Rules Publishing Deals - Please Read

Discussion in 'Community Announcements and Events' started by Lunarea, Sep 4, 2015.

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  1. Lunarea

    Lunarea Artist Global Mod

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    It's come to our attention that several of you have received a pm from a certain publisher, asking you to sign a contract to have your free game sold and published by their service. They have offered to give the developer 100% of the profits upfront, and publish on several portals (including Steam). This information was sent to quite a few developers via mass PMs.


    While this could be an awesome and completely legitimate offer, it's something that's raising a lot of red flags for us. If you do decide to do business with this person/team (or any publisher that isn't well-known to you), be very careful and make sure you've had a close look at the contract. If you're new to publishing and contracts altogether, please have them looked over by someone with experience and make sure that they're really what you want.


    We would really hate to have anyone in this community end up with a bad contract or be unable to share their projects due to their relationship with a publisher.


    If you are a publisher looking for projects to publish and you are not known in the community, please pm our staff first and get their permission. This is a common courtesy and avoids having us spend time investigating or banning you for something you don't need to be banned for.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2016
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  2. Lunarea

    Lunarea Artist Global Mod

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    I just wanted to point out that singing up with a publisher isn't just a question of money, but of your reputation as well. A bad contract could mean losing out on income, but it could also result in a bad reputation with the audience you're selling to -- and this can have serious repercussions when it comes to your future games and projects.

    For example... A publisher could decide to boost your game's popularity by buying positive reviews from journalists or Steam users. They could decide to ignore major bug reports and not let you know about it, with the audience slowly growing unhappy. They could outsource the tech support they promised so that your customers end up not wanting to deal with it. And so on. When these things come to light, they will be associated with you, rather than with the publisher. People will remember your name and say "don't buy the new game by XYZ because their old game was filled with scummy practices".

    Note that I'm not accusing anyone of doing so, but it's happened before and might continue to happen in the future. There are publishers who are simply interested in the bottom line, and are willing to do whatever they need to in order to get more profits. While they might not be doing anything illegal, they're also not going to have your best interests in mind.

    This is why it's very important to look over your contract, to get a second opinion and to work with companies that have enough experience and references to back up their practices. Work with people who not only believe in your game, but who care about nurturing a relationship with you. You want to be with a publisher who sees you as a partner, not one that sees you as a giant money-bag. :)
     
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  3. Zeriab

    Zeriab Huggins! Veteran

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    Good point about reputation, Lunarea. When having a third party acting on your behalf their behaviors also reflect upon your reputation.

    Do note that it is a two-way street. Say they arrange fun events and competition, or they have some really good community ambassadors who responds quickly and well on the forums where your game is distributed. These things can help boost your reputation. Say you release your next game commercially. There could be an indirect profit increase from the reputation gained through a well-managed non-sleezy release of your previous game, or it can be a pure negative as Lunarea states. I have no idea how to measure that though.

    *hugs*

     
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 6, 2015
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  4. Lunarea

    Lunarea Artist Global Mod

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    Please note that large portions of this thread have been redacted to comply with the Cease and Desist request filed on behalf of IP Builders, who felt that information shared on behalf of staff and/or users in this thread was a defamation of their character and/or reputation.
     
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    SanZhang, VioletSpark and Marquise* like this.
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