Game Development Reference
From the sales group come the Market Development Fund (MDF) costs that
the publisher pays stores in the retail channel for prime shelf space, end caps,
shelf talkers, and ads in their circulars.
The sales group is also the source for income estimates. Most companies do not
give credence to a P&L statement until the sales department indicates that it
believes the unit sales estimates to be achievable.
From the business group come allowances for returns, corporate overhead, and
calculations for royalty payments if your game is based on an external license.
The bottom line of the P&L is the Return on Investment (ROI) number. This must
show that the company can make more money investing in your game than in some
less risky venture, such as putting the money in the bank and drawing interest for two
years. Companies are in business to make money. If you can't convince them that your
game will be profitable enough to justify the risk, it will never be approved.
Make a list of the games that will be competing with yours for sales and explain the
ways in which your game will be better. If you believe the game is similar to past suc-
cessful games, explain the similarities to those hits and present their sales numbers.
Summarize the credentials of your team and its key individuals, with an emphasis on
how their experience shows they have the ability to deliver the game. Publishers fre-
quently put as much weight on people and their track records as they do on the actu-
al proposal in front of them. The goal of this section is to instill confidence that your
group can get the job done.
Lay out all the things that can go wrong and how you plan to deal with problems that
might arise. Some common risks that threaten projects are
Difficulties recruiting personnel
Late delivery of console dev-kits
Reliance on external sources for key technology components
Changes in the installed base of the target platform
Competitive technology developments