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Businessman urges universities to start teaching mobile gaming

THIS PUBLICATION HAS 16 COMMENTS
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Too bad this trend will pass before Estonia even opens up a first clown school for it. Reply to the comment answer
~vodka gamer,eh windo [30.01.2013, 11:02]
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I want gov to pay the training of my emplyees too. And the gov should of course pick up the bill and care for the gamers using my product when they later need social welfare (due to social and/or personal bankruptcy). Reply to the comment answer
~bluecowboy [30.01.2013, 11:47]
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Ridiculous suggestion that would add nothing to society.
If this is so important to Mr. Funtikov, as a successful businessman, he should provide the funds for the gaming studies or set up his own school. Reply to the comment answer
~Hugo [30.01.2013, 15:34]
When Estonians were begging for EU to let their third world state join, that is when this guy and few others made the moolah. Gaming boom has already pass. Sony controls the markets anyway. Can you imagine any sane American letting Estonian design NFL madden game for instance.
~ha ha yep yeah poster [30.01.2013, 16:24]
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The company Creative Mobile has an interesting story. It's basically started by Russian-speaking Estonians, and as far as I can tell they were either shut out or chose not to join the local startup community in terms of attending the many events held every month.

Instead, they did something else, which I have respect for: they focused on building a product and made money.

So then a couple months ago, the startup community got wind of Creative and started heaping praise on them. It's an uncomfortable situation I think, since Creative Mobile by any measure is successful (over 3 mln in half-year profit), but they also did it without all the "support" of the Estonian startup community. So they are an Estonian success story, but do not fit the model of growing through the numerous organizations designed to help startups.

I advise a few startups in Estonia on a volunteer basis, and one thing I always tell them is to cut back on all the ra-ra you're-great startup events. Attending one or two a month is fine, but it's diminishing returns after that, and time is better spent building a product. Reply to the comment answer
~ameeriklane [30.01.2013, 16:32]
ameeriklane, your comment is spot-on. In general, Estonian government should study carefully the (relatively few) success stories of Estonian IT companies. All of them would benefit from lower employment side costs. Most of them would benefit from less paperwork when hiring outside of the European Union. Most of them do benefit from current (absence of) corporate tax.

And, very few of them benefit from EAS, Arengufond, etc.
~Jay [30.01.2013, 18:49]
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Now on to the idea. In general, teaching more of anything related to IT in university is not a bad idea.

The issue with the mobile gaming industry is it's an extremely steep curve. By that, I mean that the top 10 games makes huge money, and all the rest fail miserably. It's the same with video games (PS3, XBox, etc). For example, this week, the #1 game (DMC - Devil May Care) sold more than 10x the volume of the #10 game (New Super Mario Bros 2). (It's also the same curve for Estonian fiction books, which is why you see so few famous or rich Estonian authors.)

So, entering the gaming industry is like a big gamble. If you have a hit, you'll do really well. But even being average and you'll fail.

Now compare to the rest of the software industry, since actually most revenue from software comes not from games but business applications. Even an average product can still do well, because it's not all about having a "hit" like it is with games. One product may be better than another at some features, and worse at others, but those trade-offs are fine for certain customers.

There's an Estonian startup accelerator called GameFounders that incubates gaming startups specifically:
http://www.gamefounders.com/#/blog/meet-batch-1/

They've already had one batch of startups, and I believe they're looking for another. So far, no successes that I've seen, and the odds of them having a big success are low. They're just entering a really difficult industry.

The odds may be better of a person becoming an internationally famous musician than having a successful gaming company. Reply to the comment answer
~ameeriklane [30.01.2013, 16:45]
And the problem with Estonia is the chance of them having a famous (rock) musician is about one chance in 50 million years.
~little thing that sux [31.01.2013, 00:08]
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ahm, 800.000 Euro per half year costs for 60 employees plus equipment, office space etc. ? They must pay their guys really badly! And then they even dare to ask for higher education? Reply to the comment answer
~doubt the numbers [31.01.2013, 12:22]
As the company was founded in 2010, the growth has been very fast. During the first half of 2012 they didn't probably have 60 employees. If they had 30, 800k€ in half a year makes over 4400€/month/employee. Of course there are other costs as well, but at least the figure passes my sanity check.
~Jay [31.01.2013, 14:20]
Do the math: 800.000/60 = 13.333 / 6 = 2222 Euro and not 4400Euro per month and employee.
~huh? [31.01.2013, 16:01]
OMG - did you bother to read my message? "If they had 30 [employees]"... We can't know how many employees they actually had, but if they now have 60, they probably didn't have 60 one year ago. My guess was - maybe they had 20 in the beginning of the year and 40 in mid-2012.
~Jay [31.01.2013, 16:20]
Speculation nothing but speculation! Maybe they had 10? or 50?
~huh? [31.01.2013, 17:14]
I agree with Jay on this one. The company had almost overnight growth, so I suspect they had to ramp up staff to get to their current number of 60. The starting number was likely a lot lower.

A contributing factor, though I can't substantiate it, could be that just like the company was not part of the Estonian start-up "scene", then maybe their programmers weren't part of the scene either. In other words, maybe they hired Russian-speaking programmers who had trouble finding jobs at the usual Estonian startups (which likely required Estonian fluency). This is just a theory, but I know I saw something similar when meeting with a few other software companies in Estonia in the past.
~ameeriklane [31.01.2013, 17:25]
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Who suggested this? A 26 year old entrepreneur? His experience of life up to now would be of what? Computer games perhaps? And he believes universities should teach mobile gaming?

What a idiot!

I wonder what the highest level of education this guy has? Preschool? Reply to the comment answer
~Arthur [09.02.2013, 12:47]
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It's a real pleasure to find smeoone who can think like that Reply to the comment answer
~Mahari [22.02.2013, 09:47]
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