New Business Model

Recently we’ve been trying to fill a few remaining job openings at Spicy Horse. The process of building a team in Shanghai is made difficult by the fact that there is very little pre-existing game industry to speak of. In the US you can see hotbeds of development grow organically from local seed studios – id Software being an example in Dallas. In Shanghai Ubi Soft is the most dominate seed studio – a large percentage of the local game industry work force is made up former Ubi employees.

For a growing studio like Spicy this translates into 25% of our staff being former Ubi employees – not all were directly hired away from Ubi – but they’ve all spent time there during their careers. Ubi creates a powerful influence on the local market, helping to build Shanghai as a world-class game development hub, as companies like id did in Dallas.

The only problem is that Ubi doesn’t necessarily *like* the idea of seeding outside development teams. Personally, I think this sort of organic spread is natural and resistance to it is detrimental to everyone… everyone except the employees who are trying to move out. Several recent Ubi employees we’ve tried to lure away have reported a significant increase in benefits, salary, and position within the company. Ubi really doesn’t want to let people go…

And hence my new business model:
Spicy Horse Salary Inflation Service

This is how it works: Current Ubi employees can express interest in working for Spicy Horse. In turn we’ll send you an offer letter. Show said offer letter to your manager and presto – Get a raise! Finally, share a small % of that raise with us. And the circle of life is complete.

My guess is that Spicy can generate huge revenues off the 600+ employees currently working at Ubi Shanghai. If the model works then we’ll target EA Shanghai, Shanda, etc, etc. I smell a Chinese IPO candidate. Don’t you?

6 responses to “New Business Model”

  1. I c how much your sense of humor grows. LOL~~ The chiefs only need to build up the core team with those who have real passion for the work and attachment for the working group to keep the company run in full effeciency, for outsourcing part, may devide the whole thing into several small pakages, find those who are really interested in the project, talented as well as independent freelencers/ professional companies to acompalish the target within the deadline, report their every step timely in order to adapt/balance the whole working group’s velocity/pace. For those who have already made their choice to make the job shift, they need to be clear about that ‘s their own choices, people who make comparision in the way you described will never be satisfied, no matter whether their wish being fullfilled or not. Keep going and looking forward for your good news soon.

  2. I am so bummed that i can’t work for you!

    good luck with Spicy!

  3. You should try to lure away everyone @ Ubi. This way they have to pay higher salaries for everyone, which they can’t afford, thus they are ruined and you are the new boss in town!


  4. […] The ever colorful American McGee exposes his new funding model. In short, in trying to recruit for his Shanghai-based studio, entrenched studios – Ubisoft in particular – are doing all they can to thwart poaching (eg, providing bonuses and raises when staff present a letter of offer from a competing studio). So, McGee is offering to write any Ubi staff an offer letter if they agree to split the difference of bonus/raise money. Fun exercise, but does beg the question of why talent is not properly compensated to begin with… […]

Leave a Reply