GDC 2018 | March 19 — 23, 2018 | Moscone Convention Center | San Francisco, California


|    Business

The Business & Marketing 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 Track sessions


All Systems No: Learning from the Doomed Launch of 'Brigador'
Hugh Monahan (Stellar Jockeys)
'Brigador' released on June 2nd, 2016 and barely registered a blip on the radar, despite two years of touring at conventions and previously enthusiastic coverage by PC Gamer, Kill Screen, RPS, and others. With a 95% positive rating on steam and metacritic reviews as high as 90/100, what tanked the launch?With the power of hindsight, Hugh Monahan will dissect the circumstances of the development for 'Brigador' and release from both marketing and design perspectives. Learn why good intentions can make for bad decisions, and how audience expectations are everything. If you're an independent developer and thinking, "those guys are idiots" then boy you sound an awful lot like Hugh did 4 years ago.
Get Journalists to Cover Your Game: Lessons from Online Dating, Praying and 'No Man's Sky'
Thomas Reisenegger (ICO Partners)
With the number of game releases skyrocketing, getting media, Youtube and streamer coverage is becoming constantly more important and likewise more difficult. The session "Get Journalists to Cover Your Game: Lessons from Online Dating, Praying and No Man's Sky" explores why some games get more time in the spotlight while most struggle to get noticed. In the beginning, the question for what games PR is a good communication approach will be explored, and is followed by insights in the gaming media landscape: What does good media coverage even look like and why do certain stories start spreading automatically? The final part explores "5 golden rules on how to get your game covered". These recommendations are based on data and years of practical PR experience for indie and AAA games, as well as interviews with well-known journalists from outlets such as Waypoint by VICE, Guardian and influencers.
Butterscotch Shenanigans: From Early Failures to Cross-Platform Success
Samuel Coster (Butterscotch Shenanigans)
In this talk, co-founder Sam Coster will walk through the four-year history of independent studio Butterscotch Shenanigans, providing an in-depth, occasionally funny, data-backed story for how a fledgling studio pivoted from failures and setbacks to ultimately become successful.

Butterscotch Shenanigans began as a boot-strapped mobile game studio. Over its first year in operation the studio launched a critically acclaimed financial failure, followed by a barely successful free-to-play title. With a modicum of success under the belt, the studio pivoted toward cross-platform development for mobile and PC, embarking on a 2-year dev cycle that culminated in the successful release of 'Crashlands' in January of 2016.

Through 5 games and 5 million players the studio has faced the usual industry trials of discoverability, monetization, and retention, and has met each problem with failures and successes all its own. Come hear the story for yourself... and maybe avoid the mistakes this studio made.
Breaking Ad: The Formula for Winning Video Advertising
Dillon Becker (Storm8)
With the cost of user acquisition reaching all-time highs, developers need to be increasingly creative about finding effective and efficient avenues to attract players. In the last year, video ads have continued to drive higher install rates, lower CPIs and overall monetization for games; when done right. This session will discuss how to produce high-performing video ads through effective data testing, analysis and iteration. Using real-world campaign examples for game ads that "failed" and later succeeded, attendees will walk away with best practices on improving video advertising strategies to win the mobile UA race.
Trolls: The Cost of Doing Nothing
Chris Priebe (Two Hat/Community Sift)
A healthy community is awesome for user retention, so how can industry professionals make communities better? This talk uncovers the impact that trolling and toxic behavior have on a game's success from a business perspective, answering such questions as "What is the long-term impact of doing nothing to curb abuse in gaming communities?" "How does toxicity influence a company's bottom line?", "What are the latest best practices to solve it?" Accompanying the analysis presented in this talk is a strategy to manage toxicity and help gaming professionals build communities that people love.
Thirty Things I Hate About Your Game Pitch
Brian Upton (Game On The Rails)
Putting together an amazing pitch is the first step in getting a publisher interested in your game. But even brilliant game developers sometimes screw up when they try to sell their ideas. In this whirlwind talk, a senior designer who has heard hundreds of game pitches during his career describes thirty annoying or counterproductive things that you should avoid when you're pitching your game to a publisher. Learn how publishers evaluate the games that are pitched to them, what they care about and what they don't, and what you can do to present your own game in the best possible light.