Game Design, Programming and running a one-man games business…

2013 a good year, start of investment, and some consolidation

So 2013 was very good for the business side of Positech Games. it’s definitely been my most profitable year yet. We spent more than ever making games, more than ever on marketing, and made more than ever back. In biz terms there were a lot of firsts…

  • First time I hired a PR agency was in 2013
  • First time I had a proper pro trailer made was 2013
  • First GDC attendance was 2013
  • First time I exhibited at trade shows was 2013.

First time I actually paid out for a site-takeover advert was 2013.

And on the non-biz, but development side…

  • First time I managed a foreign-language translation and…
  • First time I took Mac & Linux porting costs under positechs control, rather than splitting it.

These were all good decisions, everything seems to have gone pretty well. Plus, we released redshirt, the first name under the positech banner developed by someone else (Tiniest Shark).

Those were the exciting new, adventurous things. On the game design front I’ve been more cautious. I released Democracy 3 and started (very early) work on Gratuitous Space Battles 2, both sequels. I truly have become hollywood! My plans extend to a new IP by the tail end of 2014, so don’t think I’ve entirely run out of ideas (far from it!).

Because sales-wise the year went well, I’ve been doing some consolidation and investment for positech too. I’ve had a lot of popular games, but maybe I’ve been lucky. There is no magic rule that says I will earn a single penny in 2014, and given development costs, I *may* actually lose money. As a result, I’m starting to think longer term about investing in making positech a more ‘solid’ company to own. That means a bit of investing (it’s shocking what a terrible rate of return you can get right now, even if you are prepared to lock money away for a loooong time), and a bit of investing in the biz itself, stuff like equipment and improvements to infrastructure. I also see advertising as a long term investment. I know some people take 150+ days from clicking an ad to buying my games, and I suspect the real figure can be longer. A certain chunk of the democracy 3 ad budget will pay dividends in GSB 2.0 or New IP sales. I like to think long term.

2014 offers a lot to look forward to, I have some stuff coming up quite soon(ish) and of course I’m very keen to show off some proper GSB 2.0 screenshots when I finally have something to show :D

Happy new year all!


6 thoughts on 2013 a good year, start of investment, and some consolidation

  1. Ooh, GSB2 confirmed! :)
    My biggest wish for it is that you would move away from the spreadsheet-like statistical combat simulation where each shot is known to hit or miss upon firing, and the hit locations are preset as well. I understand it stems from the requirement for battles to be deterministic with the same outcome each time, but still it somewhat takes the fun out of it because truly random cool things never happen.

  2. “Ooh, GSB2 confirmed! :)”

    yeah, my thoughts as well – really pleased to hear that :)

    Congrats on a good year for Positech, hope 2014 is just as good (if not better)!

  3. Cliffski, is your publishing on “Redshirt” part of that “consolidating and investing [in Positech]”? Or are you more putting money into literal investments/the stock market?

    Reminds me… I was reading an article recently about how rising development costs have been forcing AAA publishers to double down on safe investments (such as, if my numbers are right, the 7th Battlefield game or 10th CoD); I’ve always wondered why no executives have said “screw it,” found 20 small studios, and gave them a corporate penny (~100k pounds) each to create a game with.

  4. I think the assumption is that the ROI on a 1 million dollar investment is much better than on 10 $100k ones. There is definitely a sweet spot somewhere, and I suspect it is actually quite high,.

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