From Art Director to Asset Store Publisher
What makes someone with a highly successful career as an Environment Artist, Lead Artist and Art Director on AAA titles decide to make the jump to becoming a full time Asset Store Publisher?
When Pete Sekula talks about his career and the games he’s been involved in, such as Far Cry 4 and Tom Clancy’s The Division, it’s with obvious enthusiasm and pride. Clearly, Pete is also good at his job.
So, why quit?
“The revenue I’m earning in the store is beginning to eclipse my salary, and I’m only doing this part time.” Pete Sekula
To be able to make the leap to running your own business you have to be confident that you’ll have a regular and reliable revenue stream.
As a United States citizen, Pete has healthcare insurance costs to meet. He also has a family and a mortgage, so leaving his current position is not a decision he’s taken lightly. But the appeal of working on his own projects and doing things his own way has always been there.
Pete’s company is called Quantum Theory Entertainment. The name being a metaphor for his view on game development: “A fresh idea, no matter how unorthodox, can have a hugely positive influence on your future.”
That’s quite a vision, and, as you’d expect, Pete is a real enthusiast. From being an avid teenage gamer he went on to trying things out for himself at home in 3D Studio Max and Photoshop and attended two separate schools where the classes were way too simplistic. He kept working at his portfolio and landed a position at Ubisoft where he’s worked since 2002.
Though it’s obvious that he enjoyed his time there hugely, the dream of making content that fulfilled his vision of how a game should look, and ultimately of making his own game, was always there and became more and more important to him.
Around four years ago, Pete heard from yet another colleague that he’d been using Unity in his spare time, and had gotten so far as to start making and selling his own content on the Asset Store.
Just out of interest, Pete asked: “How much do you make a month?” “Around 100-150 bucks,” came the answer. That was enough to interest Pete in becoming a publisher, and over the past four years he spent his evenings and weekends building a business.
A lot has happened to both the Asset Store and Quantum Theory Entertainment during that time. Last month, the Asset Store passed the 1 million monthly downloads mark, and Pete now has a significant portfolio of assets for sale.
He also has a regular enough and high enough income to be sufficiently confident to take the leap and support his family exclusively through what began as a side interest.
What’s more, becoming an independent Asset Store Publisher will also give him the time, space and money to start working seriously on a game of his own. Pete has lots of ideas, he’s a VR enthusiast and, with his skill set, very big on making beautiful-looking games. His long-term goal is to publish one on Steam.
While Pete’s driven to create high-quality artwork, he recognizes that, in an industry that can support both Call of Duty and retro style platformers, there’s a niche for everybody:
“From 3D games on consoles to 2D games on mobile, people will always want great experiences. Your content in the Asset Store enables aspiring devs to reach them all.” Pete Sekula
Pete’s advice to would-be publishers:
- Promote your assets on Twitter, YouTube and the Unity forums with plenty of screenshots.
- Be thorough with your documentation and “how to” videos to market your content and reduce support requests.
- If you’re an artist, develop a style and be consistent throughout your product line.
- Work hard, experiment, try again, and don’t be afraid of an original idea.
Best of luck Pete!