Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Briefly Being Frictional

In this weblog post I am going to give a really brief overview of our "enterprise model". Hopefully it will be exciting to see how we run the business and how we handle to spend salaries and such.

Frictional games was properly started 2007 (although portion of the group has worked collectively ahead of that), which means we will celebrate three year anniversary subsequent year. For the duration of this time we have paid salary to all employees ranging from 2 - 4 people. As far I can recall, we have by no means missed a month (jens: as the a single that pays the salaries - no we have not!). We have been quite lucky in this regard as the earnings can be very unstable, with periods of extremely meager money flow. Our salaries have not been all that good, frequently around what we had as students (correct now I am below that!), but I guess that is what you have to deal with when running your own game company.

For the duration of the whole duration of the firm we have constantly been functioning at property and so have all personnel. Even although we have this really bedroom-coder method, I do not think we live up to being "indie". This because we have relied on publisher assistance to some extent, specially with Black Plague and Requiem. Nonetheless, now we have managed to be get enough funds to turn out to be completely self-supporting and will finance the upcoming game Unknown all by ourselves. Does this mean we are indie now? I have no idea.

Now a bit on the cashflow and a short explanation on exactly where we get our income. In the previous we have gotten most of our revenue as pre-payments from publishers. The cause why a single desires to get advances is because it can take a lengthy time just before publisher income arrives from the actual sales of a game (at least 6 months) and it is also a proof that the publisher is critical.
For Overture, we got the money a few weeks prior to release of the game and a bit afterward. A fantastic deal of the cash in no way reached us (the bit that did was thanks to the "give us the promised cash or you will not get the promised game" technique) because of the not-so-truthful Lexicon Entertainment (now out of enterprise I feel, go figure). But that is one more story.
For Black Plague and Requiem we got a great deal of the payments several months ahead of release and the funds acted as a sort of funding. It is essential to point out that an advance is much more like a loan although, and must be paid back utilizing royalties just before we get something more. So far we have not reached this limit even although it has been over 1.five years given that release (we are very close even though). By not obtaining pre-payments you can generally get a larger royalty price, but in the case of Black Plague and Requiem, it would not have been feasible to generate the games with no getting paid in advance.

One more supply of income are the online sales. The significant element of this are the titles that we personal digital rights to (all mac/linux versions and windows version of Overture). In the past this have not been a enormous amount of revenue but have nonetheless produced it attainable for us to maintain alive during some harsher months and we would probably not have survived without it.
Not too long ago with the weekend sale on steam, and later in our personal shop, this have changed. These sales have shown us just how profitable on-line sales can be and is also the purpose why we are now able to finance the upcoming game ourselves.

Apart from the earnings of on-line sales and publishers we have also had a handful of other lucky extras. Last year we were awarded funding from the Nordic Game Plan. This was some thing arriving just at the correct time and kept the company alive. One more stroke of luck was our cooperation with Reachin and the development of the haptic version of Penumbra. This project was a economic enhance right when we needed and also a quite exciting issue to be involved in.

Hunting back at the previous I believe we have been really fortunate and it nonetheless feels a bit strange to be in a position to make a living out of making games from my living space. Sure we have had our negative occasions too and there have been a lot of times when I thought it was time to appear for a "true" job. We are nonetheless alive and kicking even though and are incredibly excited in seeing what the future holds.

Ultimately thanks to everybody that have supported more than the years! It would be exciting to hear what firm elements you are interested in hearing a lot more about.

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