How to do business on-line games | Предприниматель

How to do business on-line games

Today CEO “Innova” said Gevorg Sargsyan on the market structure of online games and products on it, the legalization of digital content on the pitfalls in the localization of online gaming, working with publishers MMOG and why personal motivation employees is more important than financial. The complete audio version you can listen to the interview on the program website, “Runetologiya.”

Maxim Spiridonov : Since ancient times, one of the most vivid illustrations of the needs and desires of man is the ancient Roman concept of “bread and circuses.” And the “spectacle” can be interpreted in a broader sense – as a general “entertainment.” Whether we like it or not, but after eating and sex entertainment – this is probably the main thing that worries the average consumer of any race or nationality. Therefore, the entertainment industry is a long and versatile working fine business. On the Internet one of the most notable are its offshoots games: Casual, browser, games, social networks and the like. Globally, it is now billions of dollars in annual turnover. Today, if I remember correctly the first time in “Runetologii” we’re talking about business in online games. Our guest Gevorg Sargsyan, General Director of game company “Innova”. Kevork, how and why you went into business for online gaming?

Gevorg Sargsyan: Any business needs to create interest. This industry is in a period when we first started dealing with it, was not investigated. We were among the first to provide users with a licensed content. Then the entire Russian market is a fragmented community of pirates, who were engaged only known at the time the game – Lineage II. Obviously, any pirate market should be as transparent and convert it into legal. This idea, we lit up, and we realize it, but since then has undergone many changes. Today, we understand that what we have learned and what we have today can compete with European and Asian publishers even.

– Today, you only localizers?

– Yes, but the localization process – a very delicate and complicated business. At first it may seem that everything is simple: you can easily translate the game, run it and make money. Many companies rushed into this market, trying to get some food and something to implement. The principle of our company, which has never changed – we are doing our best to provide the user with the highest quality product. We have never chased a quantity. This led to the fact that we are not only in runet, but throughout the industry among the first to have one personal account for all games, a single system to run the game, made a custom script most simple, one-password login for all games.

– According to the press, your turnover last year amounted to about $ 20 million is so?

– No, it’s understated figure. I do not know where it came from, because we have not officially announced.

– In fact, your turnover more?

– Yes.

– In your biography are intertwined in the office of public bodies and the transition to the game startup. How did it happen? You are in the Ministry of Taxation of Internet preparing to become an entrepreneur?

– I think that the human skills to make to do something, and are applicable in the civil service, and business. I can not say that his philosophy and character when I was a classic bureaucrat, but always felt that I could be a businessman. Even in the civil service I have found solutions that do not lie on the surface and it is often difficult realizable. I can say that people who can work effectively in business and in government service, there is, but they are few.

– It’s just a different mental entity. The usual official does not think “business».

– I do not agree with you, because I thought “entrepreneurial” and always put yourself in the shoes of the entrepreneurs with whom he worked. We can say that our office has been built on this model: we have done everything as efficiently as possible, do not build dead-ends, tried to overcome all obstacles and achieve maximum results. It is not necessary to exhaust all within the framework of the perception of officials, need to think like an entrepreneur thinks. I want my leaders were able to instill.

– It’s great, but when I hear about the clerk with an entrepreneurial mindset to me (and not just for me) comes entirely nepozitivny image. Officer – servant of the people, speaking high style. At least, it should be them. When he thinks like a businessman, surely he sees its benefits. Then, the situation, described in the blog Navalny …

– We probably have different understandings of the meaning of “Corporate Business” thinking. The point is not to make money. I have this problem never happened, because I come from affluent family and I have not had the need to earn big money. Corporate Business (entrepreneurial) thinking is that when you see any obstacles and barriers that are objectively impossible to overcome, you are looking for ways to overcome them. Cool Project Manager, ideally, should outsource all of its tasks within the company and outside it. When he realizes that a service which he provides the company of poor quality, it looks for solutions, it is necessary to solve this problem the best way for themselves. This Corporate Business method of thinking. When you do not stop and is not limited to management, when you realize that you have unlimited resources, you are looking for ways to maximize [effectively] the resources to distribute and get the result. It makes no sense to link it with money.

– How many “behind the border” people with an entrepreneurial mindset with the ability to flexibly navigate the circumstances, the ability of unconventional approach to the problem?

– There are not many. On many key positions such people, but the problem is that if these people are turned into the bad side of what you said recently, then worse. On the other side there are very strong people who do not act in the interests of the people.

– Why do you still have moved from the Ministry of Finance in the gaming business? Why not do social networks began, talking about the Internet? Why not become engaged in oil industry?

– It was one of the ideas. It is quite a long time been discussed with my colleagues and we decided that we would do for her.

– That is a group of like-minded people who have had the opportunity to invest in the project and the desire to start this project?

– Yes.

Often these projects have a very short lifetime. When going to a group of people, quite intelligent, enthusiastic and willing for any reason to be on the Internet, with the money, this is often not very well finished. Your example – one of the few exceptions when added to money management expertise, willingness and understanding of the market and we got a game startup, which as you say, now has more than $ 20 million turnover. By the standards of Runet is a very solid money. Do you think it possible to do this? That allowed us not to relax?

