An exclusive Tech Tribune Q&A with Leonard Tatum (founder and CEO) of Tatum Games, which was honored in our:
Tell us the origin story of Tatum Games – what problem were you trying to solve and why?
Content creation is where Tatum Games has its roots. We started off creating content, but later pivoted after realizing how nearly impossible it is for independent developers and small game studios to stay competitive against the bigger players. This was a long time ago before there was any indie game culture or indie game pipelines.
Even today, while there is more support for independent developers and small game studios, the chance of survival is dismal. Creating content is significant, but it’s not the main factor in surviving. Ultimately what it comes down to is money and knowledge. The life of an indie game developer often starts with no money and sometimes ends in the same way.
The needed funds are not so much for product development, as the cost of developing games is tremendously cheaper these days, but for the more important things that make-up a business. Developers need to know what their users’ behaviors are – which of their users are contributors, which of their users are hackers or trolls, and which of their users are most valuable. Game developers need to understand their users’ spending behaviors and habits. They need to know what their users enjoy, what type of content, style, and gameplay is trending, what are the industry statistics, and more. This knowledge is impossible to obtain as an independent developer and small game studio. Lacking comparable industry data comes with the territory.
Tools such as Amplitude, Google Analytics, and Unity Analytics only provide you with insights and KPIs from the data that you own and collect. The information is limited and extremely costly. Data analytic tools only share trivial insights that won’t help your business survive or level up.
While facing these challenges themselves, we decided to champion the cause of the underdog by creating MIKROS. We solved the issue of independent developers and small game studios not having enough data by using data pooling. With MIKROS, small game studios never have to worry about not having enough data, because everyone’s data contributions count towards the MIKROS technology figuring out ways to make their product and business succeed. We also solved the user targeting issues with marketing and advertising simply by being really good at putting users into different buckets. MIKROS can differentiate segments of users in many different ways – for example, the technology can group users by their willingness to spend and charge advertisers accordingly to get their product in front of the people that matter most. It’s micro-targeting at it’s greatest!
Tatum Games’ thesis is simple. By offering improved user targeting, game developers who use MIKROS will in turn have improved user acquisition, and this improved user acquisition will inevitably lead to increased monetization and growth.
To top everything off, MIKROS is the cheapest and only data analytic service in the world with a flat subscription fee and not a scaling pricing model. Game developers can signup today for FREE.
What was the biggest hurdle you encountered in your journey?
We have faced many hurdles – all the hurdles that any and all startups face. Nevertheless, the organization has persevered and focuses on the solutions we provide to game studios. By developing new and advanced technologies such as MIKROS and providing a community platform for game developers to congregate, help each other, and connect with valuable assets, we have become one of the leading game service providers. We wish to continue bringing value to game companies and are now looking to expand.
We ask that if any investors are interested in participating in our next seed funding round to reach out directly here. We are looking for investors who invest in for-profit, seed-stage, tech companies with high growth/exit potential.
What does the future hold for Tatum Games?
Tatum Games has a long and extensive roadmap. Due to our patented technology, we will always be one of the leaders in data collection, analysis, and protection. We want to continue being at the forefront of user targeting, lowering the costs of marketing and advertising. We plan to remain by the side of independent developers and small game studios, working with them to build technological solutions they need and providing the network effect that will help them succeed.
What are your thoughts on the local tech startup scene in Santa Clarita?
It’s not just the tech startup scene, but the entire startup scene that’s growing in Santa Clarita. There is an increase in entrepreneurs starting their businesses here. To accommodate this startup rise, there are more offices, shared spaces, business groups, and business financing options.
What’s your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Don’t give up. You have to understand that before you succeed, you must first learn to fail. If you fail a couple times and stop pursuing your dream, you aren’t ready. Tatum Games had to first fail before pivoting. Now the organization is much better for that. It is rewarding to know that a game studio is finding success due to using the technologies and resources that we provide. Your success as an independent developer and small game studio is both our mission and “why”.