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More than a Bundle: 'Sportsfriends' and Compendium as a Business Strategy


Douglas Wilson (Co-Owner, Die Gute Fabrik)

Location: Room 3007, West Hall

Date: Thursday, March 22

Time: 5:30pm - 6:30pm

Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Conference - Get your pass now!

Topic: Business & Marketing, Production & Team Management

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

In a world increasingly full of new releases, sales, and bundles, it's more difficult than ever to get attention for your game and stand out against the crowd. However, despite that language of competition, solo developers and small studios stand to gain considerably from exploring new modes of collaboration. In this talk, Die Gute Fabrik's Douglas Wilson tells the story of 'Sportsfriends;, a local multiplayer compendium released on PlayStation 3&4 and home computers in 2014. He'll share some of the legal and business arrangements behind the project, and discuss how the team designed the product to make it feel like a coherent whole. Riffing off these lessons, Doug will explain how compendiums and other collective strategies help developers create something larger than just themselves: a narrative, a purpose, a zeitgeist.


Doug will provide a detailed account of how the Sportsfriends developers structured their collaboration, examining the project budget, the team's legal contracts, and their profit-sharing system. He'll also discuss ideas for how other teams might use similar collaborations to build creative identity and stand out in the market.

Intended Audience

This talk is primarily aimed at individuals or small teams who are interested in collaborating across different studios. More generally, the talk is aimed at anyone looking to build a creative identity or narrative bigger than just one single game project.