WHERE can you sell your game? What are the requirements?

Discussion in 'Commercial Games Discussion' started by Shaz, Jul 31, 2012.

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  1. Zoltor

    Zoltor Veteran Veteran

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    Am I understanding this right, the fake publishers that are doing nothing more but hosting the game, are getting 30-35% of the money it brings in? Please tell me these sites also give you your own section on the webpage(a webpage, within a web page if you will that you can customize just like any webpage), and they mass advertise your game as well, otherwise people would be crazy to give them that much off of the sales.

    Frankly, if It's a good enough game, and you know of sites you can spread the word at, it would be cheaper to pay someone to make you a professional website(and we all know how expensive that can be), then to pay someone 30% just to host the files, so such can be sold.
     
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  2. Indinera

    Indinera Indie Dev Veteran

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    I don't see why they are "fake publishers", they will host your game and sell it to their audience, which means more people will get to know your work. 30% is pretty honest in my book, this is also what most "non casual" gaming portals take (Steam for instance). Casual gaming portals unfortunately take much more but at the end of the day, it's also your decision to accept or not their terms. Nobody will hold a gun to your head to make you sign a contract.
     
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  3. Zoltor

    Zoltor Veteran Veteran

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    I call them fake publishers, because unlike real publishers, they don't need to put up any money(you know, for a printrun of physical copies), and I'm sure most of them don't advertise the games(although specific network formated sites like Steam, and Impulse are the exception, they're well known for advertising the games).

    Gaming entertainment forums are common these days, and a few of them are super popular(Sega16, the DA forums, and such, have insanely huge population, and anything noteworthy about the industry at all or info about a new potentially great game, goes viral). Also there are ways to get a webpage setup for for super cheap, if people are worried about such(might not be the greatest webpage ever, but it will do everything you want, have a payment system set up, let you host files, and such. There's usually a cap on the total amount of memory uploded files takeup granted for such webpages, but unless you uploaded a ton of games, I doubt it will be a problem).

    30% is almost what the average publisher having to put cash upfront for printruns of Physical copies of the game charge. I say, if you're gonna pay that much for a publisher that Isn't gonna handle physcal copies/atleast mass advertise it, then try to get Nintendo to add it to the Wii u ware(or whatever It's called now, they keep changing the names of their networks, and I forgot what the new name is), because then you'll be sure it will get tons of exposure.

    Yea that's true ofcourse, I'm just stating my opinion that paying that much for a service that literally cost them nothing, is a rip-off, so I felt the need to point out that there are far more better ways to go about selling your games.
     
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  4. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

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    Without, of course, breaking commercial confidentiality, would you like to share with us which sites you have been satisfied with when selling your own games? Which ones in your direct experience have given the best return when additional factors such as your time are included as well as money?
     
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  5. iRonan

    iRonan Scrub Member

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    I read a part, and this helps me. Although what annoys me is that Amaranth Games sells their games for atleast $20, which is pretty expensive and probably not even worth it. for $20 you have Assasins Creed 3(?), which has a large gameplay and much better graphics. Other than that those games are pretty fun to play, but I won't spend $20 on them.

    Onyx stands at both Amaranth and Aldorlea, which is pretty strange as it's not made by both of them (I think?). But that has nothing to do with those tips, I will make use of those tips for sure as I have no clue what to do with Eric's Saga yet, it will be a big game but not worth many money.
     
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  6. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

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    @iRonan

    You can place your game on more than one site, you are not restricted in any way.  So yeah, perfectly possible for Onyx to be on both Amaranth and Aldorlea.
     
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  7. Indinera

    Indinera Indie Dev Veteran

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    I have several games on like 10+ sites.  ;)
     
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  8. Shaz

    Shaz Veteran Veteran

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    SOME game portals ask for exclusivity (you can't sell your game anywhere else for a period of time), but in exchange offer you a higher portion of the sales for the exclusive period. It is not very likely that anyone will do that for an RPG Maker game anymore.


