The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success
  • Sell-Me Saturday is Now Live!

    Have something to sell? Like to post a video from your YouTube channel? Want to promote your design service? Recommend a company? SELL-ME SATURDAY is your opportunity to self-promote whatever you'd like within the realm of entrepreneurship on one central thread... and at no cost. Go There
    Note: Indiscriminate SEO backlinking to questionable material is not allowed.
  • Join 50,000+ entrepreneurs who are earning their freedom and living their dream.

    "Fastlane" is an entrepreneur discussion forum based on The C.E.N.T.S Framework outlined in the two best-selling books by MJ DeMarco (The Millionaire Fastlane and UNSCRIPTED®). From multimillionaires to digital nomads to side hustlers who are grinding a job, the Fastlane Forum features real entrepreneurs creating real businesses with one goal in mind: Freedom— both financial and temporal.

    Download (Unscripted) Download (Millionaire Fastlane) Register
    Registering for the forum removes this block.

INTRO is mobile game a good business?

richxiaohe

New Contributor
Jul 21, 2019
5
2
11
I think mobile game match the commandment of scale. but how about the other commandments? Does any one know about it?
I want to start making f2p games but not sure if it's a good business and worth doing.
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

Lilyvick

New Contributor
Jul 22, 2019
11
2
2
Mobile game industry nowadays is a really wealthy business. It makes sense to get new experience working in game development.
 

MaraOnMove

PARKED
Jul 23, 2019
2
0
1
As former game consumer, idea an idea about a game. Is it not worth it to delve into it, if I don' know how to code nor to graphic design? If yes, how would you start it, hiring freelancers or a game designing studio? Would appreciete some kind of source for it!
 

ChrisV

Platinum Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
May 10, 2015
1,961
3,391
772
Islands of Calleja
so you mean it is against the commandment of entry?
basically... i mean if it's a GREAT game, sure.. but there are sooo many games out there
 

bdb

New Contributor
Nov 24, 2018
35
19
41
I'll chime in with my experience. Been a mobile dev for close to 10 years now. Released a few games and they all made a few thousand dollars with no marketing.

In my experience it's not really worth it unless you have lots of time to put into it, people don't need games unless you create something great and that takes time. You can spend 3-6 months working on an app/game only for it to fall off the lists in a few weeks.

If you can go fulltime on your project for months (years ?) then you might have a good chance as it will allow you to iterate and polish your app with the help of people. If you go the quick game route you will be competing with big companies with big resources trying to clone anything that is successful out there.

In short, its a very competitive field with a low barrier of entry (anyone can download unity and create simple games), if you can go the extra mile and work on something good you might have a chance. you will need time though.

One of the most successful recent examples is stardew valley

Barone spent four years working seven days per week, 10-12 hours per day on the game. He funded the development process via a part-time gig as an usher at Seattle's Paramount Theater

He has a net worth of around 30-50 million dollars off a single game.
 

Brewmacker

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jun 17, 2019
94
109
121
35
The Netherlands
There are people here already who have documented their experiences with mobile games. Just search for it
 

NursingTn

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Jan 30, 2019
81
131
122
Do something everybody else is doing, and it will be an uphill battle for you. The trend right now is to make mobile games that are F2P with microtransactions up the arse. Many of the games are crappy to me because they are a gigantic distraction from priorities.

However, what if you make a game that is meaningful? Something that uplifts humanity? After all, a game is simply a medium to convey ideas...

What if you made a game that explore certain parts of history (e.g. Anne Frank during WW2 or the impact of the bombing of Pearl Harbor) for the history fans?

How about a game that teaches new skills to help people find work (e.g. learning causes of electrical issues for electrician apprentices, learning the most common diseases of pets to help dog trainers provide more personalized training) for those wanting alternative ways to learn skills?

The point is to create a game that helps humanity or a particular group of people. You cannot go wrong. Then to make the product even better, invite people to test multiple beta versions of your game and incorporate their feedback (since they are the ones wanting to buy your stuff). Create a loyal community to your game. Then leverage the community to make a brand that provides a certain type of games. Now you're the next EA, Valve, Sega, whatever!

Depending on your customers, microtransactions plus free access to portion of the games might be desirable; for others, a monthly subscription, one time fee, etc might be their preferences. What matters is what do they want? And deliver it to them.
 

