OEN NewsGet in the Game: 3 Takeaways from our May 2015 PubTalk on Oregon’s Gaming Industry

OEN PubTalk on the future of gaming
From left to right, panelists included Nick Lambert of Mountain Machine, Yori Kvitchko of SleepNinja Games; Paul Culp of SuperGenius Studio; and Brian Jamison of Jumpdrive Studios. The discussion was moderated by Robert LaCosse of Intel Corporation.

Whether or not you’re into gaming, you can’t deny the industry’s economic impact here in Oregon. Between 2009 and 2012, it contributed over $111 million to the state’s economy. So, where is this growing industry headed?

At our May 2015 PubTalk, an expert panel of game developers convened to address this question. Here are three key takeaways:

1. Make sure you love what you’re doing because making money in the industry is hard. A successful game may fund itself, and a “hit” may fund the creation of up to 10 other games. But most games are neither successes nor hits. Brian suggested that game developers extend their financial runway by following his example of living out of a sailboat and eating ramen. He also discussed crowdfunding as a great way to not only fundraise but to also test out a game concept before bringing it to market.

2. The gaming industry is forever evolving; there’s no need to succumb to the hysteria. Every year, the industry seems to work itself into a frenzy over the “next big thing,” whether that be Facebook games, mobile games, or virtual reality. Nick and Paul advise that it’s good practice to stay on top of trends, but at the end of the day, you should focus on making the games you love.

3. If you’re interested in game development, the tools for learning are at your fingertips. The biggest change in the industry over the past years is access – all you really need to create a game is a computer and Internet access. That might mean there are a lot more mediocre games on the market, but the good ones will still rise to the top.

See photos and highlights from evening:

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