This is a real life story. There will be no names, but I can assure you it has really happened.
There is a lot of people that I have met through internet, that I often see online and chat with or occasionally chat with. A is one of the “occasional” chats. We had a chance to chat a lot when J2ME had just started. When we met he was an experienced games developer and knew just a little about mobile devices while on the other side I didn’t know much about games (except as a player) and already knew a lot about mobile devices, fragmentation and related problems. We helped each other and kept in touch from that time on with occasional messages and updates about our professional life.
I recently heard that he had changed occupation and move to work for a company that wanted to develop innovative multiplayer games for mobile devices. Company B is a small company that is supposed to have some really interesting ideas and new concept for mobile gaming.
I ask A if I can get some information as some company in Italy might be interested to resell their games. He gives me the email of the CEO.
On Oct, 28th 2005 I write an email to the CEO and to A in CC.
I get my reply on Dec, 1st. That is A MONTH to reply to an email. The reply does not come from the CEO, but from a “marketing assistant” that suggests to look at their website. Do you think I hadn’t looked at the website? I spend 20 hours a day online…
I reply to his email the day after. Let’s call him C.
Jan, 13th 2006 (!!!) I get a reply from C who says he’s sorry he could not reply my emails earlier.
I reply the same day providing a possible date (Jan, 17th) in which we could talk on the phone to clear things up quickly.
The day that I was supposed to receive the call, I get an email (late evening) saying that he could not call me, that they already have a partner in Italy and wonder if the proposed company could provide them an equal or better visibility. Not mention that I had already provided them with information about the company and the fact that it’s a leader in Italy and already present in 3-5 other countries around the world.
At that point I got really disappointed, not only he did not call me not provide the NDA I asked for to be able to know more about their games and application server, but he did not even call me, nor probably look at the websites I pointed him to.
I replied the same day with an email in which I explained all my bad feelings about how he managed the contact and how after 2 months I did not have anything in my hands.
It was “nice” to receive a reply from C saying that it wasn’t his fault, it was originally the CEO who forwarded the email to him late and that he had been busy with other business stuff. He apologies and wonders if I’m still interested in hearing more about their products.
Jan 25th (!!!) I received an email which could probably be compared to 2-3 powerpoint slides or maybe less saying that their games are compelling, they have a powerful user management application server and make the games more compelling with tournaments.
Not to mention the “powerful branding” that he names and, sorry, but… the only game you mention has a name that is totally unknown to me, so that’s not such a powerful branding.. Maybe in your home country, but I would not compare it to “Ferrari”, “FIFA”, “Tiger Woods” and so on…
Do you think they are going to sell any games? EVER?
I am not writing company names and people names just because I respect my friend A and I would never want him to get in trouble because of a “marketing assistant”. If this is the assistance that he provides, I hope I will never need it!