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Meet Michael Gluck of VGM in Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Michael Gluck.

Michael, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
In 2005, I was 22 years old, I finished college and got my first job at Electronic Arts working as an analyst in the market research department. I observed that the research vendors we hired were not hardcore gamers themselves, the research was expensive, and the turn-around time on the reports was so slow that they were no longer actionable by the time we received them.

In 2007, I left Electronic Arts to start VGM, a video game specialty market research firm operated by gamers, delivering results quickly and at reasonable prices.

Today, VGM is the largest provider of market research to the video game industry.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I am tremendously grateful to have had a smooth road over the last 11 years.

The struggles occur when your point of contact leaves the company and a new director takes over. Sometimes you are fortunate enough to retain the business, and other times the new person has a pre-existing relationship with another vendor, so you lose millions overnight for no reason.

Of course, this struggle is not unique to VGM. All service businesses are in the same boat.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with VGM – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
VGM conducts more video game research projects annually than any other research firm. In 2017 we ran more than 400 gaming studies. All 50+ VGM team members are gamers.

We are the creators of the Significant Live Sample (SLS) Playtesting and Concept Testing methodology, which has been adopted by most major video game publishers across North America, Europe, and Asia. Our innovative approach ensures product quality and marketing effectiveness, guarantees the security of confidential assets, and provides normative benchmarking of product quality.

We bring up to 300 gamers into a secure facility to evaluate a product or concept, complete a survey, and participate in a focus group discussion and/or one-on-one interviews. Quantitative findings from large samples ensure statistically significant survey results, while qualitative feedback from individual interviews and group discussions support, interpret, and complement the quantitative results.

Through conducting thousands of playtests over 10+ years, VGM has built the video game industry’s largest normative database of playtesting information, which we use to provide context to our clients on how their products will match up in a competitive landscape.

VGM operates 18 hours/day, 7 days/week. We have team members who work normal business hours and others that work at night. We have perfected the seamless handoff of work from day team to nightteam over the last decade, which gives us the ability to go from kick-off to final report significantly faster than our competitors.

VGM delivers superior quality, higher accuracy, and faster turnaround time on recruiting through the development of our own proprietary gamer database and our internal team of seasoned recruiters that are all hardcore gamers. We are one of the only full-service vendors that handle recruiting internally rather than outsourcing to third-party subcontractors that are not video game specialists.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
My plan is to continue providing the highest standard of quality and service to the video game industry.

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