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Author: tokay

Critical Announcement - Last Days of Eternity [Copy link]

Rank: 8Rank: 8

Post time 2015-8-19 16:38:35 |Show all posts
tokay replied at 2015-8-19 07:52
I understand you ask questions like this because you want to see the game live on, but try to keep ...

Thanks for the insight, Tokay! Your post, and the links, were both interesting. And yes, they did make me a little depressed

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Post time 2015-8-19 16:40:48 |Show all posts
Actually, on this topic... Take a read of this article about how difficult it is to get a game launched in China.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/c ... our-games-yuan-zeng

That's written by a guy who works at a Chinese game publisher - his job is to acquire foreign games for publishing in China. He's super frustrated at how broken the model is. Because of the environment that exists within mobile game publishing in China, he can't do his job (sign deals with Western game devs to bring their games into China).

Now, read that again, but replace "China" with "the World." THAT is the situation facing the game industry today. It's absolutely a terrible time to be making a stab at success in this industry.

Who knows? Maybe Spicy Horse missed the boat on this most recent wave.

Check back in 6~8 months and see if we're still around.

If we are, then we figured out how to swim. If not, we drowned. Simple stuff.

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Post time 2015-8-19 16:51:20 |Show all posts
tokay replied at 2015-8-19 08:40
Actually, on this topic... Take a read of this article about how difficult it is to get a game launc ...

Thanks again. He described the position eloquently.

Seems inadequate in comparison, but I'd like to wish you all at Spicy good luck

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Post time 2015-8-19 17:18:51 |Show all posts
Absolutely fascinating, Sir. I keep going from link to link. Thank you for the information. I didn't even know the vocabulary yet for most of this.

Hell of a business. Hope you and your company can survive.

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Post time 2015-8-19 18:12:33 |Show all posts
Thank you for the fast and polite reply, Tokay.

Indeed, I have no experience in the gaming industry. I used to make small freeware games in my teens and loved C64/Amiga/PC games to the soul, but I foresaw the rocky road if I were to make it a profession for myself. So I went slightly different path and chose to become a "regular" IT professional and entrepreneur.

I have started two IT companies and involved in two more startups as a partner. I've pitched dozens of ideas to investors and trained other startup entrepreneurs regarding sales, marketing, elevator speeches and such. I know it's a tough game getting investors interested in your idea or preferably product. Games had their hype eras in the 80s and 2000s, but it's a saturated market now and like you said, the odds are against an indie developer.

I hope SH will land a title that will keep it not only afloat but give it the resources to develop games we like and love to play. It's obvious that you guys got talented programmers, designers and artists there. It's a huge market, you just need to get a small bite off it with a niche that appeals enough crowd.

Gralcio had a good point here which should be considered regarding the conversion of free players to paying players, nothing to be ridiculed at imho:
http://spicyworld.spicyhorse.com ... &fromuid=796786

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Post time 2015-8-19 18:48:50 |Show all posts
So I went slightly different path and chose to become a "regular" IT professional and entrepreneur.


Probably a wise decision. These days, when people come to me asking how to get into the game industry, I reply, "Don't." It's not a fun time to be doing this. Might get better with VR/AR, but remains to be seen if/when an alternate means of distributing, marketing, and monetizing games will appear anytime soon.

I've pitched dozens of ideas to investors and trained other startup entrepreneurs regarding sales, marketing, elevator speeches and such. I know it's a tough game getting investors interested in your idea or preferably product.


You want to know something crazy? I've actually had more luck pitching in Hollywood (traditionally viewed as a tough place to sell ideas) than in games... and I was only actively pitching concepts to Hollywood (TV commercials, music videos, film franchises) for 2~3 years, vs. the 22 years I've been working (and pitching) in games. Not sure why I keep at it!

I hope SH will land a title that will keep it not only afloat but give it the resources to develop games we like and love to play. It's obvious that you guys got talented programmers, designers and artists there. It's a huge market, you just need to get a small bite off it with a niche that appeals enough crowd.


