Marketing if you have a publisher

Labyrinthine

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Who's responsibility it is to market your game if you have a publisher who gets a share of your product? Yours or the publishers? One of my publishers promised to sell several hundreds of my game, but in the site it sold less than 10 because the publisher did nothing to market the game despite the fact it was compared in quality by the players the best games the publisher had ever made. I mean, he might get some good profit from it with a little effort.
 

Labyrinthine

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I mean, let's compare this to the movie business. Is it the directors responsibility to do all the marketing? Or let's say, Disney's if it's the company releasing the movie. I feel kind of cheated, but please correct if I'm wrong. I also decided to not mention the name of my publisher because despite him lying to me about projected sales, I don't want bad rep to him.
 

Shaz

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If your publisher promised to sell a certain quantity and didn't, and you have that in writing, I would go back and ask them to deliver or refund.

However, it's also YOUR responsibility to do your due diligence. Don't just accept someone's promise to save yourself the work. Confirm that they've done that with other games before yours and they can actually deliver on their promise.
 

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Labyrinthine, please avoid double posting, as it is against the forum rules. You can review our forum rules here. Thank you.


If you want to add something please edit your post.
 

Labyrinthine

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They have done it with many other games, even with games I could make in two months. Apparently they (at least before) didn't give any visibility to a game unless the promotional art included some generic anime character. But none of this was mention at the time we made the deal. Only after release. I contacted the publisher just now and asked him to explain this.
 
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Always hammer everything out in writing, always read the fine print, never sign a contract without consulting others if you're not an expert of some sort, and never expect anything more than what is required in the contract.
 

Ace of Spades

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Chalk it up as a learning experience. Unless you have some sort of written contract guaranteeing you sales results, there isn't much you can do about it aside from choosing not to work with them again in the future.

Also it might be my personal opinion, but as an independent developer, no one is going to be able to promote your game as well as you can. Granted, it takes considerable work, time and effort to market your game, but some developers integrate their marketing into the development process by sharing updates, screenshots, and engaging with their core audience.
 

bgillisp

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I myself have never gotten any promise of marketing from most publishers (only one offered to handle it, and it was to handle negotiations to get it in a bundle if I desired). Most you are paying a share instead for them to host the game on their site and to advertise it in the newsletters, which is what mine delivered. Sometimes the % is just for name brand recongition as well, if you can get yours behind a powerful name. I know Square Enix has published some indie games and I've seen almost no advetising by them. Same even with Degica. If either are advertising the games they publish, I've never seen the ad.

Plus in this market marketing is almost impossible. We have many other threads on it, and the average consensus is marketing is a waste of time unless you got the budget of an AAA company to throw behind it.

One thing though everyone needs to remember: The market is WAY different than it was 5 years ago. 5 years ago you could just shove your game on Steam and it would sell 200,000 copies. Now, you can make the next final fantasy and easily sell 8 copies, max. Plus people are spending less on video games now than they used to.
 
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One thing though everyone needs to remember: The market is WAY different than it was 5 years ago. 5 years ago you could just shove your game on Steam and it would sell 200,000 copies. Now, you can make the next final fantasy and easily sell 8 copies, max. Plus people are spending less on video games now than they used to.
Arguably, if a game developer is able to make the next final fantasy, they'd have a much better organized, much better funded, much more researched marketing plan than the "seemingly average" indie developer.

For example, I see that a lot of commercial games made by RPG Maker developers are being sold on no more than 1-3 market platforms when they could spread out much further.

I also often see a lot of poorly prepared screenshots and hastily edited trailer videos.

I've seen a lot of store pages focusing too much on describing game mechanics for games whose stories should be the main focus.

I've seen a lot of spelling and grammar mistakes that could easily have been prevented with just a little extra time spent on checking everything.

I've seen a lack of transparency on some games' marketing, where potential buyers wouldn't know whether the developer is a real developer or just some anonymous seller of potentially stolen goods.
 

bgillisp

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@Storyteller-Hero : Maybe, maybe not. There's only a few platforms that accept RPGmaker games, and if you can actually get your game on gog or Epic share your secret, as gog rejects all RPGMaker games except the one really popular one they took years later.

Plus remember our engine here doesn't do phones well (at least for a next FF game), and no Xbox, PS or Switch support. So you are stuck with the few PC places that will accept the game too.

And finally, one thing to remember: The more places you put it, the more support you have to do. If you are a team of 1, you could easily end up needing to spend more time than you got between all the different builds you have to maintain, the different threads to watch, etc. Remember, most of us work full time too, so we don't got 8 hours a day to spend on support too. At best, we got maybe an hour a day, if we want to still make another game too.
 
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