GameFounders had some cool charaters over this week. One of them, Scott Foe, has labelled himself as the most spectacular failure in games industry history. Jokes aside Scott gave a brilliant series of talks and sessions to the startups in GameFounders. To share this wisdom a bit, we asked Scott to name three aspects that are key to making a successful gaming business:
1) Gameplay Development: Games are all about gameplay. Unfortunately, great gameplay is the minimum barrier to entry for games industry and cannot be considered a corporate asset, as gameplay cannot be legally protected. (See Atari v. Amusement World, Inc. - the district court ruled that it is okay for others to clone your game, as long as they create the code and the assets from scratch.)
2) Entertainment Property Development: The characters, stories, sounds, themes, symbols that compose your game universe - these are true corporate assets. Though there is in fact a 'platform fallacy' at play in the industry (i.e. investors are more interested in platforms than they are in properties), empirically, "platforms" do not exit for as much as "entertainment properties" in Mergers & Acquisitions. It's time for game companies - yes, even social game companies - to make Entertainment Property Development a priority.
3) Operational Efficiency: The ability to build, measure, and learn quickly - the ability to target, acquire, retain, engage, monetize, and then re-engage players cheaply and effectively - the ability to bring cycle-times down and increase throughput in production. The Aughts are over and Operational Efficiency has now taken its place beside Gameplay Development and Entertainment Property Development on organizational Olympus.
Read more about Scott here: