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Hey there,

It’s Joakim here. Greetings from frosty Helsinki!

This week has been a bit hectic for me. I’ve been meeting up with lots of angel investors, to have a discussion on the future of gaming companies. More on that soon.

First, few items on the list of M&A and fundraising for this week:


​The big news of this week is that Ubisoft has completed the acquisition of Kolibri Games, a Berlin-based idle games company. The acquisition price wasn’t announced, which is a good sign of things to come. Both sides didn’t want to make a big deal of the number, and that is a very good act for building a culture where financial rewards aren’t the focal point.

Second, another big thing for me this week: Daniel McLaren on The Are of LiveOps podcast

I remember the first time that I met Daniel McLaren. He came to visit Next Games when we still were five people, in a small room in downtown Helsinki. At that point, Daniel was working in a Helsinki-based gaming studio. Eventually, he left back to the US, to go work on Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes at Capital Games. I’ve had an on-going dialog with Daniel, being always super curious about what is happening in the States and what he wants to know what’s going on in Helsinki.

In this podcast episode of The Are of LiveOps, you can get a feel on this guy. Daniel is so good, super awesome game designer, product manager, and he has his heart is in the right place. Listen to this!

Some highlights from the podcast:

  1. Daniel talks about a concept called a qualified user. Basically your ideal player, your target audience. Someone who won’t churn because the theme and gameplay wouldn’t fit them. ”This looks really cool! I want to be in this game!”
  2. On Helsinki, at 7:56 “I moved to Helsinki, Finland, and my whole world changed. I was completely blown away!”
  3. On Clash Royale, at 17:03 “Gave presentation on Clash Royale, last couple slides highlighted revenue problem.”
  4. On new kinds of gameplay metrics, at 20:51 “I started digging into new metrics. If you get to player level 80, you wouldn’t leave. But there were problems with goal setting.”
  5. On Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes tutorial, 23:01 “Got involved six months before it launched. Played the tutorial iteration and it was so terrible. I played it for two days, taking notes, and then wrote what I wanted to do with the tutorial.”
  6. On mobile games expectations for PC gamers, 30:50 “When started at Arena.net, the people on forums were concerned that Arena.net will now make a mobile game. Shouting: This guy is going to ruin the game, he’s a mobile guy, a money guy!”

Listen to the episode on Spotify, iTunes, Player.fm.

Third, I want to give an update on my online course. The curriculum for the “Games Company Identity” course will look something like this. Each of these modules will contain lecture videos, live webinar sessions with all students and assignments.

  1. The Identity Of A Games Company
  2. Capture Your Personal Purpose
  3. Put Together The Personal Purpose
  4. The Company Purpose, Vision And Mission
  5. Growth Mindset
  6. Company Culture
  7. Hiring And Developing People
  8. Utilize The Purpose And Communicating

I’ll be sharing more details on the course in the following weeks. Details on how to purchase the course, dates and more. Target is to go live in mid-April.​


Our Latest Article

How to avoid risks in a gaming startup — Part 3 – In this final part of the article series on risk for gaming startups, we cover some very important risks which can cause many problems in the early, and later stages.

In this article, we cover four risks. First, we talk about how a developer should approach game publishers. Then we cover the issues of not following what’s going on in the market. And finally some words about hiring game designers, and how you avoid creating misery for your coders and artists.​


Our Latest Podcasts

Investing At The Early Stage – Harri Manninen is the founder partner at Play Ventures, a seed-stages venture capital firm, with offices in Helsinki and Singapore. I’ve known Harri for about ten years now, ever since he was building Rocket Pack, the company that he and his co-founders sold to Disney, in less than a year of founding the company.

In this podcast episode, we’ll hear how Harri made his way into venture, and how he sees the seed stage developing for gaming startups. We talk about decision making, how price and valuation matters, and what the investment landscape in gaming looks like now and in the future.

All past episodes can be found here.


A Book Recommendation

The Daily Stoic (Ryan Holiday) – I really got interested in the Stoics when Derk de Gaus brought up Marcus Aurelius and the book Meditations, on my podcast episode 3. I started looking into the wisdom of stoicism, but then the idea got buried for whatever reason.

Then, another podcast brought stoicism back to my interest. I was listening to the author Ryan Holiday, on the North Star podcast, and his writing on stoicism sounded really interesting. So I picked up the book The Daily Stoic and learned so much. The book is a collection of quotes from Stoic philosophers such as Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, and Epictetus, and Holiday places them in the everyday life of a person who’s living in the 21st century.


Upcoming webinar

We here at Elite Game Developers are hosting our first webinar, with the title of ”How To Get Investor Money For Gaming Startup”. There’s going to be a 20 minute presentation in the beginning and then a 20 minutes of Q&A for the participants to ask questions.

Get your ticket for this free webinar from here: http://bit.ly/2uONrAR

Why will we be talk about raising money?

  • Loads of people are interested in getting my feedback on their games company pitch deck
  • I’ve identifiend many commonalities in the early stage decks that I want to cover with you
  • I’ll also talk about what investors are looking for. What are the signals for them to invest, and how they make those decision.


That’s it. Hope you have a great weekend!