“Making video games and getting them to hundreds or thousands or millions of people is hard.” -Daniel Jacobson, creator of Dungeons of Dredmor
As of 2015, video games are part of an estimated $111 billion dollar industry. To get in on the action, you must have a great game, and that game has to be sold successfully. Creating a game isn’t easy, but the barrier to entry has been lowered significantly, which also makes it much harder to stand out. Developers are in the business of making and selling games, and the time spent on business is time that is not spent creating a game. Here are just some of the reasons how you can take advantage of a game publisher to help you reach your game development goals.
1. HAVE THEM MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER
There’s a lot of things that a publisher can do to make your life as a game developer much easier, some of which include bringing your game to a wider audience and getting your game on your platform of choice without the fuss of traditional petitioning, as some publishers even have connections with distribution portals to expedite the process greatly. You’re not creating content if you’re dealing with taxes, if you’re negotiating with Valve for Steam access or Microsoft about bringing your game to their platform. This is where the modern indie game publisher comes in. They’re able to take care of the business aspect of game development, freeing you up to be creative and focus on the things that matter most to you: developing a great gaming experience.
2. UTILIZE THEIR MARKETING RESOURCES
Publishers can be very flexible in what they can offer, and be really indie developer friendly. If you have a team that is totally amazing and all you need is promotion, they’ll more than likely end up taking a smaller portion of revenue then they would if you need quality assurance support or you need help on the development side. Most publishers usually have a very modular approach to how their revenue sharing arrangement works.
3. LEVERAGE THEIR INDUSTRY CONNECTIONS
There is also a lot of value in the knowledge of what it takes to ship a game, and the level of polish needed to stand out in the crowded marketplace. You have to deal with platform holders, you need to make sure you’re keeping the necessary records, you have to get a rating for your game depending on the platform. This is stuff you can learn, and plenty of developers have, but there is value in paying or offering up a modest portion of your revenue to have them handle it for you. A publisher proves their worth not just by doing paperwork, but by delivering massive sales and success that just wouldn’t be possible without the value that they bring to the table. They may be willing to pay for promotion, marketing, help with taxes, or to help get you into shows such as PAX which can be a ticket to a successful launch.
4. STEAL THEIR PRECIOUS KNOWLEDGE
A reputable publisher worth their salt knows their way around what it takes to market a game to ensure that the world knows about it as well as how to make that process run smoothly. Working with a reliable publisher can be a large help to the success of your game, as their invaluable experience will lead you down a path of infinite knowledge.
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