Game development has become a big business globally and seems like the ride has only just begun. The big boom happened with mobile games and free-to-play, but also PC and console games are played more than ever. This is great!
More money is available than ever before from players, investors, governments and such. What a time to be a game developer!
Also with game engines like Unity, Unreal, Game Maker, Construct and many other almost anyone can be a game developer even without programming skills, or graphic knowledge. Everyone, from anywhere can create games and also actually publish those on global level from home sofa in channels like Steam, Game Jolt, Itch.io, Indie DB and at various other channels. Oh boy, games truly are great and easy business nowadays!
Sadly, like always, everything comes with a price. Over saturation of thousands of daily released games, makes it almost impossible for one single developer to get their game enough volume and to gain sales. Even more sad is that there are still too many inspired game developers, who does not take this fact into account and develops game blindly for years without plan for marketing.
Of course you can develop games as an hobby, which is great way to express yourself! Within this and most likely in the coming blog posts, I'll be looking into business aspect of game development. And when you're doing business with games, you can not count your business into hands of pure luck by thinking that "players find good games". Because the fact is, that stores are filled with good games and most likely games, which are even better than yours.
Things like planning your focus group, doing market research, understanding your competitors and things like these start to actually make sense, in order to find the best possible audience for your game. But in the end, any of these or other preparations does not give give you 100% success rate, but raises the odds radically.
So in the end, how are you supposed to build a sustainable game within highly competitive markets like game industry? The best advice I've come so far, is that you actually can not. The key is to build your business to be able to handle failures, which you will most likely face multiple times before finding the 'blue ocean' within the industry.
Be ready to discard games which does not get altitude or raise interest within players, be ready to fail and start over. Fail often and aim to fail fast, don't stick into your dream idea for years just to see it fail next week after the launch.
By doing this, there is only one way to fail during your career and that is by not developing games anymore. Keep on going and remember to enjoy the ride, because reaching the goal might not even be as rewarding as you think.
Klaus 'Kossad' Kääriäinen