458

Platinum Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
May 21, 2011
1,108
3,371
784
I just made 3 billion dollars last night and I started last week, crazy..
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

alord

Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jun 8, 2019
49
42
49
way too saturated, imo.. unless you come up with something brilliant that inspires you, i wouldn't do it
I spoke with two friends of mine that work in the industry and they told me the same. Barriers to entry are super high, but of course... "The money is in the challenge."
 

Quarky

New Contributor
Aug 20, 2017
14
3
12
My game is about to launch after 2 years of development. Wanna help me market it and see how it goes?
 

Quarky

New Contributor
Aug 20, 2017
14
3
12
I'll chime in with my experience. Been a mobile dev for close to 10 years now. Released a few games and they all made a few thousand dollars with no marketing.

In my experience it's not really worth it unless you have lots of time to put into it, people don't need games unless you create something great and that takes time. You can spend 3-6 months working on an app/game only for it to fall off the lists in a few weeks.

If you can go fulltime on your project for months (years ?) then you might have a good chance as it will allow you to iterate and polish your app with the help of people. If you go the quick game route you will be competing with big companies with big resources trying to clone anything that is successful out there.

In short, its a very competitive field with a low barrier of entry (anyone can download unity and create simple games), if you can go the extra mile and work on something good you might have a chance. you will need time though.

One of the most successful recent examples is stardew valley

Barone spent four years working seven days per week, 10-12 hours per day on the game. He funded the development process via a part-time gig as an usher at Seattle's Paramount Theater

He has a net worth of around 30-50 million dollars off a single game.
I don't agree with what you said that the entry barrier is low. I mean, ya, anyone can download Unity and make prototypes. But Unity alone can't make you finished game products. An empty Unity scene couldn't even reach stable 60 FPS without your own industry knowledge to optimise it. Where you'd eventually have created your own game engine if you know how to do it. And like, a commercial game is a combination of 2D art (photoshop), 3D art (3Ds Max, Vray, etc), physics engine (Nvidia PhysX), UI/UX design, character animation, control methods QA, marketing, lighting programming, game design and team management. It's like one of the businesses with the highest entry barrier if you ask me.
 

bdb

New Contributor
Nov 24, 2018
35
19
41
I don't agree with what you said that the entry barrier is low. I mean, ya, anyone can download Unity and make prototypes. But Unity alone can't make you finished game products. An empty Unity scene couldn't even reach stable 60 FPS without your own industry knowledge to optimise it. Where you'd eventually have created your own game engine if you know how to do it. And like, a commercial game is a combination of 2D art (photoshop), 3D art (3Ds Max, Vray, etc), physics engine (Nvidia PhysX), UI/UX design, character animation, control methods QA, marketing, lighting programming, game design and team management. It's like one of the businesses with the highest entry barrier if you ask me.
I am just speaking from my own humble experience. I've released a few titles myself and 15 years ago we didn't have unity nor unreal. These days unity allows you to create quick apps/games and released them on major platforms in a few days.

There is a reason for Steam's decision to ditch steam greenlight for steam direct. That reason was the huge amount of games that went through and got published. It is also the same story in the major mobile app stores, there are way too many games getting published every single day.

This is an old article but it illustrates the reality of game development. Every single day at least 500 games are published in the app store, I'd imagine it's more than that today.

Gamasutra - Over 500 games now submitted to iOS App Store every day

I'm not saying that creating a best selling game is easy, that is very hard to do, you need lots of time, money and a bit of luck.

I am saying that nowadays game development has a low barrier of entry with tools like game maker, unity or unreal and the huge amount of resources available on youtube.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-GkNM8M5p8
 

Quarky

New Contributor
Aug 20, 2017
14
3
12
I am just speaking from my own humble experience. I've released a few titles myself and 15 years ago we didn't have unity nor unreal. These days unity allows you to create quick apps/games and released them on major platforms in a few days.

There is a reason for Steam's decision to ditch steam greenlight for steam direct. That reason was the huge amount of games that went through and got published. It is also the same story in the major mobile app stores, there are way too many games getting published every single day.

This is an old article but it illustrates the reality of game development. Every single day at least 500 games are published in the app store, I'd imagine it's more than that today.

