Creating professional games can be a lucrative business opportunity
Starting a gaming company takes a company name, a game and a marketing strategy. Since competition in the gaming industry is tough, new companies must stake their claim by carefully researching the game market and fulfilling users’ gaming desires by sparking their creativity. The right game is one that users will want to play time and time again in addition to sharing it with their friends.
1. Select what type of game the company will develop. Games come in different forms such as sporting, role play, puzzle or adventure.
2. Select the platform the game will exist on. Games can be developed for cell phones, computers, consoles (for example Xbox or PS2) or devices like the iPod. The platform will affect the software and development tools used.
3. Sketch out a basic idea for a game that includes storyboards, characters and themes. Be specific and include as many details as possible. Also, consider a development timeline of key tasks that would need to be accomplished and in what timeframe.
4. Develop a business plan for the company that includes the owners’ names, company mission, target market, marketing strategy and financial plan.
5. Obtain the necessary paperwork from your state’s Secretary of State department or Commerce Department to start a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) for the company. An LLC can be started with just one person and protect the owner against business risks and liabilities. As you join forces with others, you may want to switch to a partnership to allow for more ownership later on.
6. Enlist a programmer development team consisting of an audio engineer, visual designer and a programmer to develop your game idea. Sometimes the roles will be combined depending on the talents of the group. For instance, you may be the programmer and owner of the company. Advertise what you are looking for at GamaSutra, IGDA or GameDev.net user forums. Work primarily online with the development team to save money. Make sure to have designers and developers sign non-disclosure agreements before commencing work.
7. Develop a prototype game to represent the “flagship” product of for the company. Use the game development plan and timelines created earlier. Upon completing the games, obtain an official copyright or trademark for the game.
8. Establish a website, email contact and phone contact for the company. Develop a marketing strategy for promoting the game and company to the gaming industry. Consult a marketing consultant if necessary.