From Feb-27 to Mar-01 GILP participated at the Game Connection America 2017. We had a booth there alongside the Brazilian Game Developers delegation to showcase our games in search of publishers, distributors and investors. In this blog post I’ll summarize the event and highlight some things that worked out well for us there.
What is game connection
The Game Connection America (GC) is an event that happens annually at the same time as GDC. It happens from Monday to Wednesday in San Francisco at the AT&T Park. While GDC embraces a wider spectrum of topics, GC targets only at business. GC is a place where small to large companies from all around the world gather to sell their services, games, and technologies. At the buyers side GC brings publishers, investors, and devs from all over the world looking for studios to outsource their work, new IPs to distribute, technologies to include in their games, etc. All in one, GC is a place for video game business.
The meeting app
Prior to the event you can already schedule meetings and arrange your agenda. The meeting app provided by GC is a powerful tool and let you start talking about business even before the event has started. There you can add a personal profile, a company page, and also include pages for each project you are taking to the event. There all companies and projects are listed and it is possible to send meeting requests to anyone listed.
The app becomes available 1-2 months before the event and one or two weeks prior to it the app automatically arranges everyone’s agenda based on meetings confirmed. After this auto-schedule process you can still request meetings, but now only at time slots available at the other company agenda.
As I recommendation I would say to, as soon as the auto-schedule happens, send new meeting requests to the ones that had still not confirmed an old meeting request. This is important because your old meeting request doesn’t have a time slot associated with it, and it is better to guarantee asap that the company you want to talk to has a reserved time slot for you at their agenda.
There is a lot going on at GC and this can be overwhelming at first. Publishers, outsourcing, marketing, user acquisition, services, dev studios, investors… and the list goes on and on. However, if you have is a clearly defined goal, this bunch of things will actually be cut down to a handleable situation.
We went to GC primarily focused on finding publishers / investors to our new game Areia. Our secondary objective was finding publishers to our mobile games. With this in mind, we could optimize our time and energy with meetings that actually mattered to us. We ended up with not a lot of meetings scheduled, however, they were all meaningful to us.
As we didn’t have a lot of meetings scheduled we had a lot of free time. At first we were worried about this, however, this free time slots proved to be extremely important. There are some people who you don’t have a chance to talk to at the meeting app or even ones that were not there at all.
During our first two days there, almost all of our free time slots were filled with people walking by and asking about our games (the third day was not that busy). Although most of these meetings were not related to our objectives, some of them turned to be very important to us. Also it was a nice way to spread the word about our studio and games to others in the game industry.
It is also a nice idea to have some free time to relax. The whole event is very exhausting, especially if you are travelling a long distance to San Francisco. Having two or more people at the event is also a good idea as you can take turns to relax, eat and even go to the bathroom without worrying about leaving your booth empty!
Having multiple projects being showcased helped us in a lot of ways. First and most visible, our booth was visually attractive; A bunch of printed materials with different games and characters draws the attention of the ones passing by. This contributed substantially in filling our free time slots as mentioned above.
Second it allowed us to talk with different types of publishers and increase our chance of success; Depending on whom we were talking to, we focused on a different game that would interest them the most.
Overall the Game Connection America 2017 was an wonderful experience for our studio. It was awesome to hear feedback from our games and start conversations that can probably translate into future partnerships. Not to mention all the fun we had meeting old friends and with the new ones we made, because not everything is about business, we are still humans after all!