Take the uncertainty out of game funding with alternate sources, better pitches and more

Presented by Xsolla

For indie video games, funding will be the largest impediment. But on this VB Live occasion, you’ll study all the things you could know from main trade execs, from ideas and greatest practices on discovering the proper investor and profitable them over, to pitching, negotiating and more.

Register right here without spending a dime.

“There’s never been more money available in the gaming industry, and much of that is directly targeted at funding indie games,” says Nathan Sölbrandt, Business Development Manager for Europe at Xsolla Funding. For instance, the EU has dedicated to record-breaking grant funding for video games. But as game engines proceed to enhance, and third-party marketplaces give anybody immediate entry to improvement instruments, the limitations to entry have additionally dropped considerably.

“It’s never been easier to become a game developer,” Sölbrandt says. “There’s more money available for funding, but the technological improvement has had a deflationary effect on game development which has led to an amount of competition that was unfathomable 10 years ago.”

How do you break by means of the noise and achieve success to find the funding choice that’s best for you and the ambition you haven’t solely in your game, however your studio’s longevity?

Setting your sights on a market

At the highest stage, builders want to grasp what their objectives are earlier than they even think about the greatest avenue to funding, or the funding that shall be most helpful to the game.

“Unfortunately, given how crowded it is at the moment, having a good game doesn’t guarantee it’s a good investment,” Sölbrandt says. “If it’s not positioned correctly, if it doesn’t differentiate itself, if you haven’t thought about where it fits in the marketplace, it’s a challenge.”

It’s about nailing down who your viewers is — what they’re enjoying now, and why they’d change over to your game in any respect — and constructing a enterprise case round that market, what units you aside and why you’re greatest positioned to make a splash.

Setting the goalposts

Next, think about your studio’s ambitions, what kind of studio you need to be. Is the aim to construct IP round a title that grows right into a franchise, or maintain delivery tons of small video games? Do you need to develop your group, and are you ready to be a supervisor, or do you need to keep on the improvement facet?

“No one gets into game development because they love to raise money. They want to create games,” Sölbrandt says. “To me it’s only after a team clearly articulates these ambitions that you can have a conversation about the most appropriate funding partner.”

For instance, if you wish to construct IP, you’d sometimes need to search for fairness, to boost bigger quantities and pace up your improvement timeline. For tons of smaller video games of various types, you’d go for publishers — however in case you’re seeking to increase a studio, enhance your headcount, transfer quick, and construct a bigger game, particularly in case you’re at an indie stage of expertise, it’s going to be exhausting to discover a writer that may finance that.

Developing the proper pitch

The fundamentals for a pitch embrace a exact finances and timeline, and general aesthetic. Budget is normally the most urgent concern, and although it’s tempting, keep away from the mistake of providing flexibility (as an example, “We’d like $500K but we can work with $100K”).

“The paradoxical situation here, which I see in the indie space quite a lot, is that developers think if they make their ask cheaper, it’s going to be more appealing. They take money out of the budget because they think that will get them a better opportunity for funding,” Sölbrandt says. “But the publisher or investor starts to get nervous that there’s not going to be enough money to finish the game, and that they’ll then be on the hook for that.”

And for some buyers, it’s additionally fairly essential to speak a way of the general aesthetic. If you may supply not solely a wonderful pitch deck and paintings, however display your positioning in relation to current video games, people who find themselves skilled in the trade can in a short time get a really feel for the place this game suits in the market, he provides.

“We had a pitch competition at Devcom this year, and one group got up and just nailed their positioning  with their first slide,” he says. “You could see it instantly clicked for everyone.”

Alternate sources of funding

The funding panorama is more diverse than ever earlier than, from grants and crowdsourcing to enterprise capital, venture funding, co-investment, publishers and platform holders. Xsolla Funding provides merchandise like the Xsolla Funding Club, which is a free matchmaking service to attach builders with more than 190 publishers and buyers. The firm playtests each game, and has helped over 90 video games get funding in the final two years.

More lately it launched the Xsolla Games Investment Platform in the U.S. and Xsolla Accelerator. The Game Investment Platform is designed to make game funding more accessible to buyers and builders with revenue-sharing based mostly offers. It permits high-net-worth people to take a position instantly in video video games, and builders to obtain financing from a number of buyers; Xsolla handles the center floor, facilitating the matchmaking, authorized, monetary logistics and so on — one thing like a gaming-focused Kickstarter for accredited buyers. With Accelerator, builders have the alternative to take part in an intensive 16-week program with mentorship on all subjects associated to a game’s success, plus bridge funding of as much as $100,000.

Wherever you find yourself in your funding journey, the factor builders have to maintain entrance and heart is their ardour for video games, from enjoying them to creating them. The highway will get extraordinarily irritating at instances, with typical knowledge generally not stacking as much as real-world experiences, particularly on the VC facet.

“Thinking of it a bit like a game is good,” Sölbrandt says. “Nobody is successful the first time. Every game you’ve ever played or enjoyed, the developers were at some point in a similar position to where you are as a developer. It’s not always as daunting as you think — and these days there’s a huge amount of resources available.”

To study more about how the funding course of works, new methods to faucet into funding and greatest practices for taking your greatest shot, don’t miss this VB Live occasion!

Register right here without spending a dime.


  • Pitching fundamentals from crafting to supply
  • Best practices for the only vertical slice/playable construct
  • What form of investor is greatest
  • How to seek out and persuade the proper investor
  • Where to seek out various sources of funding


  • Nathan Sölbrandt, Business Development Manager Europe – Funding, Xsolla
  • Lawrence Mien, Director of Partner Experience, Xsolla
  • Dean Takahashi, Lead Writer, GamesBeat (moderator)


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