Incorporating and running a video game studio is a challenge. Doing so requires advanced legal, fiscal, and practical know-how. Even seasoned industry veterans struggle occasionally with the procedural nuances of starting a business. For newly minted independent developers, the startup process is doubly difficult, and oftentimes very intimidating.
Craig Stern is a Chicago-based game designer best known for his game studio Sinister Design, and Telepath Tactics, his turn-based strategy RPG. Craig also organizes a regular meeting of Chicago game design students, appropriately titled, Indie City Games. If that were not impressive enough, he’s also a lawyer. Clearly, Craig’s real life character class is Renaissance Man. I got the chance to talk to Craig, and he was gracious enough to answer a few questions about his work and his games.
Recently I was interviewed by Nicholas Yanes, a contributor to SciFi Pulse, on the subject of eSports. Given the increased visibility of eSports on platforms like Twitch and YouTube, as well as the unique financial and legal aspects involved, eSports are a very hot topic right now. Here is a taste of what we discussed, with the remainder of the interview after the jump.
Hatred achieved notoriety online when it was put on Valve’s Steam Greenlight platform last December, taken down by Valve, and reinstated after public outcry. Valve is a game developer and distributor best known for the games Half-Life, Portal, and Left 4 Dead. They also run Steam, an online distribution platform that allows gamers to purchase, download, and play video games. Steam Greenlight, is a section of the steam platform which allows game developers to upload content from their uncompleted games in hope of garnering public support to be put on Steam proper. Valve can then decide if the game is appropriate for Steam, and facilitate the transition.
The video game industry has experienced some surprising and high profile business acquisitions lately. The summer started strong in May with rumors of Google purchasing video game streaming giant Twitch. By August, gamers and financial analysts alike were equally surprised when news broke that it would be Amazon, not Google, purchasing Twitch. The price? 970 million dollars. Cash.
The greatest threat of private servers is a loss of control over intellectual property rights and unfair market competition.