Developer publisher relationship advice

Do You Really Need A Game Publisher? | The Creative Entrepreneur

developer publisher relationship advice

It was a new publisher but boasted that it was a AAA publishing studio because it had a money, for distribution, for marketing or for mentorship and advice? Most indie game developers are in need of development funds unless you have They would have relationships with online distributors like Steam, Google Play . Byron says developers should also look out for how a publisher reacts to a “ Ask your publisher about their relationship with the relevant “The best advice I can share is please research the game you are making,” she says. We have seen shifts in this publisher/content developer relationship in the music, film, book, and magazine industries as digital distribution.

developer publisher relationship advice

But this is where literally anyone can sign up for a developer account with Steam, Apple App Store, Google Play Store, Amazon, Humble Bundle and a whole load of online game marketplaces and act as their own distributors. Saying that, powerful publishers do have an advantage when it comes to visibility on these distribution channels. Ever notice games by famous publishers get unfairly big banners on Steam? How about the fact that they always get featured by Apple and Google?

This is the unfair advantage that good publishers have over an individual. Now there is a myth that publishers can automatically get you distributed on boxed retail. That is not true. While some big publishers do indeed have the means to get you on boxed retail, and if you are lucky to work with one, they tend not to automatically put you on the boxed retail route simply because you are indie and unproven. Your sales on the online channel would have to be quite phenomenal for them to discuss distributing your game via the boxed retail route because they would have to cough up a substantial investment to design, print, distribute and market those boxed games.

On the other hand, there are publishers who specialize in distributing boxed retail. They are however very selective on who they approach to discuss a distribution deal. The same rule applies - your game would have to chalk up impressive results in the online stores for them to even consider it.

Publisher Developer Relationship

We experienced this first hand when several publishers just approached us out of the blue to ask if we would consider publishing the PSVR version both online and boxed retail of Sairento VR through them. For us, we reached the stage where retail publishers took notice of us without signing up with any publisher in the first place.

Do You Really Need A Game Publisher?

We are in a pretty happy position because we got to keep all our earnings minus Steam's cut and taxes. If your concern is about marketing, I think it is somewhat valid if you have little or no knowledge of marketing. Game publishers with a good track record of publishing successful titles will probably be able to help your game gain more traction than you possibly could. For starters, they have more relationships. During the course of running their business, they would have built up a network of influencers and game reviewers they can call up to ask for favors.

They would have relationships with online distributors like Steam, Google Play Store and Apple Store where they could ask for a special feature on store front.

Help me understand the relationship between publisher and developer. | NeoGAF

And if the above isn't powerful enough, they have money. Moolah they can deploy towards ads or install purchases.

developer publisher relationship advice

Those have direct impact on sales and visibility. With that said, you need to consider a few points. Can you do any of the marketing yourself? What are you giving up for this?

Can the game publisher truly deliver? From my experience, you most definitely can! I have written an article on this topic and will not elaborate further here. You can read it here. The more you ask of them eg. At the end of the day, you have to decide if the deal is worthwhile for you.

developer publisher relationship advice

Unfortunately there is no answer to this. For the most part through, this profit margin isn't something the owners can pocket, it is the padding that allows those studios to stay alive during the potential gaps that can happen between projects.

A big payday for independent studios usually only comes if they are bought or manage to release a colossal hit and make enough profit that they fund most or all of their next game, which sets them up for even greater earnings. This is one of the biggest reasons that we've given up interest in a publishing deal. If we were fully funded, we could probably complete the full game in months and we'd end up hiring a full-time team of about people.

When the project ended, we'd stop receiving development payments from the publisher but, given the publisher investment recoup model, it could be a long time before we received any royalties from the sales of the game.

So, we'd have a team of people, office rent, etc, burning money but no income. This is the typical situation independent studios find themselves in. You get into this trap of always having to line up that next project fast enough or run out of money. Originally Posted by medierra I think there are basically two reasons [for the publisher's cut]. One is that traditional publishers want to try to cover the risk they incur in trying to get distributors to put games on the shelves.