Log in to create bookmarks
No bill yet? Login
Vincent Lowe is co-founder and CEO of Potato Play, an impressive new mobile publishing company with solid financing. Your goal is to bring together the best of Eastern and Western gaming by launching creative and profitable mobile games from China and Asia/Maritime on the international markets.
Vincent Lowe has over 17 years of experience in game development, gained in companies such as Microsoft Game Studios in the United Kingdom, where he worked on Kinect Sports for the Xbox 360. Vincent was founded, built and launched one of the first WeChat game platforms in China in the last 8 years, reaching 10 million active users per day.
When games from renowned Asian publishers reached the top of the world rankings, Vincent realised that many small Asian developers found it difficult to market their games outside of Asia. Inspired by their situation, Vincent invented Potato Play, a data-centric publishing house that brings quality games from Asia to the world market.
In an exclusive interview Vincent says
The mistakes of the founders could be many, but the biggest mistake would probably be to give up. Starting a business is very difficult and risky, but if that first fire makes you move, it’s a waste of time to stop before you get what you want. I think it is perfectly normal to return if the direction / method is wrong, and it may even take a few laps to achieve the goal / vision after all, but just because things don’t go the way you want them to go doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stop. After all, you only fail if you stop, otherwise you are always on the road to success.
I want you to be remembered for the fun and joy you have created in life through games. I absolutely want the Potato game to remain a classic, just like the Nintendo games. It’s a bold dream, and we’re working on it.
Read on to learn more about Vincent Lowe and his career.
Tell me about your personal experiences and what motivated you to work for your company.
Vincent Lowe: I’ve been in the game industry for 17 years, most of my career as a game developer. There is a great opportunity to combine East and West game design, which is what many major developers are starting to do. My company, Potato Play, wants to help Asian developers harness this potential and publish their games for global success.
What is your current main product and can you give a product sales history?
Vincent Lowe: Potato Play is a publisher of mobile game applications and we publish games developed by studios in Asia for the whole world. We started publishing HTML5 games that didn’t require installation, but soon found that it was much more convenient for players to install and save applications than HTML5. Because our publishing company is data-centric, it wasn’t long before we saw the big difference and we stopped publishing game applications for app stores, which led to a rapid growth of our company.
How much money have you raised so far? When was the last financing cycle?
Vincent Lowe: We raised a total of $2.25 million. The last financing round, which for us was a seed capital round, was completed in August of this year.
What are the internal decision-making processes that determined the start of fundraising and what logistics are involved? And how many investors did you meet, how did you get to know these investors and which channels worked best for you?
Vincent Lowe: Before we decide to raise money, we plan the next phase of growth, know how much we need and decide when to raise money. We will continue to draw up a list of investors that we consider appropriate at this stage, and then begin to approach investors with whom we have contact and connect our network for those we do not have. We met more than 30 investors and found that our connections/contacts were the most effective way to get in touch with quality, sincere investors interested in our company.
What are the main challenges and obstacles in the fundraising process? If you had to start over, what else would you do?
Vincent Lowe: We had planned to start collecting donations at this year’s game development conference, but that was postponed because of KOVID-19. All private meetings should be replaced by video calls. The lack of interpersonal contact, coupled with the uncertainty at the beginning of the pandemic, was an obstacle for a relatively large number of investors.
If I had to start over, I would probably start fundraising later, when everyone would feel more comfortable with video calls and have less to worry about the end of the world, which would save us time.
What are the milestones for the next cycle? And what are your goals for the future?
Vincent Lowe: We will expand our resources to a much larger area and aim to double the number of games published each month. Our goal is to create an ecosystem of players, games and developers through our platform, where players can always find quality games and developers can connect to our network of players to distribute their quality games.
How did you attract users and what strategy did you use to grow your business from start to finish?
Vincent Lowe: We rely heavily on the commercial efficiency of our industry to attract our users. We opted for an early testing approach for the publication and modeling of the potential of games, based on the first indicators after release, and then on the large-scale commercialization of games that offer a good return on investment.
