FOG Blog

The Under the Hat series of articles by FOG CEO Ed Dille are our just one of our ways of returning value and expertise to the game development, licensing and publishing community worldwide. We hope that you find these insights useful and we welcome your comments and discussion.

Polishing Your Pitch

We’ve all heard the question – What’s your game about?

After all, that’s why you asked for the meeting in the first place, to be able to answer that question. But if you need to set up a lap top, queue up the dancing bears or perform any other gyrations before you answer the question, then you already come off as unprepared. Don’t get me wrong, visual aids are important, but only after you have established a mindset where the potential buyer wants to see them. So, ideally, you are answering that question clearly and concisely in one minute or less, and thirty seconds is even better. You cannot get there without practicing with others and refining your message.

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The Seven Deadly Sins of Game Development

Did you know that, of all the game development companies that have failed over the years, 69% have died from self-inflicted wounds? Also, that 13% of all statistics you read are completely fabricated?

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Working with Big Publishers: Pipedream or Reality

Working with Big Publishers is not a pipedream, but to accomplish it, you have to learn to think like they do. That means, among other things, proactively addressing risk management. It all starts with your Company Background document, which should be sent as a follow up to every meeting, and alongside every pitch or request...
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FOG can help you establish the interactive presence your audience demands.

In the mix of 168 distinct licensing categories, “interactive” looms large as a potential revenue generator, and some sources believe it will even eclipse toys and games as the primary category in the long run. From my point of view though, that simply isn’t going to reach its full potential until licensors overcome some misconceptions about the interactive entertainment industry and learn how to properly engage and collaborate with that industry day-to-day instead of once or a few times a year.

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The Art Of The RFP

Everyone loves original IP, but let’s face the facts. We live in an industry where publisher-controlled and -licensed intellectual properties comprise the bulk of available work. So if you aren’t out there hustling opportunities to bid on these requests for proposal, you are not maximizing the value of your studio.

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Bidding Projects Successfully

As the chief F.O.G. (F#@&ing Old Guy), I have learned that people tend to fight about two things in life — sex and money.

In game development, everyone is too busy to be getting any on a regular basis, so it just comes down to money. And the most amazing thing I’ve learned is that, despite years and years of experience bidding projects, a lot of people still set themselves up for a fight when they really can avoid it by changing their approach just a little bit.

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Winning Trade Show Preparation

Welcome back and thanks to those of you who reached out after our first issue last month to tell us you liked the value we were bringing in the newsletter. Love the feedback and please keep it coming. As you get this issue, many of you will be headed off to the Game Convention in Leipzig, Germany, what has in effect become the largest interactive industry trade show given the demise of E3.

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Customer Service As A Milestone Deliverable

Game development is a very intense process and it is natural for the tactical focus on project execution to pull resources and mindshare away from strategic planning and marketing for the studio as a whole.

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Core Values will Carry You through Tough Times

Most people who have been in the games industry a long time like I have would call 2008-2012 the most difficult time most folks have faced in our history, eclipsing even the fabled crash of 1983. Others would ask how could that view be possible when the market as a whole continued to grow (albeit at a slower pace than prior to the downturn) throughout the period. The answer is because despite limited successes that drove the top line higher, fear and uncertainty about how best to replicate those results created paralysis in many buyers, and uninspired ambulance chasing in others. How do independent development studios not only survive economically uncertain times, but also become indispensable assets to their publishing partners during this time? Honesty, Integrity, Transparency, and Relationship!

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