Meet the Madness Ventures Team: Your Questions Answered

Posted Aug 17, 2022
In News

Why start this incubator?

We want to foster innovation not only internally but also externally because we believe that great ideas exist among talented game entrepreneurs. This incubator platform allows us to create personal and privileged relationships with ambitious and innovative entrepreneurs who need funds and guidance to develop their ideas.

At Product Madness, we are fortunate to have some of the best and the brightest industry talent within our business.  We are committed to supporting the ambition and ideas of our teams, and it’s no coincidence that we have grown to become a market leader in mobile games in our core genres as a result.  Given our size and global scale, we also recognise the need to play a part in fostering and investing in innovation across our industry, supporting the pipeline of future talent along the way.  We know there are some exceptional new game concepts being conceived but that many game entrepreneurs do not have the contacts, resources and support needed to bring these games to market.  If we can bring these great ideas to life through our incubator programme, then we will not only bring fresh and exciting games to our millions of players around the world, we will help top talent and our vibrant industry to thrive.  

 

Why the focus on chance-based f2p games?

Free-to-play (F2P) mobile games are  extremely popular, with many of the most-loved games played by millions of people every day.   Our vision is to deliver F2P games with an element of chance in the gameplay, which is a pretty broad definition. Many games have an element of chance - these can be very satisfying challenges for players where probability meets skill.  As this is our field of expertise, we’re confident we can mentor talented teams to create the next genre-defining hit on mobile.

Madness Ventures incubator is looking for developers or teams to submit early-stage mobile game ideas. The games can be of any genre, but must include the following requirements:

  • Chance Based: Core gameplay must be based on the probability of random outcomes
  • Innovative: The games must include an innovative edge that'll be able to easily distinguish themselves from the competition
  • Ambitious & Scalable: Games must have great appeal and commercial potential.

 

Given the scrutiny over chance-based monetisation mechanics, how will Product madness guide indies on best practices/fairness to consumers, etc? 

That’s a great question.  It’s important to reiterate that we are looking to add to our stable of free-to-play games - that means games that can be enjoyed by any player for free.  However, as a company, we strive to lead in all matters relating to the player experience and that extends to responsible gameplay (or RG) standards too.  We have a longstanding commitment to setting and exceeding industry and regulatory standards to ensure we create a safe and transparent environment for players.  In fact, we are part of a portfolio of games companies under Pixel United, which has recently set a new bar by establishing a dedicated RG division for its free-to-play portfolio.  It is worth mentioning that any monetisation mechanics included in the games developed through Madness Ventures will not necessarily be chance-based - it is only the gameplay that has to include an element of chance.  But, as you might expect, we have clear guidelines and policies that are applied to every game we create and these will be shared with teams and upheld as part of the MV development process.  In fact, we consider this yet another area in which we can add significant value to prospective developers. 

 

Given that the same few companies have dominated the free-to-play space, how challenging is it for indies to break into this space? How do you guide them while setting realistic expectations? 

We recognise it can be very challenging for independent studios and developers to break into this space. That's exactly why we came up with this incubator programme. We hope to solve the first problem by providing access to the funding, resources and mentorship needed to develop, test and launch a great game idea, so that the dev team can  focus on doing what they do best - making great games. Beyond the funding, we bring extensive knowledge in analytics and performance marketing to conduct marketing tests, tech launches and soft launches that can otherwise be costly and time intensive . 

In terms of setting expectations, we will define with any successful dev team a gated production approach with clear and realistic expectations at each gate. We believe in agile game development so the program focuses on fast market testing. 

One of the key success factors of this program is to align our goals with the ones of our potential partners, and set realistic and shared expectations. 

 

Beyond 'chance-based f2p', what sort of games are you looking for? Any genres or target audiences in mind?

We are open to all genres, as long as there is an element of chance in the core gameplay. 

 

How many indies will this incubator support? How much finance will they receive?

We are targeting to support up to 10 teams for the first year of the program.  Our dedicated application portalis now open, and we will continue to review submissions on a rolling basis – though we would encourage early applications!  We will agree funding with each team according to their needs, but what makes this program unique is that we will offer a suite of support that goes way beyond just the financing of the game itself. Access to world-class resources, subject matter experts, industry networks and, honestly, a fun and fast paced work environment.

 

What plans are there to support indies beyond this incubator? 

We hope this incubator will be a real game-changer in the industry. It is an unprecedented approach to partnership between an established market leader and the vibrant and exceptional development scene.  The programme also complements the well-established studio and talent incubator programme facilitated by Pixel United, which I would encourage any developer or independent studio to consider if they have a great game that sits outside of the criteria for Madness Ventures.  Here at Product Madness, we  are focused on  bringing onboard as many talented teams as possible - and we look forward to the opportunities and new connections that Madness Ventures will bring.

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