Justin Bailey

The CEO of Fig, a new crowd-funding site for games that offers equity.

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON August 18, 2015

Discussion

Justin Bailey ------@justinbailey12d · CEO
Hi, I'm Justin. I'm addicted to all things video games. My name is even a legendary cheat code. I programming my first graphic adventure game in assembly language when I was eight. I went to programming camp. I got my first job at age 14 working at a software store called Babbage's. Then I entered the word of finance and business. But when my oldest daughter was born, I decided I needed to get back to what I love - GAMES! Since then I've helped fund and publish free-to-play, premium, and mobile games at multiple publishers. I even had the honor of running the business side of Double Fine for three years and meeting the best game developers in the world - some of whom are among my personal idols, who's games I played back when I was eight. Now I run Fig (https://www.fig.co/), a company helping fund games through reward and investment based crowdfunding! What a ride :)
Russ Frushtick@russfrushtick
@justinbailey12d Hey Justin, thanks for joining us! Any advice for running a successful crowd-funding campaign (on Fig or elsewhere)?
Justin Bailey ------@justinbailey12d · CEO
Have a strong community. That's part of what fig is designed to do - to tap in and allow creators who have a huge amount of potential to discover their own community by being associated with those who have successfully navigated the crowdfunding waters before. Most crowdfunding sites are really just places to organize your existing community. There's very little if any organic discovery and all the heavy lifting is put on the shoulders of the project manager. So if you don't have a huge community, you have to tap into others who do.
Tao Ma@tinjaw314
@justinbailey12d Is it the case for projects of all categories?
Justin Bailey ------@justinbailey12d · CEO
@tinjaw314 It's true with entertainment, but I can't comment with any authority outside of that category.
@justinbailey12d Hi Justin. For many game developers, services like Kickstarter are important because they stop corporate influence from encroaching on developer freedoms and creativity. Are you worried that enabling equity for project backers could open the door up for such things? If not, how is Fig designed to stop it?
@pkcheap Woops. Didn't mean to upvote my own question!
Justin Bailey ------@justinbailey12d · CEO
@pkcheap I felt this needed an answer! What we're about at Fig is helping developers get the budget they need so they can retain IP ownership and creative control. Consequently, we also think this leads to the best games! In terms of the investment in titles, the games will always be community informed not community driven - that won't change.
Robert Bowling@fourzerotwo · Founder of GamePump
Hey Justin - I notice that on Fig, the number of backers is public but the specifics on who backed is not. What was the reasoning behind that decision, and do you think that showing who backed it would instill confidence in other backers, especially exposing who the Accredited Investors are?
Justin Bailey ------@justinbailey12d · CEO
@fourzerotwo Hey Robert! We feel it's very important that we respect investors privacy. We feel it's up to them to reveal their identity. In the future we'll probably build some tools to allow them to do so!
Adriaan@adriaandejongh · Game Designer
Hey Justin, If I understand correctly, Fig will only crowdfund curated games, is that correct? How will you handle the potential load of hundreds of games?
Adriaan@adriaandejongh · Game Designer
Another question: I have the feeling Fig is looking for projects that 'have that X factor', so how is a pitch to Fig different from a pitch to say, IndieFund?
Justin Bailey ------@justinbailey12d · CEO
@adriaandejongh Great question Adriaan! We're different in that we're actually ok if a campaign fails. If there's a project we're not sure about, but the developer has a proven track record and obvious ability to deliver quality - we'll probably give them a shot. After all, we're ultimately trying to let the market decide. So in a sense, this is the pitch.
Justin Bailey ------@justinbailey12d · CEO
Got to run! Thanks for all the questions and please support Outer Wilds if you haven't already..! :)
JGM.io@jgm_io · JGM.io
@justinbailey12d so fast already? :(
Oliver Judge@oliverjudge · Marketing and Business Development Guy
@justinbailey12d Hi Justin! Is there a certain kind of game you're looking at for Fig? Are your sights primarily set on larger scale indies?