All fingers are crossed! And beyond the wishing... we are doing tangible things... building games, pitching investors, sweet talking publishers, and launching games... all to try maximizing our chances.

Gralcio had a good point here which should be considered...


Every single one of our new games (including Chains of Darkness, btw) is built around "monetizing the masses" vs. "worship of the whales." In other words, we agree 100% with what's stated in his post, and have made (and will continue to make) adjustments to our designs to address this issue.

Believe it or not, one of the reasons we ended up with a "worship the whales" model in The Gate was that DeNA told us our original model (which was much more egalitarian) was "wrong." So, over time, and under pressure from their team, we pushed the monetization model more and more towards what they wanted to see. Unfortunately, once you make those kinds of changes and establish that kind of economy, you can't go back.

We'll have a better chance this time around to see if that thinking works from the start.

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Post time 2015-8-19 19:45:38 |Show all posts
With Blood Brothers (DeNA's one main titles) they did go the same way. Big spenders and small/no spenders have quite a gap between em. But they managed to revive the markets by pouring in quite a lot of in-game currency (Gjallarhorns) and that made the game interesting to me to the point I actually spent few bucks in it. Trading is the biggest aspect I always yearned after while playing The Gate.

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Post time 2015-8-19 22:07:23 |Show all posts
tokay replied at 2015-8-19 18:48
Probably a wise decision. These days, when people come to me asking how to get into the game indus ...

And I honestly wish you all the best with new games.

I like some planning and a bit of complexity in games and current world (for a sad reason) really lacks such titles.

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Post time 2015-8-20 08:23:06 |Show all posts
tokay replied at 2015-8-19 18:48
Probably a wise decision. These days, when people come to me asking how to get into the game indus ...

Hypothetically, what would a buyer need to purchase The Gate?

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Post time 2015-8-20 12:51:27 |Show all posts
mmooney00 replied at 2015-8-20 08:23
Hypothetically, what would a buyer need to purchase The Gate?

If you're going to join the conversation, can you please confirm you've read and fully understood all that's been posted previously on this topic?

What would a buyer need? Nothing. We would license the game to someone to operate on our behalf for free and we'd expect a % of whatever money was generated.

In order to actually operate the game? The buyer would need a team experienced with running an online, server-based mobile/web game. The core team we required to run the game, build new assets, and keep events going requires:

1x Game Manager / Event Designer / Game Designer (could be 3 people or 2 or 1)
1x Network Engineer
1x Client Engineer
1x Web Engineer / mobile platform engineer
1x Art Director / Concept Artist
1x 2D Concept Artist (could be more, depending on requirement for new cards/assets)
1x 3D modeler (could scale up to at least 10 of these)
1x 3D animator (could scale up to at least 5 of these)
1x VFX artist (or more, depending on asset flow from pipeline above)
1x Composer / Sound engineer (assuming you want new music/SFX ever)

That's 10 people minimum. Assuming a (low) MMC of 4kUSD/per, that's 40kUSD/mo on people.
Maybe you'd want an office for all those people? Equipment? Insurance?
Servers cost 5k~10k/mo depending on traffic, number of players, etc.

To actually make a profit from the labor of this team you'd have to spend money on UA. This has been previously discussed. Minimum UA spend to simply sustain today's user numbers (where we're losing money) would be 30~40kUSD per month. If you wanted to try push the game into chart ranking... expect to spend a minimum of 1 million USD, then sustain at 100k~300k per month.

Last thing this buyer would need is brain damage. No one jumps into a 2 year-old game on the hopes of re-launching it to make a profit. No one jumps into a money-losing game just because they think it would be "nice" to sustain events for the few remaining players.

The reason I asked if you'd read previous posts is that this question is nonsensical to me. It's like asking, "What would I need to run into a sinking ship?"

Again: brain damage.

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