    The Aveyond games that are $20 were $20 on Amaranth Games, and $20 everywhere else at the same time. Other developers were releasing similar games for the same price. This was all before the casual portals decided it would be a good idea to drastically drop the price of the games and let the developers foot the bills. Since that time, the new Aveyond games have lower prices, but are also shorter (how can ANY company continue making games the same length when they only have half the budget they used to have)? Oh, and how about not commenting on whether a game is worth a price or not until you've actually played it?


    Is there confusion on the publisher cuts? Most of the indie portals will take 25%-30% or around that of the sales. This is for exposing your game to THEIR customer base, and if you look around the game industry, it's a pretty generous deal. SOME publishers (the bigger ones), will give YOU 25%-30% of sales, and will keep the larger portion themselves. While you might be inclined to steer clear of them, they usually have the customer base to make it worth your while. As long as you are getting money for your game, it's worth considering all offers :)


    This is kind of getting a bit sidetracked. If this conversation keeps going, I might grab a few of the posts and put them into their own thread away from this topic.
     
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  9. Indinera

    Indinera Indie Dev Veteran

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    Unfortunately this link (small royalties -> big portal) is far from obvious in the industry but you won't hear me calling names. Make your own experience if you intend to become an indie dev!

    True that.
     
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  10. voicemediapartners

    voicemediapartners Villager Member

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    Well I decided to join this topic and give people my insight. I used to own a online and offline game store and distribute games and successfully did so. Mainly it was mainstream publisher games but occasionally we did other games as well from a independent level. I started my own company to sell my own games as well as animated projects and other things we were working on. We are developing a game we are making with RPG Maker VX Ace which will include in game cinematic scenes etc. We are not going to go with a boxed version because we do not feel we want to market the games for enough of a price to justify it. We plan to sell the game for .99 for the first version, $1.99 for the second version and then a add on pack for .99. This is very modest pricing and with a boxed version you cannot do that. 


    Voice Media Partners, a company I started does digital distribution. I can say, previously I have gone through distributors and honestly, the best way to go is selling your own stuff. There is no money to be given out. However, you need to price competitively. I think under $2.99 is the best but I will not go above $2 personally and if you are making your game with the basics such as graphics and the general settings, I would not rise above .99. You can buy apps for .99 with awesome graphics and if you are new, it makes a good price point to get your name out there. If anyone wants any help let me know. I will the best direction I can. If you have a awesome game, let me know and maybe we could work on the marketing together if interested.


    Just to let people know, I make a living off of the products we make, so I can tell you form first hand experience the realistic way to go. A lot of people ask me what I get out of it and well for me, I am making good money and I build contacts and usually just ask for a reference if I help someone market their product. If I do the leg work and help someone publish a game (meaning if we distribute it), we would take a small royalty per sale, no up front costs form you the developer. I know some people have made comments about "fake publishers" and people who will not market your game. We would not do that. We do active press releases for our animated series we do and we would do the same for you. We would pay the marketing costs and make the investment which is why we will not say we would work with everyone on this level. You would need a good game with a good concept. If you just use the basics of RPG Maker VX ACE then we probably would not publish it. If you created or bought packs that enhance your game and make a great game, then we would more then likely be interested. If you just want some help or guidance then we will work with anyone on that level. 
     
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  11. Shaz

    Shaz Veteran Veteran

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    I have removed the advertising from your post. This is a general discussion thread. We have a special place for adverting in the Commercial - Offers forum, where you are welcome to repost your details.


    The benefit of a publisher or distributor is that they have an existing customer base, which means less work for you to get your game in front of people. Of course, you need to do your research and make sure they DO have a customer base, AND that their customer base consists of people who would be interested in YOUR game.


