Target Market: Me

I’ve come through marketing in university studies and have some experience in online marketing world (this blog being perhaps the most visible thing done so far), and in the gaming side I’ve written some marketing plans like this one, yet there’s just one thing that’s problematic with these fancy looking business plans.

They are fancy looking business plans.

I sort of like to take a totally different approach in this. First I define the target market, which is me.

Then I do stuff that I like (online multiplayer, traitor game), thinking of what kind of stuff I’ve bought (I’ve spend money on downloadable games, but not a cent on browser games – so it sort of makes sense to try out with downloadable ones).

It also helps in gameplay decisions. I keep asking myself: what do I like?

Might sound arrogant and selfish, and it might feel like I don’t want feedback from others but I see this actually to be quite the opposite… well, at least from the arrogant part. Is it selfish? Hell yeh, but that’s the reason why I’m doing this stuff. I want to have fun. And when I’m having fun… chances are that others might find my gaming stuff fun as well.

Is it arrogant to do what I like? I think not. I’m still receptive to ideas (after all I like getting feedback), but I simply want to stay in control. It’s like in the Dead Wake development. One guy suggested rocket launchers and lasers in the game. I said “No. Never going to happen.” I didn’t like those rocket launchers and they certainly would not have fit in the gameplay. Good ideas that fit the game, these are more than welcome.

When I’m thinking myself as the customer, many questions become easier to answer.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. “Starting with one customer to satisfy (yourself) is already better than wasting your energy trying to guess “what the market wants”.”

    And starting with one customer to satisfy is better than using tired old (untrue) stereotypes to pretend you know what the market wants and avoid having to do any market research, and end up making a product that has to compete with all the other stereotypically-marketed products out there.

  2. I actually disagree on your last point that “don’t care about the money”. :)

    Money to me is sort of like “the fruit of labor”. But in order to get fruits, one gotta concentrate on growing the tree and watering… :) Fruits will come.

    If it’s all about “fruits” (and donuts) then those might escape from you.

    But hey – we’ll see how this goes ;)

  3. To clarify my post, that’s only if you want to make enough money to fund the next game and so on. If you don’t care about the money, then sure make whatever you want.

  4. I disagree :-) Market research is very useful. If you can find something to make with a good market that you also think would be a great fun game to make, then make that.

  5. “There will always be people out there thinking and feeling the same way as oneself. ”

    Yeh, that’s so true.

    That’s actually so true that often when you think you are doing something that “has never been done”, surprisingly you’ll encounter more people doing pretty similar game project :)

  6. IMHO niche markets are well suited for this kind of ego-driven design. There will always be people out there thinking and feeling the same way as oneself. The resulting game will hit the nerve of this special audience.

    It would be nice if more producers think that way and follow their own small path instead of hunting down paved and crowded roads.

    Keep track this way!

  7. I think that’s the way to think Juuso. Unless you’re a person with extremely weird tastes, you always find a good enough number of people that will share your game idea. Starting with one customer to satisfy (yourself) is already better than wasting your energy trying to guess “what the market wants”.

  8. Well I think working on something that you really like (and thus want to have for yourself) makes it so much easier to keep motivation up.

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