Running an independent video game company isn’t easy, but the endeavor can be a great deal of fun. The co-founder of Weather Factory, Alexis Kennedy, says anyone interested in establishing an independent company should look at three possible achievements: safety, fun, and profit. He suggests picking the most important one, and the other two may follow.
Kennedy does suggest that he prefers to have fun over earning a profit. Likely, his enjoyment and enthusiasm for his company helped it become profitable.
Kennedy does have a lot of fun running Weather Factory, although he admits the profits come from the “crumbs” of the industry. He doesn’t mean that negatively. He infers that small companies don’t always make big sales due to their size. Launching a massive promotional campaign isn’t possible. So, a smaller company does everything it can to draw attention to itself. Kennedy says there are enough crumbs to go around in the industry right now. That allows a “micro-company” such as Weather Factory to survive.
The company did start out on decent financial footing thanks to an effective Kickstarter campaign. Kennedy hyped the debut game, Cultist Simulator, well enough that the campaign pulled in more than $100,000. The game did well enough to establish his company. Cultist Simulator focused on an occult theme that probably drew in horror fans. Horror fans are dedicated to their genre, so there were probably enough of them to make the Cultist Simulator successful.
When asked about what he would do if he had an unlimited budget to work with, Alexis Kennedy dismissed the notion. As a writer and designer, he crafts text-centric games. Unlimited budgets wouldn’t do much for him.
Kennedy ventured into the gaming industry after leaving a software consulting job. He founded Failbetter Games before establishing Weather Factory. After nearly 10 years in the gaming industry, Alexis Kennedy is still having fun.