Which software was the best marketing tool to help your start-up grow, and why?
Vincent Lowe: We create our own BI and marketing tool that works best for us, but which is specific to our model and necessary for the type of data-based publishing we do.
That most starters are usually wrong about marketing?
Vincent Lowe: Some starters may think that marketing is an art or a science, which is actually a mixture of both. Everything has to be scientifically substantiated and analysed to be coherent, and points for improvement can be identified, but the solution usually requires creative thinking, and that is art. An effective combination of the two will make less popular marketing campaigns succeed.
How would you like to develop your activities worldwide?
Vincent Lowe: We already publish globally, but as we grow we are looking for local offices in the regions where we publish to better serve our players with localized content and events.
What are the most common mistakes companies make in their global expansion?
Vincent Lowe: He believes that all countries in the world are equal. No two countries are the same, and for some countries even different cities have different cultures, which must be taken into account in the enlargement process.
How do you manage the Kovid 19 flash situation to ensure the survival of your company?
Vincent Lowe: Fortunately for us, the games have proven that COVID-19 is resilient and reinforces the fact that people play in good times and bad. In terms of staff, we have developed a unique culture at home that helps us to work efficiently on all continents and ensures that we complement it with breaks in online games that bring the team together to maintain good morale.
What are the most common mistakes founders make when starting a business?
Vincent Lowe: The mistakes of the founders could be many, but the biggest mistake would probably be to give up. Starting a business is very difficult and risky, but if that first fire makes you move, it’s a waste of time to stop before you get what you want. I think it is perfectly normal to return if the direction / method is wrong, and it may even take a few laps to achieve the goal / vision after all, but just because things don’t go the way you want them to go doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stop. After all, you only fail if you stop, otherwise you are always on the road to success.
What is the best advice you have ever received? And what advice can you give to someone who wants to do similar things with you or go in a similar direction?
Vincent Lowe: The best advice I ever got was probably a marathon, not a sprint. It reminds me of the need to be patient and work at my own pace and above all not to be distracted by the goal and not leave it at that.
I would advise anyone interested in the gaming market to have both a hobby and understand that it is ultimately a business. Passion is very necessary, because you need to love and understand games to play them successfully. On the other hand, because gaming is such a fascinating industry, many people ignore the dynamics of the economy and try to make games they like, which may not be a financially sound investment to start with. The delicate balance between them is very important for success in the game.
What are the three most popular books or movies (series) that changed your life and why?
- Lone Wolf – This series of Choose an Adventure game books brought me interested in game design, which inspired me to make my own games with pen and paper when I was about 8 years old.
- Rocky – This series of films made me realize that success is always about getting up again after sinking.
- Fire in the Valley – Probably the most exciting book about how it all started and how it inspired you to start your own business.
How do you maintain your motivation on a daily basis?
Vincent Lowe: Usually I plan my week to motivate myself; when I know what I’m going to do every day, I get closer to my goals. Breaks are just as important to prevent exhaustion.
What are the three most important life lessons your (future) sons and daughters need to know?
- Life is a marathon, not a sprint. And yet it’s the best advice I’ve ever gotten.
- We can’t change the cards we use, the way we play in our hands. – This is especially true when something bad happens in life; after all, our reaction is important.
- For some people it might be easy, but if you always want what you want and you have it as much as you want, then you absolutely have to work for it.
Why do you want to be remembered?
Vincent Lowe: I want to be remembered because I created fun and joy by playing. I absolutely want the Potato game to remain a classic, just like the Nintendo games. It’s a bold dream, and we’re working on it.
You can follow the law, Vincent.
If you’re looking for a solid investment for your start-up or a passionate person, follow our section on interviews.
Follow the Asia Tech Daily to learn more about innovative start-ups and how they are revolutionising the ecosystem.
What do you think?