– To begin with, that to me all the companies differ in a single component – people. Investment can be identical, and differ only in men. Our success – the team that has never before anything is not shy and has contempt for the impossible.

As the team assembled?

– He collected himself at first, but then our “eychary» (HR), who think the same paradigm that I am. I still personally interviewed nearly everyone. I interviewed a lot of “eycharov” and only some time later found a man who thinks in the same plane with me. Once I found him I began to work closely with us to equally represent what people have to work as they should think and what they should aspire to.

One can formulate the paradigm that you carry with HR?

– We create an opportunity for people to find their place in the company and give them an opportunity to improve every day, we try to link the purpose of their lives with our goal. I should explain to staff what his purpose in the context of 15-20 years, because our success depends on how long we plan our lives. If you work in this company, this environment allows him to achieve this goal, he needs to explain to me the path that he has to go through. Work with us to fit into the framework of this path. If it does not fit, then it makes me wonder why a man with a love and passion to do what he does. I need to know that he will want to improve every day. When people realize that they have the opportunity to achieve what they want, they have a strong coach who will always keep them in suspense.

Coach – are you?

– I, or their immediate supervisor. In this case, strong – an important clause! – People are just happy. Strong players have always kept strong coaches, they set themselves high goals, but the coach puts even more stringent targets and are constantly doing everything to ensure that their coach, train and ask, respectively. Such people we are looking for, find and nurture in our company.


– The specific examples I can say absolutely that it is possible, but quite a lot and Feil. I agree that it is impossible to relax. A startup has no right to have enough money. If you have a lot of money, then you relax. “In order to run ahead of the pack, you need to always be hungry.” Relaxation comes in when you are not hungry. Then you stop and run ahead of the pack.

How do you keep yourself hungry?

– I am alone a man. Every day I tune myself to this wave. Our people are the same work.

According to some stories, motivational circuits in the “Innova” built on the principle of no-stick, but carrots. Bonuses and premiums are not paid – is it true?

– So.


– You can make an analogy. Do you have friends that are with you in a good relationship when you are provided? I think most people will answer no. None of the key people in the company should not be financially motivated. If key people in the company financially motivated, it means that you have friends who are friends with you only because you are in good condition and at a time when your condition is bad, these friends did not immediately become.

That is the motivation has to be personal?

– Motivation to be in achieving the goals that the person poses to himself. I strive to ensure that our employees were paid above the market and are able to afford many things: go to a nice restaurant for a good concert, and so on. Why is it important for me? Because I want to give employees a sense of taste was so they could see a lot and many have tried, and that they have developed emotional intelligence.

Now people from developing emotional intelligence you have about 150 if I remember correctly.

– I can not say that all are, but we strive to do so. The fact is that in a good company usually 20% of people who carry it forward, the rest is slower than the company. For example, Dell. The people who created the company, left, left two or three people, because the company is developing rapidly. Vector of the company faster than that of all people. My problem is that an array of such people was not 20, and 30-40%.

That is, you divide people into passionaries and staff?

– No, we do not have passionaries. We give everyone the opportunity to grow, from the Junior or professional competence of a particular, then to lida-specific competence, then to the PM, which may lead to different lidami competencies and so on. If a person has the potential (we take only people with potential), it can achieve great results in our company.

your flagship product to date – Lineage II?

– No. I was recently at a conference in Germany, many German companies CEO said that the game companies usually have one or two flagship products, and all other products – an appendage.

Usually this happens.

– We do not have. To date, we have a couple of products that we are not very happy. They are not as good as we wanted, and our expectations when we launched, differ from the current state. But all our other products occupy an important place in the structure of revenues and our users. For example, Point Blank – a shooter, which we launched last year, the number of users is now on a par with Lineage II.

With what intensity you start new projects?

– We do not focus on how to run a lot of projects, we focus on how to improve our services and make our overall service Game 4 is better. By September, he will undergo so many changes that it’s hard to imagine.

You 12 projects. How do you prioritize, how to manage such a set of different toys? How do you decide which projects to add to the pool, which closed?

– We have a flat structure in the company. Each project has a Project Manager, he is actually the CEO of his project, entitled to take all decisions from beginning to end within it. He is the manager of the project, it has the resources to ensure your project so that it is necessary, in the form of internal outsourcing translation department, design department and so on. Also, it has its own staff, who work exclusively on his project.

How many employees are usually on a project?

– At Point Blank – five people in Lineage – twelve. It depends on the formation of work to be done.

As projects come into the company? As I understand it’s localized Korean and Japanese products?

– All Korean. Now we have a priority – to work with American products. I think next year will be a couple of American ones.

How do you choose products?

– We have the estimation-command, which deals with estimates, intelligence, looks all game. It has its own rating system, which analyzes in detail the game, and the information comes to Project Managers, me, the team of international business (people who interact with the environment), and we decide which project to us is the most important and how we will fight for you to represent him in Russia.

How to build relationships with publisher-owner? It’s always a different model or is there some kind of typical?

– It’s always different models, which depend on the owner, how do you want to represent this game in Russia, as far as he wants her to trust you, and many other factors.

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