Good Shepherd’s marketing director, Vernon Vrolijk, has described the international games industry as an “overwhelming” landscape, from the perspective of an investor, in an interview yesterday with MCV@gamescom on the firm’s dual business as an investment platform and a publisher.
“Our publishing arm is about finding games that we’re confident in, and that we believe in. Basically we act as a filter [for our investment arm], because there are thousands of games, and the reality is that a lot of investors don’t understand games,” he explained. “Investing in entertainment is the scariest investment you can make. Be it film or music. It’s very high risk,” he said, adding that the sentiment is even stronger in games.
“The reason is, unlike movies for instance, video games are relatively young. So you have a lot of investors who have just never played games. But they see maybe their kids play games; they see how big it is. But they don’t necessarily understand it. The challenge they’re meeting, as well, is that we have our own culture. We speak a certain way, we have our own dialogue, we do events very differently than anybody else. So if you have anyone external looking in, it’s very overwhelming.”
He then highlighted why investing in games through Good Shepherd acts as a filter for investors: “We act as the translator. We can say: ‘This is a team we believe in, we’re going to work with them’. We’re committed. You invest with us, we are on the same terms, we’re onboard, we’re putting our money where our mouth is.”
Good Shepherd’s mission is not only to help devs finance their games and get them out there (and make a business out of it): Vrolijk told MCV@gamescom the company also has a higher goal.
“The long term vision of why we’re doing this is we want to solve a problem that we’ve seen in the industry for many years, which is video games have exploded, so many projects are being made, but that explosion of talent doesn’t match with an explosion of new investments. So we believe that, by being a mediator, we can show [investors] you can be successful with games, so it’s going to be less scary and we can bring more people in, and we can bring more money into the industry.”