Long time ago Reinout te Brake started to take his “hobby” more serious, and started Game Consultant. Throughout the last decade he has been advising people on video games. And what a two decades it were 2000-2020. I always jokingly say, that my career started when we still had download games that you had to pay for. No mobile smart phones, yes, you are reading it right.
Gosh, I do miss those early days, but having said that, I enjoyed all the new technologies and platforms like social media, that came to our games industry. It made our business very challenging. A fun ride with realy tough moments and super fun times. It made me who I am today. A Game Consultant. Some even call me their ‘consigliere‘, since they want me to listen to them, their management, shareholders and other strategic talks. Once I listen and let things sink in, I then come out and advise. I enjoy having vivid discussions about positioning, strategy and story telling.
What is a Game Consultant? Let me describe you my day to get a better idea of that! I start the day with checking (actualy throughout the day) the game news. What is happening, trends, innovations and more. Sometimes articles mention people I do know, who I then send a message to congratulate or to ask more background. Usualy I have a few calls scheduled during the day, I try to use regular time spots like 10am, 2pm, 4pm. Same with my meetings if no calls. Always have enough time between calls and meetings, so I can check on news, mails and feedback. During the day, I also have to write my feedback on certain topics, prepare boardmeetings, investigate interesting M&A targets etc.. As you can see, if no structure, then it is impossible to be a Game Consultant.
Lots of people think, ah, well, game consultant is someone that goes from one clients to another and takes a good monthly fee. Yes, I do see these types too! Am I different? Hope so, since some ‘clients’ I do know for more then 10 years and have been advising them (freely sometimes, since I belief in karma) all along. Also I do look at your company. Where are you with funding, revenues etc.. That determines if I will work with you, or just advice you freely and how I will work with you when it comes with activities and fee.
What I dont do as a Game Consultant? Raise funding under 1.5-2mio euros. I will make introductions, advice a bit on strategy, but I know you gonna need every dollar to get to success. Also founders need, in (pre)early stage, to raise themselves. This looks better towards investors. I can not make a difference. How the hell would I know if it becomes a success? If I would know 110%, guess what. When your game studio, or game related service company, is ready for Series A, then I can make a difference; SWOT, Storytelling/strategy, Forecast, Defining boardmembers and Targetting investors. Then I am worth the money, so I claim!
I also dont get operationally involved. That is why you have your human capital, meaning employees. What I am doing, is checking if the processes in your company are working well. Talk to employees and listen. Are they telling me the same as what the management is claiming they are doing. Also, besides integrating certain (corporate) strategies, it is my task to make sure that employees understand the strategy and embrace it.
In fact, a Game Consultant is someone that, in my case for sure, you can call any time about anything, even private related. Running a business is finding a good balance between work and private and making sure both are getting “check-up’s” from time to time. Talking out loudly can help a lot of times, it only takes some questions (honestly and very blund sometimes) from my side to take on the rest of the day and making things happen.
I have come to learn that you can not only create success. In fact, it is true, you need failures. But do bear in mind, when you have your failures, you need loving people around you. So I am very much focussed on the total package of my clients. That is my task as a Game Consultant. Therefore I sometimes hear myself saying to someone that is completely stressed out; “go home, have sex, talk tomorrow”.
Endig on a serious note; I am not a networker, I do meet people and take a serious interest in each and everyone I do meet. The diversity of my clients makes it that I can put people in contact with others in different stages and phases. And when it takes some tuning, they call the Game Consultant; Me!