This guide will explain what can you do with Subsidiaries and how to actually make them useful or profitable.
A short list of the sections in this guide:
- Subsidiaries – and how to acquire them
- What to do next ?
- How to develop products via them
A version of the game: 1.4.16
You can acquire any company to be your subsidiary, if the amount of shares listed is higher than 50%. This can be seen in the Companies window, under column Listed:
If we open one of the listed companies, we will see the shares available for purchase
To be able to take over the company, we need to acquire all of the listed shares. Once that is done, on top, a new Takeover button will be displayed with the amount needed for the rest of the company.
Next, there is a pop-up question, do we want to:
– Takeover the company, meaning it will cease to exists, and all of the assets (shares, IPs, frameworks) will be transferred to our company.
– Subsidiary – the company will continue to exists and keep the IPs, but will transfer us shares and frameworks
The next popup is how much money do we want to invest in this Subsidiary.
Whatever the amount is, it is safe to enter only 100 mill $. As I stated in my other guides, the company turned Subsidiary will create profit for some time after the takeover, because the releases are being still sold from the IP owned (minding that you left them with it untouched).
So, here is the Subsidiary window:
What is the most important info from this window?
Every Subsidiary can have only one Specialization, it is either:
Tools: 2D, 3D, Audio
This one has Phone Operating system as a Specialization and it means we can only develop Phones via this Subsidiary.
Note: all tools can be done with one Subsidiary, and all Games can be done with one Subsidiary
If this box is left checked after the takeover, the Subsidiary will continue to act as a separate company and will create new sequels or even new IP.
If this box is unchecked, the Subsidiary will only deal with the work we assign to it.
Lead Designer’s knowledge:
If you hover over the Lead designer’s knowledge, we will see that he/she has several others 100% besides what the Specialization is. So this leads us here:
IMPORTANT: Autonomous Subsidiary can create IP other than their specialization! This is defined by the actual Lead Designer’s knowledge of product types. To summarize, if we want to develop products via Subsidiary we are limited only to their specialization, but if they are left Autonomous, they can create products from other fields, however, we don’t have any impact on what those products will actually be.
What to do next?
Tasks that can be assigned to the Subsidiary:
Support – any post-release support task can be handled by the Subsidiary
Marketing – pre and post-marketing tasks (during manual development, it is not available to use Subsidiaries in PM, yet)
Porting – any porting task
Product development – explained above
*Reminder: Subsidiaries work normal office hours, so they are not as effective as two teams working in 2 shifts.*
If you are opt-out of Subsidiary to work on support, marketing, and porting, keep in mind it is not creating any products and will lose money constantly. In my Marketing guide, I already explained how to employ Subsidiary for doing post-marketing tasks (and lose a minimal amount of money), but I don’t think any further explanation is needed for this part.
So, let’s go over to development.
As written earlier, if left Autonomous, the Subsidiary will continue to create sequels. I observed after the Lead Designer retires and is replaced, sometimes the AI will create new IP, but it rarely happens.
How is determined what is created next, I still don’t have a clue.
The best candidates for Autonomous subsidiaries are companies that make Games, 3D Tools, PC OS, and that’s it. If there are no companies (that are listed) with visionary Lead designers, Inspiring will be ok too.
Again, why are those only profitable companies?
PC OS ones tend to release only that IP and it takes them 3-4 years for sequel, there is no other way of income. Usually, they tend to do ok, with one sequel providing them 400-500 mil $ in profit if it’s Great/Inspiring, but anything lower in quality will slowly eat them away.
Console ones again are not releasing consoles fast enough, and since they can’t hit a high number of sales, combined with hardware printing costs, they have a hard time breaking even. If we there are not porting of games to them by us, or other companies, they are doomed.
2D and Audio can sometimes be profitable, but unless they have 3d tools, they will bankrupt later in the game, since the competition for tools is the highest, and it heavily relies on researching tech fast.
Office specialized companies can actually make some profit if they are lucky and have Lead Designer that will do either tool or 1-2 games besides the office. It will also produce Add-ons, but again, if there is too much competition, and the release is less than Great/Inspiring, they tend to lose money.
Antivirus-only companies – just forget.
So the best candidates for Autonomous Subsidiary are Games. They will usually cover 3 games in 2-3 different genres (creating their own’s competition, with the same market target, really wtf?) and still develop expansion packs to keep interested in games. If they are supplied by us with highly used OS-es, they will sell high and be really profitable.
How to actually develop a product via a Subsidiary
Last, let’s see how do we actually create a new product. In my example above, the company specialized in Phones, so I unchecked the Autonomous box and went to the Document design window
For developing a new Phone via Subsidiary, we need only to select tech+features and market interest. Next, select the bottom right name of the Subsidiary that will develop it.
Design the look, set the name, and price, and hit develop.
The new task is added to the queue in the Subsidiary Details window, and the design on the new Phone will start as soon as the previous project is released.
Note: there is still no notification about Subsidiaries releasing new products, so we need to keep track of what our non-autonomous “friends” are releasing, and when.
How to make money with a Subsidiary?
My general awareness right now is that the sales are impacted by MR, but are more by the lack of competition on market. It is easily proven by my 3D Editor, an FPS game, almost selling the max Consumer reach, because I’m the first (and in the case of FPS only) on the market. So, if you don’t mind designing Games and Tools, go with companies that have Games or Tools specialization.
The question of why AI is never releasing subscription-based software was recently replaced with “How I didn’t figure out this earlier ?!?!?”.
The only way for AI to create subscription software is to design it and give it to them to develop, and let them keep the IP.
With this new revelation in my mind, I tested it, and here are the results.
I have designed a new subscr sequel to the TigerOS and gave it to my Subsidiary to develop. After subscr sequel PenOS as the next release, the company started making serious money.
That’s it, I hope you get at least one new idea on how to optimize your gameplay and/or try something new.
That’s it for the Guide. I hope you guys appreciate it and are Thankful to nosedigger for his wonderful guide. All credits belong to his effort If you find this guide useful, kindly rate it on the Steam Community.
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