How to get investments for games

So you’ve got all of the workings of a great game assembled: 

  • A fresh and innovative idea 
  • A team of inspired creators loaded with talent and inspiration 
  • Proof of concept with a working prototype 

You’ve done your groundwork and established refined workflows and most importantly, you’ve got a vision.

The only piece of the puzzle that hasn’t fallen into place yet is getting that all important funding. 

We know that this can be the most intimidating aspect of turning your dream into something gamers can enjoy worldwide.

That’s why today, we’re going to shed a little light on the process of securing venture capital for your projects.

The Players

According to Venturebeat.com, “The top 15 venture capital firms investing in games have more than $1.5 billion under management.” The opportunities are definitely out there. 

These funds range both in scope and location. Galaxy Interactive, based in New York, is reported to have upwards of $260 million under management alone. Journey across the globe and you find the Singaporean-based firm, Maker’s Fund, holding a sizable $200 million worth of investment capital. 

These numbers are staggering. And they are just a small sample of an enormous market of opportunity that is growing by the day. A must read on listing the big 10 Gaming and Esport investors can be found on this Visible Blog, by Luke Wagner.

What if you are a less established developer, without a well known name or game credit?

You have all heard of Kickstarter and this can be a great means to get you over the hump and finish your project, but how can you market yourself for the best success of beating all those thousands of other projects vying for everyone’s attention? And what if you are unsuccessful in making your goal? That marketing spend and time is lost, or is it?

Take a look at Republic! Republic is a video game focused investing platform. With two approaches to investing in games, one is similar to Kickstarter where people invest in your game for gifts and other trinkets, or for larger investment pledges, you offer people a slice of your sales. Republic, recently joined up with Fig, so you have a built in publishing platform to sell your game from too.

Game-Seer, is a little more traditional in investor funding, but is a group made up of gamers and developers that can help you start small and scale up your operation. One advantage of a more traditional investor is being able to tap into their skill set which includes marketing, contract negotiations with platform holders and grant writing for government funds.

Why limit your search for funding on just a single project? WeFunder is crowdfunding for startup and small businesses. They aim to allow people to invest small sums, or even large investments in companies and projects and have had a lot of success in technology, software and events. This is often a good stepping stone from growing your concept into a marketable demo product and seek out further, traditional venture capital funding.

If your game is less traditional, perhaps you’re looking to make your flower pot an interactive gaming experience, then you should look towards IndieGoGo. It’s crowdfunding that is geared towards innovative products, with experience of product prototyping and manufacturing in the tech sphere.

That’s great, but how do YOU tap into that wellspring of investment cash?

The Process in 3 Steps

1. Find Your Niche

Do your market research. This is the first and most important step to courting potential investors. Nothing speaks to them more than numbers do. 

The ability to spot and understand market trends is a must-have skill. Prove to your would-be investors that you have your finger on the pulse of the industry and that your project stands to disrupt an emerging/growing market and how you can capitalize the best rate of return within your game or company and you’ll have won the most important battle.

2. Find the Right Investor

Doing market research is important. So is doing research into the investors that provide you with the best chances of buying in. 

Not all investment firms are created equally. The larger firms are less likely to take a risk on younger studios and teams. The smaller firms are less likely to invest large amounts of money into more ambitious endeavors. 

This aspect of the process is a balancing act, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to making this happen. Nothing will serve you better here than research. I suggest beginning your search with the Angel Capital Association.  

3. Find the Right Team

This might seem like a given, but you cannot overlook this. Investors don’t just invest in products and ideas, but also in people behind them. 

You’re much more likely to get that life-changing investment if you surround yourself with a group of talented, experienced people. You’re looking for strong portfolio’s, a history of teamwork, and time spent in the industry shipping successful products.  LinkedIn and Gamesmith, will help you leverage your network of contacts to build that team. 

Handle all three of these elements, and the rest is up to your project. The Gamesmith Ecosystem, can also help link your team up to some interested parties, so check out our list here.

Gamesmith is the discovery platform for the professional game industry developer. Discover contacts and knowledge you need to achieve your daily goals and KPIs in games. For more information contact support@Gamesmith.com