Starting a Games Company? Focus on the Team

Team is everything. It’s true for startups and it’s true for mobile game studios with aspirations to make

startup advice for game developers and companies just starting up

a big hit. Making a successful game requires dedication, perseverance, close feedback loops with the customer and many other practices from the world of tech startups. Most importantly, they need great teams to lead them.

Strong teams have so much advantage compared to average teams or solo acts. Let’s look at some scenarios where strong teams can make or break your startup.

Scenario 1 – Turning the lights out

The number one reason for startups to shut down is because of a team that can’t stick together through the rough patches. I can give you quite a few examples for that but I’m not sure my friends will talk to me if I do that so just take my word on it.

Scenario 2 – Focus

One of the most important things in any kind of startup is focus. This means that each one of the team members knows what he has to do and works to do it the best as he can. Here are some distractions you see in average teams: founders trying to cover up weaknesses, founders with aspirations to be something they are not and too many arguments with little substance.

Scenario 3 -Fundraising

The top 2 things early investors are looking for in a startup traction and team. It’s not about how great is your idea to create the next drawsomething meets instagram or temple run with a jetski. It’s about who you are and how you work together. This is in large due to the other reasons I listed here.

Scenario 4 – Negotiating a Deal

This one is a bit related to #2 but deserves a separate section. Whether it’s investment, publishing deal, some important partnership or acquisition, you will find yourself at some negotiation sooner or later. It requires exceptional team to negotiate as a group. Good teams will decide on one negotiator. Bad teams will insist to come to the negotiation, will not be coordinated and the other side will split them and win.

Scenario 5 – Hitting the Jackpot

Let’s say that your dream came true and your game became wildly successful. Now you have to quickly build a company around it. Each one of the founders needs to become a manager of a big part of the company. Is the team really capable of doing that? Is it capable of growing and adapting? Are the roles in the team clear for that scenario as well?

Scenario 6 – Acquisition

Like investments, most acquisitions are driven by the team quality. This is even more true for early acquisitions.
I’m sure there are more situations. Please feel free to share more in the comments. What teams did you see that fall apart? In what situations did you wish you had a better team or thanked your team members for being who they are?
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