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glhf

Is it hard to sell games to another studio?

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I'm thinking about the marketing and potential revenue of a game I'm planning..

I was thinking that after 1 or 2 years would be a prime time to sell the game and the rights etc to another studio who might want to continue the game and keep making money from the revenue it's making and possibly even make it bigger and better than it is when they buy it.

Because I don't really care about longterm revenue.. I just want to get "rich" within a few years.

If the game I make becomes succesfull and makes a lot of revenue is it hard to sell it?
And what if it's just mediocre income? Is it hard to sell it?
And if it's poor income?

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Because I don't really care about longterm revenue.. I just want to get "rich" within a few years.

keep in mind majority of sales tend to occur at launch/shortly after - value of game decreases the longer you hold onto it.

It is unlikely that a company will buy the game from you for more than the value of it's expected revenue over the next, say, year. Exceptions exist for smash-hits (i.e. Zynga buying Draw Something).

And what if it's just mediocre income? Is it hard to sell it? And if it's poor income?[/quote]
Nobody with money and sense buys a game that is selling badly, period.

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And what if it's just mediocre income? Is it hard to sell it? And if it's poor income?

Nobody with money and sense buys a game that is selling badly, period.
[/quote]

Why not?
They can improve the game.. there must be a reason it's selling badly.. and they might have ideas and visions how the game can become so much better?
Also cheaper to buy a mediocre game?

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TL;DR version: Yes. It's VERY hard to sell games to another studio.


Why not?

Because it's safer for them to just hold on to their money until a sufficiently successful game becomes available. Nothing in life is guaranteed, but publishers and investors typically try to minimise their risk, and that means buying the game that is already making sufficient income rather than one they may or may not be able to improve.

Sure, they could take the risk of buying a game that is only marginally successful with the hopes of improving it, but what if they invest further resources (money, developer time, additional marketing, etc.) and then find the game still isn't as successful as they hoped?

Remember also that there are a lot of games out there -- there are undoubtedly already other successful products out there that they can make an offer on, so they just need to find a developer who is willing to sell for an acceptable price.


Because I don't really care about longterm revenue.. I just want to get "rich" within a few years.

Consider that there are thousands upon thousands people and teams developing games, and that you can probably only name a handful or less who get rich with a super-smash hit each year -- I'd be willing to guess that these success cases account for well under 1% of the many indie and hobbyist developers working hard to produce great games. Many of these people are far more experienced than you are but simply haven't struck upon the right idea yet, or might even have great ideas but failed to market them properly, or don't have the funding to develop them, or any one of many other problems that can prevent a game from becoming successful.

It's extremely unlikely that any given individual will succeed at producing a smash-hit game and getting rich quickly, and you'll find that those developers who did so didn't set out with the goal of "getting rich quickly". If you're in this to get rich quick you will almost certainly be disappointed. Indie development is hard, and often unrewarding -- if you have a passion for trying to make great games, or an idea burning in your soul that you just have to bring to market then you should absolutely give it a go -- but if you're just doing this to get rich, then you're almost certainly in for disappointment and are probably just chasing a dream.


Sorry if that comes across as harsh or discouraging, but it is the reality of the market, and I don't think it's fair to hide that reality if your goal is the extremely unlikely task of getting rich quickly with a successful game. After all the time spent learning and then working towards a game, and then marketing the finished product (IF you're able to get to that point), it's the simple reality that the majority of developers will end up in a worse financial position than if they had simply spent all that time working for minimum wage in a local business. They take this risk because they have a passion for games, and because they would rather be less well off but work on something they love. Getting rich is a bonus -- one that I think almost every developer would have in the back of their mind -- but is a very poor motivation for getting into a business where probably well under half of those that attempt it succeed at all (it's an applaudable feat just to make a living purely as an indie developer) let alone manage to get rich.


Again, apologies if that isn't what you want to hear -- but if you do some research you will find it to be true -- I hope that's in some way helpful! cool.png

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Why not?

Because the greatest idea is only worth as much as its implementation.

Making gold from lead is a great idea, but nobody will buy the idea, nobody will buy in unrealized(=unproved) recipe, nobody will buy a bad implementation (i.e. creating 1 onze of gold by consuming incredible amounts of energy).

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[quote name='glhf' timestamp='1334875042' post='4932981']
Why not?

Because the greatest idea is only worth as much as its implementation.

