Does a commercial game need a publisher?

Discussion in 'Commercial Games Discussion' started by McSundae, Mar 10, 2017.

  1. McSundae

    McSundae Veteran Veteran

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    Hi guys,
    as some of you probably already know I'm working on a very big open world rpg with only original graphics and I was wondering if I will need a publisher to care of advertisement? Sure, I can also create some short videos and since we got green light it shouldn't be a problem to get the game on steam but a publisher does probably more than this

    Does somebody of you already worked with a publisher and what were the benefits and what were the disadvantage? :D
    I was also wondering how it works to find a publisher. Do I seek for a good publisher and contact them directly or will a publisher contact me if they are interested?

    Any experiences with publishers in general will help me a lot - thanks in advance!
     
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  2. The Stranger

    The Stranger The Faceless Friend Veteran

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    Publishers help a lot. A decent publisher will\should: have connections, can make the publishing of your game easier, take care of the tedious side of publishing a game, will advertise and approach suitable outlets to sell your game, etc. However, they're not necessary; though they're becoming more and more necessary as prices for publishing escalate.
     
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  3. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    From what I've seen I think you have to contact the publisher. I've never heard of a publisher contacting you unless it happens well after the game has been released.
     
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  4. Kyuukon

    Kyuukon 主人公 Veteran

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    Nowadays? Nah.
     
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  5. Andar

    Andar Veteran Veteran

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    You don't need a publisher - but it will help a lot, under the condition that your game is of a quality that would interest a publisher.

    You can always self-publish, but that means you have to do all the work of publishing yourself, and it will also most likely mean that you'll be doing less effective advertisements.
    A publisher can handle all that for a percentage of the sales (in self-publishing you usually have to pay advertisement up front), and usually has the connections to get to the large portals (which usually don't even bother to check your applications).

    But the publisher will also look at your game's quality and tell you if it can't be published due to quality - that is because they don't work for free and want to have a decent chance of selling your game to get their percentages. Yes, that means you can't get a scrap project published through a publisher, those can only be self-published. Which is another reason some people are cautious to paying for self-published games...
     
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  6. McSundae

    McSundae Veteran Veteran

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    Okay and which state should I be to get in contact with a publisher?

    Do I need a playable demo for example or is it better to contact them earlier so they can make some adjustments that doesn't flip around the entire game?
     
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  7. Andar

    Andar Veteran Veteran

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    all approaches have their advantages and disadvantages, and different publisher might handle things differently.

    You need to have something that can proof your ability - either a name for already having finished games or enough of the game that the publisher can judge your abilities.
    That said, if the publisher is one of those with experience in selling RM games you might want to contact them as early as possible to take advantage of their experience. If it is a publisher that never heard about RM before, you'll need enough of a demo to proof your game quality against the backdrop of bad RM games.
     
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  8. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

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    A publisher is not necessarily going to want to spend time playing through a demo for an unfinished game by an unknown developer. There are simply too many games which promised well but never got completed for a publisher to spend that much time on it. If you haven't finished the game I would have thought that a range of good screen shots would be better because it would be quicker for the publisher to go through and get an idea of what the quality is like. By "good range" I would have thought something along the lines of:

    Title screen
    Maps
    Menu
    Skill Menu
    Any sub menu where you've done something unusual. No need for a shot of the standard stuff.
    Anything like e.g. if you have a skill tree, or a crafting system, or something like that, then shots of what that looks like.
    A selection of character art (if you have it yet)

    Depending on who you approach, you may only get one shot at this, so you need to have enough in place to show what the quality is like. It is better to wait a while and have good stuff to show than to rush it and get a rejection.
     
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