Ghost publishing problems and ideas for dealing with them

BreakerZero

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Not sure if anyone suggested this as an ongoing conversation idea but what do you all think about dealing with, recognizing and hopefully avoiding ghost publishing problems? I ask because Ittle Dew (even as a orange/apple case for our purposes) recently ran into unanticipated distribution downtime because of exactly that kind of situation which has essentially taken the game out of circulation. Basically what they intended was for the downtime to be a simple transfer of publishing rights back to the game's creators because reasons, only to simply be pulled instead because Nicalis (which undoubtedly instigated something leading up to this) wanted to play dirty instead of following through on its part once its access was revoked under whatever suspected reason there is for what happened with that.

Granted, Nicalis is already being accused of other shady behaviors and is also dealing with controversy from within, but the point is the same: people are accusing the publisher of being total (expletive), even looking at indie publishers as common house flies with the alleged behaviors - one of which is the aforementioned ghost publishing problem.

Any thoughts on how we as creators should go about in terms of avoiding this kind of situation, let alone what to look for in terms of signs of this kind of shady behavior so that we don't end up in similar circumstances?
 

Uzuki

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Take into account any former issues the publication has had, who's in charge of the publication and what they're history with it has been with, talk to other people who've been published by that company, and try to talk to people that aren't just the higher-ups. Whisper circles are a thing among workers who have to work in an abusive environment and when it comes to workers being abused then it's not out of the question that people that run that kind of environment will turn on their clients too, especially when egos get involved and the head honcho does something like this to devs who don't have much power.
 

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