Well it is the beginning of a new month, if not quite a new year and only eleven months until Christmas and so it seems like a nice time to start our AppyNation daily blog. This is going to be a no holds barred, warts and all commentary of our experiences in the world of digital publishing, or at least that’s the intention. To date we have actually done quite a lot, without actually celebrating too much. Such is the life in a start- up. Our plan is to blog daily and cover how we got to the start line but more importantly deal with the live issues as they come up. To look at our aims and objectives, whilst dealing with the daily tasks that come at you relentlessly in the digital, connected world.  So it will be in two parts, part historic account and part ‘now’.

So let’s just establish who we are and more importantly what we are setting out to do.

First up we are here because NESTA helped us come together as part of their innovation programme. We are a living blueprint and one of my jobs is to document our adventures in digital publishing so that others can follow the path or maybe learn from some of our experiences. ‘We will be successful, it is only a question of time’ is the company mantra and we have decided that AppyNation will be a ‘state of mind’ (thanks Kam Star for the inspiration). We need to be happy, nice and helpful at all times, no matter what. We are a mixture of  six established games developers  and the AppyNation team which currently numbers three. So in terms of location, we are truly virtual and currently work out of at least eight locations daily.

So AppyNation, a name incidentally we came up as a result of some proper collaborative brainstorming back in October of last year, is a digital publisher, owned by its developers which will be the voice and the business engine for the collective. In short we let the developers make the games and we will try our best to let the world know about them, why they are so good and importantly ensure that they are monetized to their optimum. Ultimately it is all about the quality and originality of our games, but we all know that a high quality game does not ensure success.

My job is to lead the whole team and building the team was one of my first tasks. NESTA and a lovely man called Chris Wright held a series of presentations in London, York and Dundee and spelled out their vision of a digital publisher in the mould of Gathering of Developers. After 3 months of preparation, we eventually whittled down all the interested parties in to 6 founding partners, Finblade, Supersonic, Proper Games, Niffler, Lightning Fish and Onteca. Anyone who wanted to join the consortium had to pay in for shares which were matched by NESTA, thus building some working capital for the business. So in June last year, we decided to work together and build AppyNation.

So far this has been a unique experience for all of us, given that they are all running their own dev studios.  As most people know, there  is a major transition happening in the games market, not only from a packaged goods retail focus to a digitally distributed, connected device, platform agnostic future, but console development has become a very risky model for developers nowadays. In short the old ways of working whereby developers usually looked to a traditional publisher to provide project funding, marketing, sales, distribution and sometimes more. In the world of digital, access to markets full to the brim  with potential customers, gamers and future fans is far easier. But it is easier for everyone and thus the competition for attention and who knows some of those customers’ pennies, cents, Eurocents and all the other currencies is immense and actually off the scale!

And now fast forward to today. We have to firm up our release schedule, continue work on our next iteration of our website, get some business cards and welcome our new team member Robin Clarke who has joined us on Monday. Oh and make the tea.