EGD News #21

Hi there,

It’s Joakim here. Greetings from Helsinki! We are in Covid-19 lockdown, and the stores are out of rye bread 😕

I’ve been calling a few VCs who are investing in games. They’re not stopping investments because of Covid-19. Things are still developing, so I’ll be covering the situation more next week.

In other news, my book is finally out!

Book

Last year, I wrote a Medium post on April 1st. At this time, I was getting into launching Elite Game Developers. I mention in the Medium post that “My first project to kick-off will be on my book project, which I’m planning to publish by the end of the year.”

We are now eleven months later, and the book is out. Grab your copy from Amazon.

If you didn’t read last week’s newsletter, I wrote an article about the whole process. You can read it by going here.

Blog

Beginner’s dilemma: Casual or mid-core? — Every week, I get to take a look at pitches from founders, planning to start a games company. The first game is either casual or mid-core. The mid-core audience is keener on spending big to compete and win. The casual gamer is playing more casually and spending less, but there’s more of them, and their primary motivation is completion. Think Saga maps.

In this article, I want to talk about all the differences, and how a new startup should approach the right product strategy. I also give out examples of some proven case studies. Playgendary, Futureplay, and Wildlife have all been working with a similar strategy in mind. And have found success.

You can read the article here.

View all the previous articles on the blog by going here.

Podcast

Learning to build a games company — In this week’s episode, I’m talking with Seth Sivak, the Co-Founder and CEO of Proletariat Inc. Their upcoming game Spellbreak is terrific, and they just recently raised a $20m round lead by Take-Two. On the podcast, we talk about company building, pivoting from mobile to PC and bringing the free-to-play skills to PC, and how Seth is learning and growing his leadership skills.

All past episodes are here.

Articles Worth Reading

+ What’s Plan B? The Lifeboat Strategy for Your Startup — Steve Blank, the author of The Four Steps to the Epiphany, wrote an article on Inc magazine about how a startup can survive a crisis like the Covid-19 pandemic. What the impact can be like and how you can affect that by looking at your burn rate and runway. He also shares thoughts from previous events where everything went upside down. Trying to answer questions like is this a three-month, one-year, or three-year problem?

+ London Venture Partners leads Robin Games $7m round — LVP wrote an insightful blog post about their investment into Robin Games, set up by Jam City veteran Jill Wilson. I really love how LVP shares the story behind doing this investment. Last fall, they wrote a detailed post about their investment into BetaDwarf. Highly recommend you check out both posts.

+ Move over Minecraft: Monetising new wave of User Generated Content — How do free-to-play games, that foster UGC, work? What drives engagement in a way that the quality is acceptable, something that people love and stick around for? What are the core and meta lops for these games? In this article, Om Tandon reveals some of the secrets from games like Roblox, Design Home, Hooked, and Episode.

+ AFK Arena (post #1) and (post #2) — I have two posts to share about the game that everybody is talking about, AFK Arena. In the first post, Jeff Witt writes about the system design of AFK Arena, and he’s uncovering the systems of AFK Arena, why it’s such an excellent system for an RPG character collector. In the second post, GameRefinery is talking about AFK Arena’s performance.

Quote from this week

“Having good judgment means: being humble, having the willingness to be unpopular, thinking critically, holding conflicting ideas & opinions in your head, and constantly questioning your beliefs.” – Naval Ravikant on the Spearhead podcast

Something cool

The Dollar Street — This week I heard about this site, where the creators visited 264 families in 50 different countries to catalog their monthly income and photograph their homes. From the slums of Calcutta to the suburbs of Indiana, you will get a glimpse into so many different stories. Created by Factfulness co-author Anna Rosling Rönnlund, Dollar Street shows that people can be happy with what they have. Families are getting by with much less than what we hold for granted.