Video Game Industry Lessons For Product Managers

So i can only speak for myself, but back in the day I used to be quite good at video games — you know, the big stand alone game units that you could only find in arcades. Consequently, I’ve tried to keep up with the home game consoles, but I must confess to using lost my skills.

These days I have to confine myself to an occasional run at Half-Life just to reassure myself that i still get it How to add coins in Gardenscapes. Which introduces an interesting point, wouldn’t be be great to be a product manger at a video game company?

The Video game Industry

If you are the type of one that is easily impressed by big numbers, then try this one out for size. The video game Grand Theft Auto INTRAVENOUS brought in over $300M in a single day when it was released. That was double what the most recent Batman movie brought in the day that it opened.

The and its product managers do have their challenges — things are getting tougher. The cost and complication of developing games are rising with every new release. Oh, and you can imagine the best way fickle video game customers are — one bad release and your product line could be done for.

What Does it Take To have a Successful Video game Product?

Success in the video game industry depends on a combination of solid risk management and savvy research and development. This section of the business will never change. However, the way that video games are traded and how they are being distributed is in the process of a fundamental change that is which affects all product managers.

One new model for video game manufacturers involves ongoing online offerings. In this product offering, users can download the game code for free and then they pay a monthly charge to be allowed to connect to servers that generate the game playing environment where all subscribers can play at the same time.

One of the largest video game manufactures, Activision Blizzard, already generates more than $1B in revenue and more than $500M in exploit its Wow ongoing business. Clearly this is the wave for the future.

Another new focus is what gaming experts are calling the “casual” market. This is how video game product managers looking to expand their possible client base — they looking to create products that appeal to game players who don’t have a lot of time to learn complicated rules. One of the better examples of a popular casual game is Guitar Idol.

Another key decision that video game product managers need to make is to pick which game console they will develop games for. For example. games created the Nintendo DS can be developed more cheaply than those for consoles, manufactures can experiment far more cheaply with techniques that they can’t do for the Playstation or the Wii.

The future Of Video game Products

The video game business is a rough business to be a product manger in. Publishers need to sell about one million copies of a game on the PLAYSTATION 3 250GB or Xbox 360 just to break even. This constant pressure to be happy is generating creative new ideas for product managers.

One new idea that has only just reciently started to show up in video games is the idea of in-game advertising. Sponsered ads can show up on billboards, on character’s clothing, or even as shopfronts in the environment. Because so many of these games are online, ads can be changed over time — few things are fixed.

An additional way to make money that is just starting to be implemented is that the game is free for gamers to play, but they must pay for extra items such as new gear for their players. With certain market sectors, e. gary the gadget guy. teen girls, this can produce rich rewards.


Every product manager yearns for the probability to cause a product that is truly popular and video games sure often fit that description. However, the video game industry is a rough and tumble battlefield that punishes products that fall behind and insists on constant innovation.

Even if you are not getting work done in the video game industry, you can still study from what they are doing. Moving as much of your product support and update process online to reduce costs and boost customer interaction is one innovation that we can all explore doing.

If product mangers can find ways to work innovations from the video game into how they are managing their products, then they will have have found yet another way that great product managers make their product(s) superbly successful.

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