Main image of article How Much Would It Cost to Start My Own Gaming Studio?
Many a game developer has contemplated opening his or her own studio. But how much would such a project actually cost? In a new op-ed on Polygon, Nine Dots Studio founder Guillaume Boucher-Vidal suggested that the costs—in terms of money, lost opportunities, and emotion—are enormous. “In three years, I personally went from having $20,000 in savings to $35,000 in debt,” he wrote. “After two unsuccessful Kickstarter campaigns, I was on the verge of bankruptcy before signing a deal with Bandai Namco.” Click here to find game development jobs. From initial incorporation ($500, excluding lawyer costs) to equipment ($3,120 per person, including $800 per PC) and salaries (roughly $3,250 per person), running a relatively small studio is a cash-drain, even before you throw in legal and accounting fees, advertising, and the cost of attending conferences. Boucher-Vidal managed to minimize some of these costs by hosting his employees at his home for the studio’s first year of existence. Despite that, however, he ended up burning through $80,000 in three years before his business saw its first significant profits—a number that would have exploded to $700,000 had he paid employees more in salary. “Having your life in a purgatory state for three years is a very long time, especially considering all the hours put into such a project,” he wrote. “I've been told that any entrepreneur should expect to spend anywhere between two and five years before knowing if your business will really take off and I do believe it's true.” (In the meantime, Boucher-Vidal calculated, he could have earned a comfortable salary and benefits working his old job at Activision.) If you’re willing to put up with the stress and isolation that comes with working ultra-long hours, if you can stomach the enormous risk of starting something from scratch in a cutthroat industry, if you think you can keep an enterprise funded long enough to actually see some profit, then creating a gaming startup might be for you. It takes a certain kind of entrepreneurial mindset to embrace that sort of lifestyle. But often people with that mindset can’t see themselves doing anything else.

Upload Your ResumeEmployers want candidates like you. Upload your resume. Show them you're awesome.

Related Articles

Image: aquatic creature/