Making gold from lead is a great idea, but nobody will buy the idea, nobody will buy in unrealized(=unproved) recipe, nobody will buy a bad implementation (i.e. creating 1 onze of gold by consuming incredible amounts of energy).
[/quote]

Well the point of buying a mediocre game is that it's a lot cheaper than buying a successful game.
And you're not only buying an idea, You're buying the game.
Maybe the answer to turning a mediocre game into a great revenue success is just changing it's marketing strategy.

Make big news about the transfer of ownership and hype up the big changes that are coming.
You might even have a great list of players who have tried the game but didn't like it.. Send them a mail with the good news about the new ownership and new plans for the game.
Whatever they didn't like about the game.. You can fix.
The old owners of the game had a bad game designer, They created a game but didn't make a success out of it.. because of a bad game designer.
So obviously you should only do these kind of ventures if you are confident in your game designing skills.

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[quote name='Ashaman73' timestamp='1334924048' post='4933159']
[quote name='glhf' timestamp='1334875042' post='4932981']
Why not?

Because the greatest idea is only worth as much as its implementation.

Making gold from lead is a great idea, but nobody will buy the idea, nobody will buy in unrealized(=unproved) recipe, nobody will buy a bad implementation (i.e. creating 1 onze of gold by consuming incredible amounts of energy).
[/quote]

Well the point of buying a mediocre game is that it's a lot cheaper than buying a successful game.
And you're not only buying an idea, You're buying the game.
Maybe the answer to turning a mediocre game into a great revenue success is just changing it's marketing strategy.

Make big news about the transfer of ownership and hype up the big changes that are coming.
You might even have a great list of players who have tried the game but didn't like it.. Send them a mail with the good news about the new ownership and new plans for the game.
Whatever they didn't like about the game.. You can fix.
The old owners of the game had a bad game designer, They created a game but didn't make a success out of it.. because of a bad game designer.
So obviously you should only do these kind of ventures if you are confident in your game designing skills.
[/quote]
You can attempt to sell it, sure. A sucker is born every minute.

Most of the time, people with enough money to make that kind of purchase is savvy enough to invest in already profitable businesses.

It is very rare to see a business buy a single piece of IP knowing it has a negative return. They may buy an entire losing company as a way to pick up certain individuals. They may buy it to pick up an existing very high DAU count but low ARPU or ARPPU for gaining advertising eyeballs, they may pick it up because there is a high ARPPU but low DAU causing the loss and they think it is undervalued and they can pick it up DAU while maintaining ARPPU.

But those would be EXTREMELY hard to sell even if you knew what your potential purchaser was looking for. You'd need a lot of business savvy and a lot of hard numbers before any sane company would consider it.

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"I just want to get 'rich' in a few years"...might I suggest trying another business? BTW - I am being serious.

Developers and publishers rarely buy just the IP, they buy the talent making the IP. OMGPOP was bought by Zynga for 180M. OMGPOP's founders are still working for Zynga because the value of the deal vests over time and Zynga wants to extract value from the talent as well as the IP.

Secondly, "garbage in, garbage out" still applies to game development. If you produce mediocre games, no amount of marketing will help increase revenue and no one will want to buy your company (its talent or IP) to "fix it" for you. Sorry but devs who make bad games generally go out of business. Same as any other business.

There are easier ways to make money than game development. Make games because you love making them, not because you love making money.

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"I just want to get 'rich' in a few years"...might I suggest trying another business? BTW - I am being serious.

Developers and publishers rarely buy just the IP, they buy the talent making the IP. OMGPOP was bought by Zynga for 180M. OMGPOP's founders are still working for Zynga because the value of the deal vests over time and Zynga wants to extract value from the talent as well as the IP.

Secondly, "garbage in, garbage out" still applies to game development. If you produce mediocre games, no amount of marketing will help increase revenue and no one will want to buy your company (its talent or IP) to "fix it" for you. Sorry but devs who make bad games generally go out of business. Same as any other business.

There are easier ways to make money than game development. Make games because you love making them, not because you love making money.


It's so funy because before when I was talking about making great games then 100% of all replies were saying that you should be making games to make money.
Now when I mention money everyone is saying the opposite.

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No one told you you should be in it to make money - you might have been told you need to treat it as a business though.

Please stop completely misrepresenting what you have been told, and perhaps try - as you have so rudely suggested to others a number of times - going back and actually reading (and really understanding) what you have been told.

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