Introducing Upstart: Our RevShare Initiative to Support Indie Gaming Studios
We're excited to announce that we've just launched an innovative new revenue-share initiative called Upstart, designed to support up-and-coming independent gaming studios. Over the years, we've met so many amazing indie game studios who just didn't have the time, or the budget, to consider marketing their game. Here's where Upstart comes in...
The problem we're trying to solve
We've seen it happen a few times: indie game studios getting so excited and engrossed in doing what they love and actually creating their game, that by the time the launch date comes around, marketing becomes just a two-week social media posting plan. Or perhaps they would love to have a clear marketing plan to follow, but they simply don't have the budget for it.
We think that's a shame, because it doesn't give the game the best chance at getting in front of the right people - or even getting in front of people at all. So, we decided to do something about it.
Upstart is our new revenue share initiative allows indie gaming studios to work with us without any upfront cost.
We've developed this new model in the face of continued commodification in the ad industry and a need to develop new value-based revenue streams, but also in recognition of the fact that many smaller studios lack the advertising budgets or expertise required to market their games.
Visar Statovci, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Waste, said: 'With commoditisation an ever-present reality in our industry, and the price-per-hour model coming under increased scrutiny from clients, it’s important that creative agencies like us employ their creativity in revenue generation and new ways of working.'
Through Upstart, we aim to help expand the potential of gaming and entertainment companies by engaging with them through a “freemium” model, where our marketing services will be provided completely free-of-charge and in return, Waste receives a percentage of net revenue generated.
What does Upstart offer?
Upstart clients can tap into our 15 years of games marketing experience, accessing expertise across strategy, creative ideation, content production, social media and community management, along with advice on brand positioning and pricing, with no risk involved.
'Upstart offers up-and-coming gaming and entertainment brands access to our expertise and industry contacts enables them to maximise their opportunities. The model represents greater value for them as clients as well as helping us to make the shift from “service providers” to true partners,' Visar added.
Our first success story
The first client to benefit from the Upstart model is French independent gaming studio RyseUp, which has partnered with us to launch the game Roboquest. The game has already had a significant number of “overwhelmingly positive” reviews on Steam (out of just under 2000) and is coming soon as a console exclusive via the Xbox Game Preview program later this year.
Milen Ivanov, CEO, RyseUp Studios, said: 'The best thing about our partnership with Waste is having the freedom to fully focus on doing what we do best: developing our game. Waste have unlocked opportunities, opened doors and given us access to resources that have allowed us to supercharge the marketing of our game.
Looking to the future
'Beyond the hard business benefits, we feel like we’ve built a real partnership with a group of people who are as passionate about what we do as we are. It’s been amazing to get that support, and we’re looking forward to a bright future.'
We are now looking for more high-potential gaming and entertainment clients to partner with as part of the Upstart model. So, if you know anyone who might be interested, drop us a line! 🤙
Finally, Visar added, 'It’s fantastic to be able to support passionate indie studios like RyseUp and give them the benefit of our 15 years’ experience, but it’s also hugely energising for our team, who get to play a significant role in the success and journey of new and exciting games.'
Curious to find out more about the initiative? Check out Visar's interview with The Drum, where he goes in depth about our motivations and approach.