Founder Stories: Abhinav Chokhavatia On Building Zatun

In today’s Founder Story, we feature Abhinav Chokhavatia, CEO and founder of Zatun!

Read on for lessons he has learned from launching and marketing his business.

1. Please introduce your business and share your role.

I have 2 ventures – Zatun and Hello Metaverse Pvt LTD. I am the CEO and Founder of Zatun and Director at Hello Metaverse, and I have over 2 decades of experience in the video game industry.

As an entrepreneur, I have rapidly and sustainably brought companies to market while bringing world-class creativity to his enterprise for over a decade. Zatun has now grown into a world-renowned brand in the video game industry.

Zatun develops its IPs as well as does work-for-hire. Our innovative and creative team of developers has worked on various titles, from AAA console games to mobile to VR.

Games made by Zatun have won numerous awards and rave reviews globally. Under Abhinav’s strategic vision, Zatun has developed 15+ games for various platforms – from the first game, “The Legend of Vraz,” for PC in 2010 to our latest game, “Down and Out” for Steam, Oculus Rift S, Meta Quest 2, and PSVR 2. 

We make various games on different platforms and genres, so our audience changes as per the game. 

⇨ My Role as CEO: Leading Zatun, I steer the operations encompassing management, strategy, game production, and fostering client relationships. My hands-on approach means I ideate and direct game narratives, oversee team dynamics (hiring, quality checks, and project mapping), and play a pivotal role in sculpting and assessing new game ideas.

“Hello Metaverse” is a joint venture between Japan’s entertainment content producer, Hello Freedom, and India’s video games production company, ZATUN. Driven by the vast potential of the Metaverse, Hello Metaverse aspires to deliver unparalleled experiences by merging Hello Freedom’s expertise in entertainment and VR with Zatun’s capabilities in gaming and VR.

2. How did you prepare for, and go about your launch?

We finalize the game date based on the build approval from the platforms and then work backward to plan for the launch. 

We work on different parts for the launch, breaking it into pre-launch, on-launch, and post-launch.

We do press releases, social media marketing, social media promotion, Facebook/Insta/YT/Google – Ads, newsletters, Discord Community management, Reditt promotion, Blogs promotion, Sharing Game keys via Keymailer and other sites, contacting influencers, connecting with press reviewers and editors, etc. 

3. Since launching, what types of marketing campaigns and designs have worked best to attract and retain customers?

Targeted YouTube, FB/Instagram Ads have worked to gain more users. We also share game keys with selected streamers on YT who have helped us boost the game. 

4. What have been the most influential brands for your business? Whose branding and marketing do you aspire to and why?

We look at Apple and see how well they have done. From the video game industry, there are some indie studios whose work we aspire to follow. Rockstar is another company whose marketing campaigns are spot on.

5. What are your favorite marketing platforms/tools?

We use Keymailer, Mailchimp, Steamworks, and game platform analytics and tools.

6. Looking ahead, what are you most excited about?

We are excited about the launch of our game Down and Out in September and our current in-development title. We look forward to the release of Quest 3 and Apple Vision Pro.

7. Who or what inspires and motivates you?

My Dad, whose company is now 40 years old and which he started and still runs, inspires me. He works harder than I do, and seeing him as passionate as before motivates me to try harder.

Games like Modern Warfare 2, God of War Ragnarök, and Pistol Whip motivate me to try to achieve the benchmark and quality of those games.

8. What are some lessons you’ve learned along the way that you would share with entrepreneurs hoping to launch or who have just launched? 
  • Begin with a minimal viable product (MVP) and think big. Learn from failures and stay adaptable to changing market conditions. Stay connected to your business’s purpose and manage finances wisely. Build strong networks, prioritize customer feedback, and commit to ongoing learning in the dynamic business environment.
  • Keep on going and innovating. No two days are the same, and when you are down, look back at some of the glorious days/years or realize that the best is yet to come.
  •  Each day is different, and each day brings something. Get through that day, and be ready to face the new one.
  •  Accept that it will not be easy, and there will be issues that throw your best plans awry. Learn to keep calm and move on.
  •  For game developers, do not plan on your most significant idea first. Test the waters first, and once you learn the skills, develop your most important and brightest idea.
  • Don’t look at what others are doing. They might get funded or sell their company, have recently made money, or are hot PR property. Focus on what your path is and where you want to go.
  •  It’s not easy. If it was, everyone would be doing it.
9. What do you believe are the qualities of a good entrepreneur? And what makes a team successful?

Persistency, Adaptability, Focus, Resilience, Risk-taking ability, Integrity, Decisiveness, Vision, and Passion.

The team is only as strong as its leader. The team needs to feel that they belong to the company, their ideas are heard, they need respect. Money matters, but job satisfaction matters equally. 

Successful teams prioritize clear communication, boast diverse skills, and foster trust among members. They share a unified vision, effectively resolve conflicts and value collaboration.

10. Let us know where we can go to learn more!