Gamasutra - Over 500 games now submitted to iOS App Store every day

I'm not saying that creating a best selling game is easy, that is very hard to do, you need lots of time, money and a bit of luck.

I am saying that nowadays game development has a low barrier of entry with tools like game maker, unity or unreal and the huge amount of resources available on youtube.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-GkNM8M5p8
I see. How 'bout skipping casual games entirely then? Cause in my two years of making this sports game I never found any relevant tutorials online.

From how to read the profiler for 60 FPS optimisation strictly required of sports games, to the physics, which can't be provided by Unity or Unreal or whatever, to how to make scenes look as good as EASports scenes, or at least close to it. In a final game build I mean, not a static Unity scene which then lag to unplayable in game.

And like how to create a touch control unique to your game. I literally can't find any useful guides online. I went to the library and read like all the game dev books there, but all those are outdated knowledge.

I ended up trial and error testing everything till I find tech breakthroughs on key areas on my own, which now becomes patentable technologies. I also had to go around and recruit talents to finish my 3D scenes. It took me a year to find someone qualified for the job and his salary isn't cheap either.


I also just went to game conferences by pocket gamers like two weeks ago. Apparently the market is still growing and we are talking about billions in value. Those companies there giving presentation are all making money.

I think it still can be done if you do take the time to create something original and of quality, like your mentioning of Stardew Valley, right? MJ said in his Amazon book publishing business, in a saturated market, be prepared for competition. The market is never having enough quality products.

Look at this figures I saw from the pocket gamer presentations two weeks ago.

WhatsApp Image 2019-07-18 at 10.55.39 PM.jpeg
 

bdb

New Contributor
Nov 24, 2018
35
19
41
I think it still can be done if you do take the time to create something original and of quality,
Totally, I agree with it. There will always be a huge audience for good games. There is a lot of competition out there but you can separate from the rest by creating a quality title and taking your time to work with your audience.

In my humble opinion one of my biggest problems when I created games was NOT working with my audience, not creating a dev blog and posting my progress, not creating a community. In short not including my audience in my process to gather feedback early on.

Games are different from other products in that people get really passionate about them and if you take time to create a community around them you'll be a step ahead of the rest.
 

Quarky

New Contributor
Aug 20, 2017
14
3
12
Totally, I agree with it. There will always be a huge audience for good games. There is a lot of competition out there but you can separate from the rest by creating a quality title and taking your time to work with your audience.

In my humble opinion one of my biggest problems when I created games was NOT working with my audience, not creating a dev blog and posting my progress, not creating a community. In short not including my audience in my process to gather feedback early on.

Games are different from other products in that people get really passionate about them and if you take time to create a community around them you'll be a step ahead of the rest.
Mmm. You know that leads me to another headache too. Community management is a job in itself. Youtubing is an expertise in itself. I eventually learned it's impossible to do everything on your own. I started learning how to raise capital.
 

Barry_M

Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jul 26, 2019
49
48
98
UK
way too saturated, imo.. unless you come up with something brilliant that inspires you, i wouldn't do it
This.. I have built a few free to play and paid games (have 3 currently on Steam) and 2 are NOT making money. If you have no marking clout then it is very very risky. I spent 4 years building a third person shooter. Sold less than 1000 of them and ended up making it free to play. On the other hand, I spent 4 weeks building a remake of Williams Defender and its still making money monthly on Steam (got paid yesterday from Steam in fact :p ). If your using Unity its easy enough to make games if you can code C# but there are so many people doing it right now that its a saturated market and very hard to make money from unless you have hundreds of thousands of $$$ for marketing.
 

Mainstream7

Beauty is Truth
Jan 1, 2015
327
350
196
29
Several possibilities:
1. Game based on analytics - Prototype and go the angel investor route, put own money on the line; these make the most money and you can exit by selling the company)
2. Self-Develop game based on analytics(most make shitty games and give up, pretty hard imo, most approach publishers nowadays)
3. Indie game Solo(most painful and risky path, eat ramen for four years, only if you love love love games)
4. Indie game Team + Investors/Funding(I personally like this a lot, you execute better with a team)
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

Quarky

New Contributor
Aug 20, 2017
14
3
12
Several possibilities:
1. Game based on analytics - Prototype and go the angel investor route, put own money on the line; these make the most money and you can exit by selling the company)
4. Indie game Team + Investors/Funding(I personally like this a lot, you execute better with a team)
For 1, what if the game doesn't look like it can sell. Will the investor quit half way or the game doesn't sell in the end then it's game over? Time wasted. No money earned.

