The gaming industry is where it’s at right now. This is a great industry to invest in, because it’s an industry that generates billions, is adored by millions, and has a golden age just around the corner. As a freelance developer and someone who runs my own small company, I am fully invested in this industry already. But there are other ways you can invest without resorting to starting your own company.
One of the ways you can invest is to buy stocks in listed gaming companies. There are many of these, including some of the biggest ones. The likes of Activision and Electronic Arts are on the stock exchange. If it’s mobile gaming you want to invest in then sink your money in King or ZYNGA.
One of the key things to remember here is that the start-ups, the indie companies and the other small timers are not listed. There are penny stocks for smaller companies, but these still tend to be multi-million dollar companies.
You can also go for the big boys, buying stock in Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, all of which are listed on stock exchanges around the world.
Investing in Games via Crowdfunding
There are crowdfunding sites that will let you invest in games that are being made. I like this option, but only if a few requirements are met. Firstly, I don’t care if they offer me a free game or a download code to get one. I want one that is limited edition, otherwise I’m not investing I’m just buying.
I also want to know that they will make the game and not just runaway with the money. A good way to work this out if they have made games in the past and if they actually have some of the game made. As any game developer will tell you, just because they have an idea and some artwork doesn’t mean anything will come of it.
I can’t tell you how many projects I have that will never get out of the development stage. Sometimes you find out that it’s just too costly, just not possible, or that there is a logistics nightmare when it comes to development, release and marketing.
The best way to get your money into successful ideas is to put yourself out there as an investor looking to back developers with money. You can set the requirements, you can make the demands and you can make sure that the project is worthy. Don’t just offer to put money behind them though.
You should play an active role. I had someone do this with me and my company early on. They were a friend of a friend who knew I was getting involved with gaming, had some money to spare and wanted their own share. They helped to get my business off the ground, but they also help with the production and outsourcing, they help with the marketing, and they do so much more.
If you’re getting a big share of a company or game, then make sure you give them your money’s worth.
Is It Worth It?
I recently worked with someone who had received a large windfall and he invested most of this in websites, games and apps. It sounded crazy when I first heard about it and as someone who was only working on a few of his gaming ideas; I believed it was crazy right until the end.
I finished the job, I was paid and then I made my exit. It was fun. I met a nice guy and I learned that there are people out there willing to invest basically all they have on what I believed was a whim. However, I later discovered that one of the games I had worked on was a success. I had a small role, but I recognized it and I was pleasantly surprised to see it had done well.
Still, not quite enough to justify investing all of your windfall, right? Well, I then heard that this investor had succeeded with most of his games, his sites and a few apps. Using a substantial investment he had created a very successful media company. Most of his success came from the Chinese market, but money was money. He is now doing incredibly well, and all of this came even though he has no programming skills of any kind.
It goes to show that if you have the ideas, the money and the determination, this is a great industry to invest in. Of course, you really do need to work hard and it’s a huge risk, but it’s worked for many and it could work for you. Personally, as long as you hire me to do the work, I don’t mind either way!