As you know the world of work has changed. The pandemic has accelerated what was likely inevitable. Work has now shifted to being outcome based and something that fits into one’s life, not what drives someone’s waking hours. At the same time, the way games are played has been affected by the advent of new technologies. It is the intersection of these two recent events that led us to create Iron Fox Games.
The overarching purpose of Iron Fox is to build a company that we would want to work for that treats our employees as the valuable people that they are, through generous compensation, flexible working schedules, outcome based objectives and truly interesting work.
Over the years, we’ve been looking for the opportunity to start Iron Fox Games and we’ve observed other studios and start ups take different approaches in how they build. To maintain stability, proper growth trajectories and sustainability we decided to launch the studio initially as a work for hire shop. This has allowed us to bring in initial capital without giving up equity, grow at a pace we’re comfortable with and also significantly derisks our short term day to day.
However, we do not want to do this forever and plan on using these initial contracts to get reps in as a team, gain experience with different technologies and expand our network of partners. This will also allow us to eventually pay it forward with investments into new teams, people and projects in a similar way to how we were treated in our early careers.
Additionally our long term objective with the studio is to build a culture that breeds creativity, excitement, passion and sustainability in everything we do.
To do all this we’ve structured some of our initial thoughts around some core principles that we try to live by.
Focus on Outcomes
Ideas of how, when, and where work gets completed have been rethought. Time sheets, despite the best of intentions, can foster micromanagement and get in the way of the creative spirit. Our philosophy on quality work is that it comes down to collaborative planning, managing expectations, and clear goals. Team buy-in is the catalyst to greatness.
Be Where You Want to Be
The pandemic has shown that a traditional office is not always necessary. We believe office rent money is better spent on people. Fair pay for fair work, no matter where you are located. We will strive to encourage, promote and hire from anywhere we can legally do so. We also believe in the human need for connection “in real life” and foster that through co-working spaces, annual company retreats, off-sites, and other activities. We might have an office someday, but it’s not important to us right now.
Our Word is Bond
Trust is the currency of life. Strategy and direction may come from on-top, but the team is ultimately who delivers. We operate on a series of commitments at every level, based on our experience and calculated assessments. Sometimes we will get it wrong — sometimes very much so — but we expect growth in those moments. Cheating to get ahead runs against our vision of building a sustainable workplace. When trust erodes, resentment breeds and toxicity takes over. Instead, we think critically about the road ahead and hold ourselves (and each other) accountable at every step.
Adaptability in Everything
In life the only constants are death and taxes. In technology it is that change is inevitable. Instead of sticking to rigid ideas, we’re flexible and consider all avenues. We consider ourselves agile (beyond the book) in everything we do, and we build resilience as we progress. Learning new things is awesome, but can be scary. We constantly aim to improve ourselves, even if it is uncomfortable. Life (and work) is unpredictable, so we embrace the new day that brings challenges. In the words of Mike Tyson, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” (By the way — we don’t punch anything…except above our weight).
All Voices are Heard
As game makers, we are storytellers, and the more perspectives we can pull from, the stronger we will get. We encourage constructive criticism, transparency, and openness. Diversity, inclusion, equality, and a sense of belonging are of the utmost importance to us. We are better when we hear from everyone
So in summary, the grand vision for Iron Fox Games is:
Take an initial work for hire contract to establish a core game development team.
Use that team to take on additional projects and contracts.
Use that money to develop our own game.
Use that money to build a reusable piece of technology that we can sell.
Then fold that success into investments in new studios, initiatives, and synergistic opportunities.
While doing all of the above, we are holding ourselves accountable to our values, vision and principles.
If any of this resonates with you, reach out. We’re looking for partners, staff and clients that believe in this stuff too.