For 4. How do the investors usually recoup their investments given an indie game company isn't going for IPOs or private company sale any time soon? The investor will take like most of the profits in the end and the indie team only earned salaries, like an employee, right? Just like Ken Wong who made Florence which only barely break even?
 

Barry_M

Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jul 26, 2019
49
48
98
UK
It looks really cool to me. You are probably just one more swing away from being the next PUBG billionaire. =D
I actually released a playable version of this before PUBG. I started building the game back in 2013 ish and told my son who is a pro gamer about it. He said it was a stupid idea and no one would play this type of game (the game is not really battle royal though although it kinda started as that). When I finally got the game to a large multiplayer playable state, I got my son and a group of his mates to play it. They all loved it. The concept probably didnt make too much sense but when the concept was put in place and the game was playable, it all came together. How the game failed is because I did not market it - while I do provide website design services, and I provide local marketing as such for my clients, games marketing is a whole different kettle of fish and I dont have a clue about it. I though Steam would pull through and sell hundreds of thousands. How I was 100% wrong.

Did you see my Defender game?
 

Quarky

New Contributor
Aug 20, 2017
14
3
12
Did you see my Defender game?
Yes I did my friend. It's really cool and smooth. I bet you were able to make that in 4 weeks only because you had 4 years of experience building a multiplayer FPS*. If you get a starter to do it, I bet they can make the prototype only, but couldn't bring in those collision effects, game design, feedback loops and static 60FPS. Grats to you that it has become a money stream to you. =D

The Linx Battle Arena means you already own the technology to server management, core game design, UI interface, feedback loops. I think next time around, if you could raise capital, to add a little physics based rendering stuff, and some marketing people to cover you, you're gonna be the next gaming titan. =D

Did you make Linx all on your own? That's crazy. How much work is that man.

I remember like for Rocket League, they made a car game early on called Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars. That got ignored. But then after owning expertise in building cars and the basic multiplayer gameplay, they were then able to give it a new spin after a few years to sell Rocket League as the eSports darling.

Dude. You are close!
 

Creep

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Apr 29, 2019
78
49
55
If you strike a good nerve with gamers and monetize in a non-toxic way, it can do very good. Core gamers are starving for games that are not exploitative on mobile
 

Barry_M

Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jul 26, 2019
49
48
98
UK
Did you make Linx all on your own? That's crazy. How much work is that man.


Dude. You are close!
around 4 years plus, 12 hours a day+. Made the whole thing my self including coding, modelling, the website but I did use Photon networking for the multiplayer hosting.

Looking to start a new project but im not really inspired by anything right now..
 

Mainstream7

Beauty is Truth
Jan 1, 2015
327
350
196
29
For 1, what if the game doesn't look like it can sell. Will the investor quit half way or the game doesn't sell in the end then it's game over? Time wasted. No money earned.

For 4. How do the investors usually recoup their investments given an indie game company isn't going for IPOs or private company sale any time soon? The investor will take like most of the profits in the end and the indie team only earned salaries, like an employee, right? Just like Ken Wong who made Florence which only barely break even?
1. If you fail you fail. They would probably use agile methodologies to avoid that though.
I don´t know about investor relations.
4. Maybe project-based investing. There are a lot of grants to help indies with development. Big publishing companies might invest and take a cut of the sales.
Most of these teams are self-funded though. Some are partnering up with past coworkers or build a team out of university. Then you could go the kickstarter route.
It´s still hard out there. It´s a pity Ken Wong didn´t recoup multiples of his investment.
 
OP
OP
R

richxiaohe

New Contributor
Jul 21, 2019
5
2
11
Several possibilities:
4. Indie game Team + Investors/Funding(I personally like this a lot, you execute better with a team)
Indie game means you do not treat making a proft as your first purpose. which means investors could not give you money to make your game till your game published and succeed. as you said, ken wong got the investment after Monument Valley succeed.
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.



Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe to become an INSIDER.

Post New Topic

Please SEARCH before posting.
Please select the BEST category.

Post new topic

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Monthly conference calls with doers
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Top Bottom