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How To Build A Profitable Gaming Company: Kenny Rosenblatt, CEO of Arkadium (Part 3)

Posted on Saturday, Dec 10th 2011

Sramana: How long did it take you to get the first game out the door?

Kenny Rosenblatt: I took us six months, and it was a disaster of an experience. We had never worked with offshore development companies before, and we had never designed a game before. I knew we were in trouble when our lead programmer in India told us that our software was built like a house of glass.

Sramana: What does that mean?

Kenny Rosenblatt: It could break very easily. Each time we went to show a game, the system would break or crash. It was completely unstable. It was not very fun.

Sramana: What was your basis for electing to use that particular development firm? Did they have experience developing games?

Kenny Rosenblatt: They had limited experience building games. They had built two. The real decision to select them was the price. It was the only thing we could afford. It was a disaster. We made several trips to India, which was the only way that we every got anything delivered. I would spend nights in the office with the programmers. I would say that it was a collective failure on the part of Jessica and me because we did not know how to give specifications to an offshore team. On their part, they simply were not game developers.

Sramana: How did you recover from that disaster?

Kenny Rosenblatt: We found a company in Ukraine called Offshore Creations that we gave small projects to. We gave them small $100 and $200 projects, and they kept coming back with great results. In India the team would say yes to everything and never deliver. The Ukrainian team was very cautious and they gave us a lot of no’s, but they always delivered a great product. The people in Ukraine eventually replaced the entire system we had built in India.

Sramana: Essentially you fired the India team and started all over with a Ukrainian team. How long did it take the Ukrainian team to deliver the product?

Kenny Rosenblatt: It took four to six months. This time we had a great product.

Sramana: How did you launch the product and bring it to market?

Kenny Rosenblatt: We had no money or investment to bring the product to market or advertise it. We used word of mouth and told our friends. We had a bit of momentum, but what we found was the people we got to the website were few and far between and that the money we were able to make off the website was minimal. We had an audience size problem and we had a monetization problem. People liked playing games, but they were not willing to pay.

This segment is part 3 in the series : How To Build A Profitable Gaming Company: Kenny Rosenblatt, CEO of Arkadium
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