Since the fall of the E3 empire; there is a noticeable hole in the gaming industry calendar. When will all the announcements we’ve been working on (for our employers and/or our clients) happen and how?
If cartoons have taught us anything, this is when the cowboys and charlatans of the industry will rub their hands menacingly and try to Get Up To No Good. Damn rascals.
Mike Futter, an industry consultant, puts the advice you need in one very neat tweet.
Developers and publishers, you’re going to see a pop-up industry emerge trying to opportunistically capitalize on the current situation and event cancelations.
Vet. Your. Partners.
Don’t buy snake oil. Ask around. Don’t sign a thing until you get references.
— Mike Futter (@Futterish) March 13, 2020
Having worked in the gaming industry for 20 years this year, we have seen have-a-goers come and go. So, here’s a blog post about how to find a supplier that won’t screw you over…
…written by a supplier…
…who won’t screw you over. So we should know.
1. Ask relative questions
Treat it as though you’re interviewing for a new member of staff; any agents you bring in are to compliment or challenge you and your work style – it’s a collaboration.
If you can’t speak easily with your agent or agency, that communication navigation will get more pronounced and compounded whilst you’re trying to push the project through. Communication is key to all and any activation, project or business.
2. Ask for case studies
Scrutinise the agency you’re looking to bring on-board. Whether they’ve delivered something similar before is one of the first thoughts you’re going to have – so act on it, ask for information, context and background. They may be limited on what they can share with you from their previous clients and contracts but you’ll get a sense of whether they’re up to the task.
Personally, I like hearing from suppliers whether there has been a project that didn’t go to plan… no project is easy, we all know that.
3. References from previous or current clients
Whilst the agent or supplier will be putting their favourite client-turned-friend as a referee, it’s a nice little step to take that can flag up some concerns in the process. If they can’t provide a reference for a client similar to yours (i.e. a game developer), then are they really stable within the gaming – or any – industry?
4. Google them
Have a look at their social channels – if they have any. Explore whether they have been involved in something recently or in the past that may come up; especially if you’re looking for community building or management support.
When things get sour, you don’t want any nasty surprises to navigate…
5. Ask your peers
If you have any friends, contacts, or forums on LinkedIn and Facebook you can check in with – do. Ask about the agency’s reputation or experience, you’ll get honest, useful information and reaction. It’s a great way to vet the agent!
And most important…
6. Trust your gut.
Instinct exists for a reason. Trust it.
A Bruce-y bonus…
The one thing that I would add – don’t be surprised if the agent is vetting you. Working as a supplier or agent is a careful balance of providing a service to a client on the promise of pay or future work. There have been several times with new clients when we walked away because something seemed “off”.
Whilst this can be a long, drawn-out process; in today’s business climate it’s important to make sure you’re investing and bringing an agent on-board who will support you. In the long-run, this will save your time and peace of mind. Now for a cheeky plug…
Fancy practicing the above steps? Vet us and find out!