Having worked in film and video games for some time, Christian Fonnesbech is now splitting his time between being a consultant-for-hire as well as heading up IP development at Nordisk Film's relatively new games division. We caught up with the man himself to talk about what he offers
Tell me about your company.
I’m an independent consultant - with DDM as my agency. I'm also head of IP development at Nordisk Film Games, which is the game investment arm of Egmont - a Nordic media conglomerate with 6.600 employees. My main focus is story and franchise development: I love developing IPs and brands into lasting properties - from initial discovery to memorable characters and storylines, through building brand platforms. It’s all about using the tools of fiction to build lasting properties with unique positions in the market. I also analyse and advise on strategies & investments in the games sector.
How has the last year been for you?
It’s been intense - but the people in the games industry are the nicest in the world (seriously! I’ve tried plenty of other industries), so it’s basically been fun and games. The guys at Nordisk Film Games are fast movers, and we’ve made investments in Avalanche, Star Stable, Reto Moto and others, so there’s been a lot to see to. At the same time, I’m working with smaller clients - and the changes happening all around us continue to take a lot of bandwidth to digest and integrate.
What recent successes have you had?
Developing plans for turning growing games into global entertainment brands has been very satisfying. Finding the connections between the game’s potential, the fictional universe - and how to build a brand smells like … victory … I’m also very proud of the collaboration with smaller developers that have led to decisive course changes and investments.
What challenges are facing your sector in the market?
Where to start? The games sector seems to be stuck in a state of permanent flux. Here’s two extremes:
1) Too many Indies with commercial ambitions are still making games that could be sold in boxes. I love those games, but I’m sorry to say that, from a market perspective, it’s over: unless you truly are aiming for art and only art, you need to face up to the fact that you're basically making vinyl records for the niche market.
2) On the other hand, not enough multinationals are thinking through the whole equation from game mechanic to universe building to making lasting entertainment brands.
What do you think are the most exciting market trends in games right now?
Indie games that become brands on a global scale - with game universes that have real value for investors and other media.
What are your aims for the coming year?
I’d love to work with more developers from different European countries.
How did you come up with your company's name?
I just took the name of the road we live on. As a consultant, I am the product - and since the dot.com days are over, it’s no longer about having a fancy name and webpage.
How can people contact you?
They can find me over on Twitter - @cfonnes