    Your prices are incredibly low ... I'm not sure how you could make a living off them - considering how long it takes to make an RPG Maker game, especially if you do everything yourself (if you don't, you have to consider costs, which will increase the price of the game if you want to make a profit). If you have a large number of games, yes, you could. But if you're starting out ... YOUR income sounds like it's not ONLY from making games, but also from publishing for others. And it sounds like you have quite a few games, and not all RPG Maker (which only run on PC, unless you've broken the EULA, which we hope you wouldn't encourage here).


    Apps are not games, and I would not price an RPG Maker game as if it were an app. I'd be more inclined to go with what the larger portals are offering (and in fact if you distribute through them, part of the contract will likely be that you can't offer it for a lower price elsewhere).
     
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  12. voicemediapartners

    voicemediapartners Villager Member

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    Shaz, actually I am just starting out in creating games for myself but I was  a game designer and you are right when you say that I have worked in different game engines. Making games is not our main business, as I was a website and app developer as well as a programmer and still do that. I used to have a online game store years ago as well as a brick and mortar store and I have helped do games from first person shooters to mobile games. So game making is not our main business but is a new market we are doing to become profitable and it is being financed from our other products and services. I just wanted to make that clear so people do not go quitting their jobs, LOL.

    I do all of the work and my wife helps me along too. I have come across different game engines like RPG Maker VX ACE and have worked in different game engines. You know, making .99 cents does not seem like  a lot, but when you have 5,000 orders a month it can add up. I have distributed music for instance and a song that goes for .99 made more money then selling physical albums because the overhead was lower, there was a more affordable demand and as we have seen from trends expensive games are not selling like they used to when you can pull out a tablet and buy a app game for .99-$2.99. Then if you do not have anything that separates your game form anyone else using this game engine, well there is no individuality. I am making in game cinematic videos in a comic book style using the characters in VX ACE, (if you use these videos in the game exclusively and do not take them outside of the game it is not breaking the licensing as I have checked on this), to give the user that same game feel. We also have checked with the makers of packs and some of them let you use th eimages outside of VX ACE which we plan to do for promo videos outside of the game and we are developing our own promo videos. (Shaz, where can we post promo videos if at all on the forums to give people and example of what I mean?) We have hired voice overs to do voice work for scenes and movie parts within the game. We have done extensive planning on how the game will go and we have a 3 part series using the add on packs with the smaller characters that will graduate to the packs from pioneer valley games. We have invested some money but not as much time or money if we did this on our own and it is not about the looks but also about the game play itself. 

    I can agree and understand what you are saying. We were going to price the games higher but as I said from my personal experience, if we sold more .99 digital copies that have no overhead and only development, we would make less but if we had more volume we could end up making more. So it depends on what strategy you want. Sell more for cheaper or sell less for more. We have personally seen the lower cost strategy work better for new brands and until we build our brand up the price offers a better value. However, it is all up to how you want to strategist yourself on the market. I do not think there is a wrong or right as different approaches have different pros and cons.There have been free games that have made millions just form in game purchases. So it just depends on the developer, the brand they have, the awareness of that brand and how much they invested and how they feel they can become profitable. I did a few simple games that we are going to distribute for free just for brand marketing. I do think that you were right though in saying how much you invested to build the game, but honestly if you are doing a game in RPG Maker VX ACE you could build a custom game and have some cool stuff for under $500. If you did $1,000 and went super all out, that in itself is not a lot.

    I do agree that the benefit of a publisher or distributor is having a audience, however, I have gone through the motions of building up a online store. We are finishing our new one, but we do have a customer base for our other products and for people who opt in for our videos that we offer etc. So driving traffic to that is not hard and this store has been a year in the making. Now I am not saying we will make millions, but we will recoup our initial investment and then some and be profitable.

    As I said, I still believe the best way to market yourself is independently. I would not buy some PS3 or XBOX games for $20-$30 and have bought more app games or games through online retailers that you download then I have console games and they are just as fun. Just because you do not sell your game for a lot does not mean it will not be profitable.

