Game Development Reference
The Best Points Developers Can Make During a Pitch
As discussed in Chapter 4, Hyatt puts a lot of stock in the long-term goals a game creates for its players: “What's
the aspiration of a player? What's the thing they're trying to build in the future? How would they imagine them-
selves playing the game in a year? What's the moment-to-moment experience in order to meet the aspiration?”
This isn't just a high-minded design goal, but good business sense. His firm invests in games as a recurring
service, not games enjoyed for a day or two and then discarded.
For the company pitching to Hyatt, they need to answer two key questions:
1. Why now?
2. Why you?
“We invest in areas where there might be an opportunity for explosive growth,” he says. Most companies
aren't likely to realize such growth, so the developer must explain to him why they're the exception.
Know Your Strengths and State Your Weaknesses
“What I want to see is an entrepreneur who understands their biggest strength and their biggest weakness and
be able to talk about both honestly,” says Hyatt. Some developers in search of funding may obscure their short-
comings, but he would prefer if they say something like: “If you're not going to invest, this is the number one
reason you're not going to invest.” Not only does this demonstrate that the developer truly understands their
business, it also opens up an opportunity for the VC to offer suggestions and help the startup.
There's a corollary to this advice: Developers should know what they're best at and be able explain why and
how. “A small company can't be good at one hundred things,” says Hyatt. “They can only afford to be number
one in one area.”
Understanding How to Sell VCs on Your
Game, Part II: Jeremy Liew, Lightspeed
E-mail Jeremy Liew at firstname.lastname@example.org .
A managing director with Lightspeed Venture Partners, Jeremy Liew has invested in a number of successful
gaming companies, including Playdom (acquired by Disney), Serious Business (bought by Zynga), and
KIXEYE. Liew is always interested in pitches from game developers, in the form of a two-page executive sum-
mary—although, as he explains in the interview that follows, user activity numbers matter more to him than
design. “You're better off when you have the user engagement and monetization data,” as Liew puts it.