We know all developers love making games because they are a fun, challenging and rewarding endeavor to take part in. The thing is, you might want to pay the bills while you’re at it.
What I’ll be talking about in a minute might not be suited for all developers, but I think it will be very helpful for the more business oriented.
I’ll lay out a thorough list of small steps you can follow if you’d like to land funding from investors for your games. Just before starting, it goes without saying that you must stay true to reality, and that you shouldn’t overstate your goals or abilities. You shouldn’t undermine your strongest points, either. It’d be unwise.
1. What need is your game filling?
Numbers matter. Does it answer a growing demand? The quick adoption of games by a wide range of population. Know which specific markets have a growing player base using reliable information sources.
2. Do alternatives already exist?
Competition is strong. Outline your company’s strengths and show why you are the better option, be it through innovation or a new approach.
3. What advantage does your game offer to the players?
Explain its main features and emphasize what makes your game stand out from other similar games out there.
4. What do the players need today?
Show you are an industry expert and that you have done your research by highlighting 3 key points regarding your audience.
5. Define your target:
Be as specific as you can and base your choices on behavior to show how they can lead to an increase in the acquisition rate. Do you have early adopters?
6. Protect your Intellectual Property
Is it possible to copy your game model? Show you have taken responsibility for your work and that they will be save money with your plan. Let them know you are business minded.
7. Have you done this before?
It’s your time to shine. Show the key roles you’ve taken in your career, your achievements and awards. If you have reviews, articles, or gotten praise by industry influencers about your game, make them count!
8. How many users can your game reach?
Choose a market segment and the an app stores where you want to be. Define your numbers in general, showing a real scenario plus an optimistic scenario for your plan.
9. What´s your strategy?
Define your actions step by step. Start with the launch and end with your growth expectations. Do you plan on a geographical expansion, releasing on multiplatform, broadening your target, updating with new levels?
10. Founders, Management, Consultants and Partners
Reveal the structure of your team and show them an appealing combo of experience, skill and preparation. You need to communicate you already have committed people trusting your game.
11. What phase in your company?
Are you in just launching, trying to grow, diversifying targets, or maturing the company. This tells very important information.
12. Who are your business partners
Explain your corporate organization and the role your business partners play in the plan. Besides, what percentage do they own?
13. What’s your business model?
F2P, Pay to Play, In-game Ads, or a mix of them… Make clear why you think the one you’ve chosen is the best for your game.
14. What are your expenses?
What are your planned expenses to make it through the final stage and succeed?
Here’s an example:
|Game Development||Launch & Success|
|Artist & Design||$1.500||Acquisition||$3.000|
|TOTAL||$11.600 + $14.500 = $26.100|
Getting 3.000 users with user acquisition plus 100.000 users with organic growth and referrals —on your marketing plan— equals 103.000 users. You should monetize 4% of the users at a $7 life time value, making $28.840 to cover all your initial expenses ($26.100).
Your game starts to be profitable beyond 103.000 users at a monetization rate of 4%. Or, if you have more users, you’ll need a lower monetization rate to cover the costs. Your focus should be in monetization rates and retention.
15. Possible companies interested in acquiring your company
Show real examples in the industry: mobile game development companies, publishers and tech based groups; make sure they understand you’re not alone in this business.
16. How much are you asking for?
Make a statement of a real reach at a quantity of investment, optimistic stage to make profits for your company and your investors. Lay out the roadmap, e.g.: X users, at Y monetization rate —using in app purchases, ads, etc— minus Z expenses to launch the game, for an estimated $$ profit to be shared at n% among investors in the established period of time —monthly, semester, etc.
17. Test your plan before you show it
It is key to gain investor’s trust and convince them to believe in your skills and the ability of your business plan to carry the project to success.