118 Things to Know About Running a Game Development Company 7 test on different hardware running different local preferences. Don't forget that it's not just your game that gets localized; you'll need to translate the box, sales material, and anything else used to sell the game. Check out Octagon's white paper on maximizing international revenue from games: http:// www.octagon1.com/resources/wtpapersframe.htm. #59 Don't make a game that copies another game; you should be able, in one sentence, to persuade the publisher and the consumer of your game's unique selling properties. Maybe two sentences. #60 Extra features don't always make a game better. #61 Always have the ability to audit. #62 Own your technology. Full stop. #63 Publishers want teams with experience, but what they really want is teams with experience together (experience meaning shipped product). As one executive put it: "I don't even care if they put it out with a small publisher; I want to see a team get through one battle before we sign them." #64 Publishers will generally only develop a game that has sequel and franchise potential (and where they own the rights to those sequels/franchises). #65 The decision to produce your game happens by committee, and usually that committee is in- ternational. In other words, the European product development/sales and marketing group has to look at the sell sheet and say, "I think we can sell 60K of this game." From there, it is often a cost- benefit analysis: how many copies in total does the company think it can sell, at what marketing, distribution, and development cost, and how much profit does that leave? #66 Publishers, developers, and retailers are all feeling similar pain right now: the cost of develop- ment is going up, team size is going up, the price for games probably won't go up, and shelf space is bursting with too much product.