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Justin Fischer's Blog   Expert Blogs


About Justin Fischer (me)
I am a Producer in the video games industry with 7 years of experience and 8 titles under my belt (plus two more that never made it to market). I am an unabashed advocate of Scrum and cross-disciplinary teamwork, and harsh critic of centralized decision making and waterfall planning. Before the games industry, I was in a punk band, worked on a CourtTV show about psychics, and earned the scars to prove it. In my private life, I am pursuing an MBA, I manage an attention starved dog, and I brew beer. I have a passion for terrible 80's action movies, I enjoy reading about history, sociology, and economics, and I love music of any genre, as long as it isn't the result of some contrived writing session with a bunch of overpaid, hit cranking "producers" - but that rant would be a blog in and of itself.

Beyond that, I have a start-up that builds tools for Unity3D:

Oh, and I play video games.

You can find my full blog here:

Follow me on Twitter: @gamergoeslegit

My LinkedIn profile can be found here.

About this blog
I have two real goals with this blog:
1. Provide some insight and, dare I say it, sanity to the discussion of the business side of the games industry, and counter-balance some of the well intentioned - but often misinformed - hand wringing around the internet.
2. Document what happens when a dude who makes games attempts to become a dude with an MBA who makes games.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are entirely my own.


Expert Blogs

Posted by Justin Fischer on Wed, 28 May 2014 05:16:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Design, Production, Console/PC
Stories about auteur-led projects are rife with anecdotes about decision bottlenecks and wasted work. But so what? If the end result is great, why should you care about decidedly non-artistic concepts like budgets or ROI? Turns out, there's a good reason.

What is loss aversion? We experience losses far more intensely than we experience gains. But, beyond being a universal experience, loss aversion is a significant cognitive bias: it will really screw with your ability to make rational decisions.

Posted by Justin Fischer on Fri, 16 May 2014 02:11:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Production
When I say the word "marketing", no doubt your mind is flooded with images of sleezy skags in suits talking about how transmedia synergies are really hot with the teen male demo. But here's the question: what IS marketing? Do you know? Do you really know?

Posted by Justin Fischer on Thu, 08 May 2014 11:45:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Production, Smartphone/Tablet
In my last article, I mentioned a Harvard Business School professor named Michael Porter, and his "Five Forces Analysis". Performing a five forces analysis means looking at each one of the titular forces and estimating the impact it will have on profits.

Posted by Justin Fischer on Wed, 30 Apr 2014 02:14:00 EDT in Business/Marketing, Design, Production, Console/PC
To have a true competitive advantage, you cannot be all things to all people. You either need to be all things to few people, or few things to all people. You need to make trade-offs that your competitors won't. Dark Souls is an elegant example.

Justin Fischer's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 05/28/2014 - 05:16]

Thanks r n r nMikami ...

Thanks r n r nMikami is the closest thing I have to a hero in the industry, but he 's no stranger to massive waste. Most of the RE games under his leadership have undergone massive reboots. RE4 is my favorite game ever, and it got rebooted at least twice ...

Comment In: [Blog - 05/16/2014 - 02:11]

I 'd argue that neither ...

I 'd argue that neither the horse nor cart is right. Marketing shoving products down PD 's throat tends to result in bland products. Having PD just hand a game to marketing to sell means that marketing is really just ad sales and PR. r n r nTo me, GOOD ...

Comment In: [Blog - 05/22/2014 - 11:32]

There are certainly gameable aspects. ...

There are certainly gameable aspects. Borderlands had a great usage of loss aversion with the limited time items you could purchase at vending machines. Some of those items we 're empirically less valuable than the stock items, but they seemed more valuable because of the time box. r n r ...

Comment In: [Blog - 05/08/2014 - 11:45]

Thanks I appreciate the vote ...

Thanks I appreciate the vote of confidence. I fully intend to keep posting. The response has been really positive and even the folks who disagree with me are cool about it. Stay tuned

Comment In: [Blog - 04/30/2014 - 02:14]

Glad you enjoyed it. I ...

Glad you enjoyed it. I 'm familiar with The Lean Start-Up but have yet to read it. There 's a lot of smart business people in this industry. There are also a lot of jackasses who have no regard for the medium.