Why is equity valuable in the Valley? Because it’s assumed that the entire point of the business is to exit or IPO. From a certain point of view, a Klout only exists in order to make a big exit for a relatively small investment, and that exit fuels any number of further investments. However if you take the exit/IPO option away then equity becomes what exactly? Shares that’ll never multiply in value. They become deadweight unless you can get percentages of revenue or profit, which is impossible for many Valley businesses. The sale is necessary, vital even, to keep the wheels turning.
But most games people don’t want to sell. Like ever, if possible. Maybe they’ll sell to retire, get bored or if business conditions change such that their studio is no longer viable. But mostly not. Instead what they value is creative freedom to make the games they want to make, opportunities to make awesome games and opportunities to make money selling games. And that’s it. Only a few really want to get into the technology business, or anything that doesn’t involve getting to make games.”
A key quote from a really smart perspective on the difference between video game creator culture and tech creator culture. Lots of tech people presume that game makers, many of them located in the Bay Area and dependent on tech platforms for distribution, are Just Like Them. Nope. As this piece suggests, they’re much closer to Hollywood (or to the indie film community) in mindset.