Gaming Business Planning

    In April , a closed lecture on business planning in the gaming industry from Rocket Jump producer Alexander Tezyaev was held at the Higher School of Business Informatics of the NRU HSE . The lecture was held as part of the educational program “Game Project Management” , where we often hold such events for students and graduates of our programs. Under cat, we bring to your attention a brief lecture notes. Business planning is the process of determining goals and ways to achieve success in a game on the market. A business plan is an action plan developed during business planning. Roadmap is a document about what and when we do in order to achieve our future.

    Well, the most important components for creating a game are money, time and people.

    Do you need a business plan? And if needed, then why? How can you come to an answer logically?

    To do this, you must first have an idea. Then you must evaluate your own strengths (let's call them resources, this is the most correct term) and understand if they are enough to achieve your goal. If something is missing, you should find the missing resources. It is important to know that if people join you who will help you achieve your goal, how and when will you return their investments and how will you later disperse and share money, fame.

    Including for this a business plan is being made, in which all the main points will be spelled out.

    Game development usually lasts long enough, it happens that people lose goals and motivation. In such cases, a business plan helps a lot.

    Goals and Objectives

    Your game’s business plan serves two main purposes.

    • It gives the investor the answer to the question whether it is worth investing resources in this project.
    • Serves as a source of information for persons directly implementing the game

    A business plan helps to solve the following tasks:

    • Identify markets . This point is not in vain the very first - everything else depends on it
    • Long and short term goals
    • Responsible . It is very important in the business plan to determine the area of ​​responsibility of each participant
    • Key KPIs . Here you can write any KPI that is important to you personally or to investors
    • The cost of developing a game . It always consists of many things. This must be taken into account and have some reserves.
    • Correspondence of available personnel and their motivation . Always remember that the primary responsibility lies with you as the creator of the business.
    • Marketing events
    • Assessment of financial and material situation
    • Risks . Something is definitely not enough for you during the development process. Try to foresee this in advance.

    The game’s business plan helps answer questions:

    • What is the market demand for the game and how will it change
    • What resources and in what quantities will be required to develop the game
    • How much will the resources cost and where to find them
    • What will be the performance of the game. The easiest and cheapest way to determine them is to make a soft launch
    • What can be the total income and how it should be distributed among all participants
    • What to do when risk occurs. It’s important not only to write down what risks you may face, but also to think over what you will do with them

    Key points of a business plan:

    • Licenses Copyrights. Legal features;
    • Marketing plan. Competitive analysis;
    • Production plan. Budgeting;
    • Staff;
    • Risk assessment;
    • Game release plan;
    • Investment plan;
    • Business model

    Licenses and copyrights

    If you want to do anything in the game, make sure:

    • That you do not violate any license agreements
    • That you will and can comply with all the rules of the store and the market in which you want to go

    There are a lot of license options and you need to consider and understand them so that there is no conflict with the party and the game is not blocked for you.

    It is very important to monitor copyright: any line of the programmer’s code is equated to a literary work. Sound is also protected by copyright, even if it is very short.

    From practice: any contest of copyright in Europe or the USA costs from $ 50,000.

    Possible consequences of violation:

    • The game will not be released in the store
    • The game will be deleted from the store after you flood traffic
    • The media will illuminate the game and you in a negative light
    • You will be fined or receive a claim from the copyright holder

    Marketing Plan

    Key points of a marketing plan:

    • Identify the main market for the game
    • Find out all the specifics of the main market . What is meant by this? There are cultural, social, and political differences. It is very important to know them.
    • Define a niche for your game
    • Get to know your players . You can look at competitors, collect information on forums, read reports of large companies and so on. It is important for you to know as much about them as possible.
    • Competitors . It is very simple for small companies and start-ups to find their competitors: you need to go to the gate and see similar games. Big companies need more tools for this, because more information is needed. The main goal is to understand what is already there and not copy it, or copy, but do better.
    • Identify your unique competitive advantage . You should immediately understand how players will like your game and focus on that everywhere.
    • Traffic and other means of promotion . The price of traffic is very high now, so you need to focus on other means of promotion: pr, social networks, instant messengers, viral mechanics, special projects and so on.
    • Prepare a game release plan . If it seems to someone that releasing the game is easy, he is mistaken. Unfortunately, after the release, your work has just begun.

