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Experience On GameDev-Publisher Relationships

I’ve promised to share my experience on gamedev-publisher relationships, so here goes nothing. Thread time. 🧐

Not every publisher is right for you. Be patient, take your time, pitch to many, find the right one for your game.
Contract is a curse, when done wrong.

Contract has to have everything you need to stay motivated and ship the best game you can.
Publisher can give you
– funding
– developers
– cross-promotions
– marketing
– connections
– platforms access
– deadlines

In return you "sell" a share of game's profits.

That said, publisher can also screw things up for you majorly. Here are some examples.
Publisher leaves you with % of net profits – that means that they legally can spend money on booze and cars and have your game pay for it. Go for % gross.

Publisher takes IP – you'll regret it

Publisher is not funding, but loaning you dev money – you're playing russian roulette with 5 bullets in the barrel.

Publisher has a wide array of game genres and styles in portfolio-their audience is framented&chances are – they will drop your game at the first sign of trouble

Publisher takes a major share of profits – that will hurt your motivation in the long run.

Publisher takes total control of game's direction – you'll probably hate your game when it all ends.

You signed publisher's contract without getting a lawyer – be prepared for anything.

And all of the above can be avoided, if you do your part.
– calculate the budget/time, multiply by risks
– go for gross %
– get a lawyer
– never loan
– browse portfolio, seek publisher with games similar to yours
– get in contact with devs who had worked with this publisher

Your game gets one publisher only. Don't rush, find the right one. Prove to the right one your game is worth it.

The right one cares about your game, cares about you and your motivation, lets you concentrate on gamedev.
Because in the end – you should both profit from it.

Originally tweeted by ALL Procedural (Evgeniy Skvortsov) (@allprocedural) on 27/08/2020.


Comments are welcome.

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