Dragon Army is in the hits business, but we aren’t going to let that fool us

by Jeff Hilimire on November 7, 2013


The very hits capable team of Dragon Army +  friends, at the Ender’s Game premiere last week

One of my co-founders at Dragon Army, David Cummings, wrote an interesting post this week about the business of mobile gaming being a hits business. It’s something that David and I have talked about a lot, particularly how dissimilar it is from the B2B tech software world that he comes from and the B2B tech services world that I come from.

In the B2B tech software world, for example, you often start off by grinding out individual clients, sometimes at small numbers like $50/month, until you build enough momentum to hire another sales person to do the same thing, then two more, etc, etc. Eventually, you can build an incredibly successful and attractive business.

The mobile gaming space is a different beast altogether. The companies that really blow the doors off the competition, such as Rovio and King.com, are making millions a day off of their titles. According to recent reports, Candy Crush Saga is making just under $900,000/day on iOS alone. And its a free game to download! I’d guess most of you reading this have found yourself addicted to that game at one point in time as I know I have.

So while I agree that the mobile gaming business is a hits driven market, I believe that to be the case when you’re talking about massive, massive success. Our intent at Dragon Army is to build a business that is capable of producing hits but that is also built for the long-term. My current theory on this space is that most game studios take two or three huge swings hoping for a home run, and when those swings don’t pay off they struggle to stay afloat. Or they end up hitting a home run early and then assume that to be the norm and build their company on that assumption, only to find themselves with a titanic that they can no longer steer out of the way of the icebergs.

While I can’t share exactly what the plan is for accomplishing this, partly because its not fully baked and partly because I think we may have stumbled on to something exciting, I can say that we’ll be deliberate about what we do as a company knowing that the long-term goal is to create a self-sustaining, hits-capable mobile gaming studio and produce titles along the way that we can be proud of.

I’ll end with one of my favorite quotes that I think is appropriate to the way we want to build Dragon Army: Funny thing, the harder I work and the more I prepare, the luckier I get. While we certainly expect that having a huge hit will need to involve a bit of luck, we’re going to work hard in the meantime to build a sustainable business to put us in line for that luck to happen.

Or in other words, we’re going to make our own luck.

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