by • October 11, 2012 • Business modelsComments (3)253

Why I gave up on the games industry

My university education (and childhood dream) was to making videogames. I gave up on the industry in two stages.

First was the main AAA console industry, where there are a lot of cogs in the machine and very few people driving it creatively. Once it was clear I would be a cog indefinitely, I lost interest.

I later gave up on indie games because it’s hard to hedge your risks. It’s a hit-based industry where you won’t find out if you’re making a hit until you’ve already spent all the time/money on developing it. Basically you have no idea whether you’re going in the right direction until you’re done.

That makes it a risky business for the individual. Producers (and to some extent agencies) deal with this by having a portfolio of games in the hopes that one of them will be a hit to carry that can carry rest of the portfolio (just like VCs). But that doesn’t really work for the individual developer.

If you love making games, then make games (!). It’s a great place for the passionate craftsperson. But I do think they’ve got a lot of undesirable qualities as a business in terms of front-loaded costs and limited market feedback.

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3 Responses to Why I gave up on the games industry

  1. Jason Yip says:

    What are your thoughts on the approaches taken with Minecraft, DayZ, and Kickstarter initiated games?

  2. joey vanswaila says:

    i feel like that can be said with all creative industries. Creators have visions of an idea weither it is a game, movie or invention but they wont know if it will work if you never try. In the game industry i feel that these uncertainties can be fix with playtests and experementation. To use a saying from someone else “you need to take risks to make something great.”

  3. The games market will always be arts and culture and those who prosper in it treat it as such.