, their roles, and experience. Instill confidence that you are a successful team.
  • State a release window, what you need from the publisher / investor, and a breakdown on how the money will be spent.
  • If possible, show your community's growth overtime to convey that there is an interested audience.
  • If possible, state a realistic revenue target and the potential Return on Investment for investors.

Pitch Your Game

  • Contact the Publisher / Investor via Email or Web Form and submit your Pitch.

Enact a Marketing Strategy

The Importance of Marketing

Marketing and advertising is critical to a game's success. The goal is to convert as many people within your target audience into buyers. Your team can make the most amazing game in the world, but if nobody knows about it, then no one will play it.

Marketing Streams:

Devlogs
  • Make videos or articles showing development progress on social platforms.

Social Media

  • Share screenshots, gifs, and videos on social media.

Advertisement

  • Ads on Television and Social Media Ad platforms.

Website

  • Host a dedicated website for your studio and games.

Sponsor Content Creators

  • Pay a content creator to make videos or stream a game.

Game Trailers

  • Release a 1 to 2 minute video showing off the game.

News Coverage

  • Announcements, interviews, and reviews written by media outlets.

Conventions

  • Get a booth so attendees can demo your game. Get showcased in the digital showcase events.

Beta Testing

  • Let players play the game early.

Common Marketing Strategies

Grassroots & Community Driven

  • Start marketing on Day 1.
  • Post Devlogs. Share progress on social media. Make screenshots, gifs, and videos showing off the game. Upload alpha builds for the community to demo.
  • Build a community, engage with them, and encourage discussions. Interact with them through comments, chat rooms, and live streams.
  • Communities are powerful, and has the potential to make your game go viral. Your community can amplify your marketing efforts by sharing your game, and being the first ones to support your crowdfunding campaign.
  • The size and strength of a community will determine if your game will be successful.

Get a Publishing Partner then Let Them Do the Marketing

  • Start pitching to publishing partners once you have a Vertical Slice of your game.
  • Focus marketing efforts on making a successful pitch.
  • Publishers will get news coverage and reviews for your game through games media outlets.
  • Publishers can also showcases your game at conferences, digital events, and on their social media accounts.
  • Publishers can assist with creating cinematics, gameplay trailers, and screenshots for your website, store pages, or advertisement on websites.

Traditional Marketing

  • If you have the capital, work with a marketing agency, and market the game during alpha, beta, and release.
  • Make advertisements on television and social media with top quality trailers and screenshots.
  • Partners with content creators and media outlets to showcase your game with early copies.

Multiplayer Alpha and Beta Testing

  • For multiplayer games, host Alpha and Beta Testing sessions. They can be a good way to let interested players try the game early and share their experience with others.
  • Often times, players will encourage their friends to participate in the betas.
  • People that watch a content creator play the game might also be interested in participating.
  • Successful testing sessions can increase the potential playerbase growth substantially.
  • Players can find major issues missed in QA Testing.
  • User feedback can be used to rebalance gameplay or introduce additional quality of life improvements.

Go Viral

  • Rarely, games are released with little-to-no marketing and simply go viral because the game is either so good, or so bad, that word-of-mouth gets other people to play it.
  • You should not expect your game will succeed on its own.
  • If you want to ensure your game has a successful launch, market it before and after it releases.

Resources

Full List of Publishers

Full List of Funding Options