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|    Business

Please note: this information refers to GDC 2015, check back for updates.

The Business, Marketing & Management Track seeks to educate and inform developers about the business of game development and ways in which their business can be improved.

Arrow Search for all Business, Marketing & Management Track sessions


Game Studio Management: Making It Great
Jesse Schell (Schell Games LLC)
Management is difficult, managing a game studio is incredibly difficult, since most studio management has no formal training, and no one ever seems clear on the "right" way to run things. In the last 12 years I have grown a game studio from a solo operation to a thriving enterprise of 100 developers working on 6-8 titles simultaneously. In this nuts and bolts talk I will share the concrete methods I have found to keep a studio happy, healthy, and producing great games. Topics covered include:
- What meetings are the right ones?
- How to manage multiple simultaneous projects
- How to grow without destroying your culture
- The importance of a mentoring culture
- How to see the invisible information flow in your studio
- The connection between morale, purpose, and great games
Great Management of Technical Leads
Mike Acton (Insomniac Games)
Congratulations! You're a lead. Now what? In general, whatever skills you've demonstrated that got you to this point aren't the same things you'll be doing from here on out (or at least not as much.) This talk is a entry-level description of expectations for any technical gamedev lead. What a lead needs to pay attention to; What responsibilities a lead has to his or her team; What are the most important things that any good lead should be doing; How do you get things done. Leadership is hard. This talk will provide direction to get new leads started or refresh existing leads on the crucial responsibilities of their role. Learn to set clear expectations, define the most important values for your team, understand how best to define problems and the importance of training your team.
Why Indies Need to Think Backwards to Move Forward
Charles Cox (4gency)
With a super-saturated marketplace, indies are finding it harder than ever to be heard above the noise. While it may go against the "lone wolf" indie mentality, the future in indie developer success lies in cooperation, collaboration, crowdfunding and generally selling your idea long before launching a product in order to succeed. This sounds like an old-school way of promotion, but far too many indies are depending too much on the dream "going viral" or of an instant smash hit. In this session Charles Cox, CEO of 4gency, references statistics and personal experience to demonstrate why indies need to expand their promotion efforts for their own products and offers up solutions and advice on how to realize the "indie dream".
Awesome Video Game Data (2015)
Geoffrey Zatkin (EEDAR)
EEDAR co-founder Geoffrey Zatkin presents a tour de force romp through video game industry data, patterns and trends, covering everything from next generation consoles to the maturation of mobile games to the diversification of monetization methodologies and everything in-between. Guaranteed to raise your game industry IQ. Attendees will gain a better understanding of recent macro and micro trends of the video game industry - not anecdotal, but trends based on actual objectively quantifiable data. A broad range of timely industry topics will be presented. This talk will benefit people interested in how the video game industry as a whole is moving, both on a macro and micro trend basis. Audience members should be interested in the business of video games, including game promotion, reception, sales performance and monetization, etc.
Evolving Plague Inc: Taking a Top Mobile Game to Steam
James Vaughan (Ndemic Creations)
Mobile developers face huge obstacles when bringing their games to Steam but thanks to cunning strategy, careful planning and a certain willingness to make things up as they went along - hit mobile game Plague Inc managed to evolve onto Steam successfully. In this talk, James Vaughan, the founder of Ndemic Creations will explore the (many) challenges that mobile developers face when coming to Steam but explain when developers should do it anyway. He will share his logic and approach to overcome the 'mobile stigma' along with other pitfalls - using post launch data to illustrate the impact of choices. Key lessons learnt will be highlighted for other developers who are bringing games to Steam and he will also touch on Early Access strategies, differences between Steam vs Mobile and how to determine which platform to start with.
Critics or Metacritic: Who Influences Game Sales?
Erica Holcomb (TBA Games)
In the game industry today, publishers, developers and consumers all depend on the game review site Metacritic to determine a title's overall quality. Much of the talk about Metacritic has focused around how a metascore can influence game sales. However, we don't know how well metascores really measure game quality and success. Treatment of Metacritic scores by the game industry has tended to assume that the secret process by which metascores are determined provides something more than the individual critic reviews. This talk will present a study on the correlation between sales and scores, if any, and discuss the implications for an industry that has come to rely on the assumption that metascores are a true representation of a title's success.