A game idea is a spark of inspiration, but turning it into a playable reality hinges on securing funding. Investors demand a return on their investment, so convincing them your project is worth the risk requires crafting a solid pitch that showcases market size and revenue potential. Grants, on the other hand, offer financial support without requiring equity in your game.
Video games are expensive to develop, even small ones. Developers typically need to spend on equipment, software, and licenses. They also need to hire a team of professionals to work on the project from start to finish. To secure funds, developers can pitch to investors or look for grants.
Investors may be interested in partnering with you if they see that your game has potential for growth and profitability. You can convince them by preparing a winning pitch deck, which includes a summary of your game, its market opportunity, and your team’s expertise. You should also present your financial projections to show you can deliver your promises. Finally, addressing investors’ concerns would help demonstrate your strategy for mitigating risks and competition.
Grants can be a great way to get money for video game development. Government agencies, private foundations, and crowdfunding platforms can provide them. Depending on the grant type, you must meet specific requirements to be eligible. Government grants, for example, are generally available to developers who work on projects that have a societal impact. For example, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) SBIR/STTR programs can fund game initiatives to improve human health.
Investors are critical on how to get funding for a video game as they supply the money for development in exchange for equity. Knowing the different types of investors can help you decide who to approach for your project.
Angel investors usually invest their wealth in projects they believe in. They’re often well-connected and can help you build relationships with publishers and other industry players. Their main goal is to get a high return on their investment, so they will want you to focus on revenue projections and other financial details in your pitch.
Venture capital groups are comparable to angel investors, although they often have more money to invest in a broader range of businesses. They’ll also expect higher transparency about the project, and they may require a more significant share of the profits in return for their investment. If you can find a VC group specializing in video games, they’ll give you insights into the industry and connect you with key business partners.
Suppose you’re willing to sacrifice some of your game’s profit. Some sites allow you to run a campaign where those contributing get equity in the company or project in exchange. This type of funding can be a good option for free-to-play or games-as-a-service titles, as it reduces the risk to investors and gives them an easy exit strategy.
Game developers often use crowdfunding to help with their financial needs. But more than just providing money, these campaigns do so much more, such as raising awareness about a project and attracting new audiences that can become loyal fans.
It’s important to note that crowdfunding can be challenging. Getting people to pledge funds takes time, planning, and marketing before the campaign goes live. It also means having a clear vision, clearly defining achievement and how that ties into the game. This is where it pays to have a good understanding of your audience and how to build up excitement for your project before and throughout the campaign.
A recent study found that backers will pledge more money if they believe the developer can produce a high-quality product. However, the research didn’t find a significant correlation between competence-based trust and overall project funding. Instead, the most significant factor is whether or not a project matches the backer’s general investment preferences.
Game development is collaborative, and partnerships can help fund your games. Look for partners who share your vision and goals and offer additional resources and knowledge to support your studio. They should also have a strong track record and deep expertise in the gaming industry. Consider if they can cover all your monetary needs or if you need to find other funding sources.
Crowdfunding is another popular source of funding. It serves as a venue for game creators to promote their game concepts and raise interest among avid gamers. However, setting clear expectations and establishing formal agreements in meaningful personal relationships is essential. Furthermore, you should use a platform that provides high transparency to manage backers’ expectations.
Another option is grant funding, which financially contributes to game developers without requiring repayment or equity. However, the criteria for game dev grants can take time to meet. Many countries also offer video games tax relief, a great incentive to encourage developers to make quality games.