Why Competition in Game Dev Is A Good Thing
So, let’s talk a bit about competition. Why is it that most people think that competition is bad? When you think about video games and other specific stuff such as digital products, software, etc., most people think that having competition is a bad thing. But is it really? I mean, think about it. I go to a mall because I need to buy something at a store inside it. I can get the thing that I want and then some other stuff because there are other things there that I can buy.
Now, the weird thing about a mall is that there are a TON of different stores that sell the same thing. They LITERALLY sell the SAME product. There are shoe stores, there are clothes stores, and there are video game stores–all kinds of different stores. So what makes one store better than others? Why would people pay money to be part of an organization or a physical space where they are literally next to a competition? Why does Burger King set up right across the street from McDonald’s? Why does that happen if COMPETITION IS BAD?
Crazy thing is, I don’t actually think competition’s BAD. I think it’s GOOD.
Here’s why: I use to run a marketing company for several years and one of the things I learned running that marketing company is that COMPETITION IS A GOOD THING. And the reason why it’s good is because competition means there are people looking for what you sell. If you see a competitor and they are doing well that means they have a ton of YOUR customers sitting there and waiting. That is a good thing.
When you are creating a new product, especially a game, sometimes you don’t know if anybody will even want your game. Because games are a little bit different from other software. Most software development and product development starts with the concept of a problem. They solve a problem or they allow you to do something faster than you otherwise would not have been able to do.
Games are a little bit different because many people start with the idea for a game and they don’t necessarily know if there will be a demand for it. But the beautiful thing about competition is if you see a similar game,to yours that’s already been launched, you will be able to see how people react to it. Is it selling well? If so, you know there’s a demand for it.
But what do most people say when they see a similar game that’s doing well? They say, “Oh, that game, it’s like a copy of mine, it looks just like mine, people are buying that, people are going to think I copied them”. Everybody copies everybody first.
Another thing is if that game is selling well, that means your game is also going to sell well. There is nothing bad about that. Competition is a good thing, it really, TRULY is. The more competition, the bigger the market. Games happen to be a massive, HUGE market. So if you think about it, and you’re doing games, then you have a huge, HUGE potential to sell a LOT of games because you know there’s a ton of people out there. You know, specifically, that there are thousands upon thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of people out there ready to play your game because the market’s so MASSIVE. The bigger your segment is the more people you have in that segment that can actually finish your game or actually play your game and buy your game and all that stuff, so IT IS a GOOD thing.
I am very concerned about the fact that most people think competition is a bad thing. They shut down at the first sight of competition. They say, “Oh, competition—I see this guy’s got a game just like mine I’m going to quit!” or “Darn! He already did that so I can’t do it anymore.” That is a BAD way to think about it. Trust me. You don’t want to fall into that trap. Because if you see someone else who has a similar idea to yours and it’s selling well, it’s doing well, people like it. THAT should be a green light to you to go full force on your idea and get it out there.
Trust me on this. I know it seems counter-intuitive but this whole concept is the reason why malls exist. There are clothing stores right next to each other—because they know that if one person buys clothes, THAT is their customer and they are much more likely to come into their store and buy clothes as well, right? They set up shop next to their competitors because their competitors attract their customers. Think about THAT.
Once you start thinking in the Abundance Mindset of there is plenty to go around and not, “Oh! There are very few people! I have to get everyone that I can because there aren’t enough to go around.” THAT is BAD! That is TOXIC! And that will put you out of business quicker than anything on the planet. You have to get in the mindset of abundance where there is more than enough, there is plenty to go around, there are plenty of customers, there is plenty of money, there is plenty of sales, there is plenty of EVERYTHING! That is why these stores set-up right next door to each other.
Businesses set up next to each other because they KNOW that if the competitors have customers, those customers are their customers as well. DO NOT forget that! That is a massive lesson—especially in indie game development, especially in software development—competition means you have a market. It means there is demand for your product. Do not forget that! If you do, you will go out of business and you will unfortunately give all the customers away to someone else, and that is something you do not want to happen.
Until next time. If you have any questions on this or anything else, leave a comment below or tweet me at #TIMRUSWICK and I’ll be happy to answer them.