Levelling Up; Going from Game Startup to Unicorn

Today in Berlin, I gave the above presentation at Quo Vadis to give game game founders some insights on what are the key points to consider to increase their probability of big success. I share examples of game companies like Supercell which have achieved massive success thanks to laser focus, speed and hiring the best people in the world while keeping lean. Keep in mind, Supercell generated $1.7 billion in revenue in 2014 with only about 150 employees. That is over $11 million in revenue per employee. Small is the new big! 

Other key points, game companies need at the startup point is:

  • cash - you need enough money to fund the team until revenue generating or closing a funding round. Running out of cash is one of the top reasons startups fail so dont let it happen to you.
  • know what you dont know - it sounds obvious but most founders dont know what they dont know
  • pick your business model - choose free to play or paid and then use that decision to shape how you develop your game. There are pros and cons to both but choose.
  • benchmark to kill games - decide upfront what are the milestones the game must hit in order not to kill it at prototype, playable, alpha and beta. It takes real guts to kill a game but the opportunity costs are too big to not be prepared to do this.