Justin Bailey ------@justinbailey12d · CEO
@oliverjudge not really, we're looking for a mix of indie and well know titles so the two can build off each other. The main focus is on quality and the ability to deliver.
Eric Willis@erictwillis · Working on something new
Thanks for doing this AMA, Justin. What impact do you think bitcoin will have on crowdfunding?
Justin Bailey ------@justinbailey12d · CEO
@erictwillis I was just chatting with my head of product today about how you can merge bitcoin and investment! I was half-joking but it's a very interesting concept, but one will probably tread carefully with :)
Corley@corleyh · COO @ Product Hunt
Hi there Justin! What a cool life story. It sounds like you were destined to do Fig. Quick Question - What sort of frequency will we expect to see on Fig? How many titles are you looking to support in a given month?
Justin Bailey ------@justinbailey12d · CEO
@corleyh Hi Corley, we're looking to do two projects a month as our normal cadence - one large "iii" game and one unknown indie title with a lot of promise
Ben Casnocha@bencasnocha
How would you rank/assess the existing crowd funding sites like Indiegogo, GoFundMe, Kickstarter, etc.?
Justin Bailey ------@justinbailey12d · CEO
@bencasnocha I think they all have a similar approach and are horizontally oriented. Interestingly, it seems most the equity site are vertically oriented, and that's where I see the future.
graham gockley@gegockley · CorpDev @GREE
Hey Justin - thanks for the time and Fig looks like a very promising platform. Can you speak to the different type of investing options that the Fig platform will support? Equity, debt, convertible, etc?
Jaime Manjavacas@cuentafakejaime · Jaime Manjavacas Cordoba
@justinbailey12d Hi Justin. I've heard a lot about promoting apps on social media, but personally, Which do you think is the best way to promote an app nowadays if you don't want to spend money?
Mauro Sicard@maurosicard · Bookicious.com
Hi there Justin, just check out Fig, great work! Do you think it is possible in the future to have full VR games just like Sword Art Online or another series?
Justin Bailey ------@justinbailey12d · CEO
@maurosicard VR is very interesting to me, I have my eye on that sector and would love to find a way to use crowdfunding to help bring more titles to market!
Dipesh@dipeshparashar · Ideas Evangelist
Hey Justin. About your vision at Fig. Not all games get popular. But when they do, they earn millions. So when a game earns a fortune, do the funders get any benefits. ( I do not suggest such a feature but would be great to know, your take on it )
Justin Bailey ------@justinbailey12d · CEO
@dipeshparashar If you mean the investors, yes - the business model is built on people being able to participate in a portion of an acquisition.
Nascent Games, LLC@nascentgames · Founder, Nascent Games, LLC
Hi & good afternoon, Justin. Congrats on this new site & idea! I have my 1st upcoming game that will be released in episodes, later this Fall. How will Fig help a new Indie Studio like myself stand out?
Justin Bailey ------@justinbailey12d · CEO
@nascentgames Great questions! We'll help developers figure out if crowdfunding is right for them, we help in constructing the campaign, we help in production, and with sales.
Sam Houston@samhouston · Senior Community Manager, Bugcrowd
@justinbailey12d Hi Justin! What inspired you to leave Double Fine and start Fig? Was there a specific moment/event that convinced you to create this product?
Doug Astor@theezaven · product hunter-gatherer
Hey Justin - what do you think is the future of advertising for mobile gaming? Would be interested to hear your state of the current space as well.
Shikher Aatrey@shikher_iam
@justinbailey12d Hey Justin, If you're a student, and you have to do some out-of-the-field work ( turning some ideas into reality) , it's hard to manage time. Any advise?
364@3sixtyfour · N/A
Hi Justin. With programming and asset creation becoming more and more accessible each year, do you think the value of game-design (new mechanics, modes, stories etc) will become the most important skill in the industry?
Justin Bailey ------@justinbailey12d · CEO
@3sixtyfour I hope so! When I was young, it was all about the technical advancement and pushing the graphics. Recently, I've gone back and played games from that era, and what strikes me is how fun a lot of the games are that are design heavy because of their technical constraints. Indie games seem to be a lot of the design heavy games these days that are taking chances, and I think it's actually the financial constraints, and difficulties with discovery, that have lead to that.