    Production plan - how will we make the game?

    The main points of the production plan:

    • Setting and genre
    • Who is needed and what is needed to create a game . It’s clear who these people are, but what will be involved in the development is what you need to think about. The first is a computer. They often forget that the game will need to be tested, and this requires devices. In addition, you may need tables, chairs, stands - anything
    • Do not forget about the license!
    • What resources do you have to create the game . If, for example, you have connections that will help you find investments or promote the game, you need to register this
    • Prioritize the use of resources . It is advisable to mark the key points on your timeline. When you need to find a publisher, when you need to buy something, and so on. This will help you distribute the money.
    • Identify the risks and how you will eliminate them
    • Calculate KPI games . There are calculated KPIs and one that is in fact. The more accurately you calculate KPI, the easier it will be for you later

    For large titles, the cost of developing the game is less in comparison with the costs that go to promotion.


    Budgeting is the process of planning future income and expenses. It helps to understand whether you have enough money or not, and, if enough, for how long.

    A budget is a plan for future expenses and revenues.

    Game budget - a document in which you prescribe the investment, the cost of the game and the estimated time of return on investment.

    Key points of the financial plan:

    • Make a budget . The budget is so important that if you make a game without a budget, you won’t be able to evaluate whether the game shot or not, because you don’t remember your expenses
    • List the main sources of financing . These are the people or organizations that gave you money and your agreement with them.
    • Identify financial risks and what you will do if they occur
    • Payback Date Calculation
    • Calculation of the date of return on investment

    What else needs to be indicated financially?

    • Devices
    • Development and associated costs
    • Salary
    • Rental of premises and everything related to this
    • Do not forget about the license!
    • Game Development Cost
    • Game Promotion Cost
    • The total (total) cost of the game. It is she who will let you say whether the game was successful or not.

    Financial plan

    There are 2 points: the payback point and the date of return on investment. These are the most important 2 points in the chart that you need to know about and be able to calculate them.


    There are visible risks to personnel, and there are those that are hidden. In the example in the picture there is a problem: no one knows how to balance the game. There is less obvious one: only employee number 5 can fill in the build. This means that if you get some critical bug, no one else can fix it. If this is an outsourced person, you must definitely teach someone else how to do it.


    Force majeure risks - that is impossible to foresee. For such risks, it is useful to immediately put a reserve amount - the conditional $ 10,000 or 10% of the budget.

    Examples of risks when releasing a game:

    • Ruble to major world currencies
    • Outsourcing Price
    • License Terms Changed
    • Legislation has changed
    • The cultural perception of your game has changed
    • Terms of cooperation / investment have changed
    • Leading experts
    • Theft of your work
    • Missing motivation

    Game release plan

    The main point of a game release plan for a business plan:

    • Game positioning in the market. We take from the marketing plan
    • Portrait of Central Asia. Can be taken from Facebook Insights
    • Game business model development
    • Calculation of the KPI of the game is what you calculated from those indicators that you can find
    • Identify growth points and your actions on them. When your game shoots, you will urgently need someone: a copywriter, KM, a marketer, etc. You must take this into account.
    • Identify ways to promote
    • Create a budget for soft launch
    • Define soft launch date and other key project dates

    And let's summarize with you a more detailed diagram of who for whom and why you need a business plan for the game.

    In the near future we will post on our Habrahabr blog compendiums of several more lectures from our other events. Subscribe to receive notification of their release.

    In autumn, we start training on the educational program "Game Project Management", we are inviting you to open doors on June 28 !

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