    The benefits of going digital are:

    • Many games are sold digital so it is a common medium
    • More revenue for you. If you make a game for $500 with a engine such as RPG Maker VX ACE it is easy ti recoup your money and then some. 
    • You have control over your sales and your game.
    • No overhead. Every download is pure profit.
    It just depends how hard you are willing to market your game and how well you can sell it. Then build your foundation and brand yourself and your games and eventually you will see it grow. I have been doing this for myself for two years and have not even scratched the surface and things are growing. I think many people feel they are going to be set once they go with a distributor, but even then it does not mean people will order your game and the ones that do will have huge profits taken. Companies like Apple, Amazon, Hasbro etc. started in garages and were built over time. Set up your own distribution channel and it will take more time, but you will be better off. It requires more work, but can have huge payoffs.

    The biggest advice I can give is do this for the fun. Do not try to make a profit and you will be successful. I know it sounds crazy but this used to be a hobby making websites, apps and games. If you stick with it you will be successful. It may be a while and may not be an easy road, but as I said, it can be done. No game company starts off in a high rise for the most part. If anyone wants help or advice let me know and I will give you my best feedback. I wish everyone the best of success and encouragement.
     
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  13. Shaz

    Shaz Veteran Veteran

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    If you want to post a promo video advertising your services, it would go into Classifieds - Offers :)
     
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  14. voicemediapartners

    voicemediapartners Villager Member

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    Shaz, no I wanted to post  a promo video just showing people examples of what a promo video to advertise their game would look like as well as an example of what we are doing to do our in game cinematic video in a comic book style. That way people can get an idea of what we are doing for our game and maybe they could get ideas from that to use in theirs. Where would that go? Thanks!
     
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  15. Shaz

    Shaz Veteran Veteran

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    mmm ... maybe Art & Literature? Or the "What are you working on" thread?


    I'm not really sure myself. Just choose one of those, and say "Shaz said to post it here", so if another mod or admin moves it, they'll come after me and not you ;)
     
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  16. voicemediapartners

    voicemediapartners Villager Member

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    LOL, ok sounds good. Thanks.
     
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  17. Ultimacj

    Ultimacj Cookie Knight Veteran

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    Since you are talking about prices...not sure if this off topic or not but it's mentioned several times what determines the price of the product?  The indie developer based on project/length/depth/etc or is it a combination of the two or does the website services listed in the OP determines this?

    As for the 99 cents, I can't say for myself if I can agree with this or not, with any game considering several factors of rpg maker alone.

    *Initial cost of the engine $70 (unless you got a steal of a bargin aka Steam)

    * Hiring people to do special work (such as VO, art work etc)

    and OR

    * Purchasing licensed DLC  to use within your game

    * Purchasing a business license (some places require this and some don't)

    Granted @ .99 a pop that could add up but you would have to have a very large audience to get that many copies out.  I could see 99 cents down the road after a product been out for quite sometime.  I don't think myself paid that low for a game unless it was used or super dirt cheap sale digitally.
     
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  18. Engr. Adiktuzmiko

    Engr. Adiktuzmiko Chemical Engineer, Game Developer, Using BlinkBoy' Veteran

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    most sites just take a percentage based on the price you set so you're kind of free to decide... some have a minimum though... like BTM I think the pay they take from your product is around 9% I think for the lowest plan, but if the 9% is lower than $1.25, they'll take $1.25 from you... so I guess that also means you really cannot sell below $1.25 using that.
     
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  19. drago453

    drago453 Veteran Veteran

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    So, unless I've been living under a rock, did the RM store stop selling games? I haven't seen more than 3 games
     
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  20. Engr. Adiktuzmiko

    Engr. Adiktuzmiko Chemical Engineer, Game Developer, Using BlinkBoy' Veteran

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    maybe. most games made by our fellows are posted on the commercial RPGMaker sub-forums since they are mostly sold on other portals
     
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