The Top 10 Reasons to Work With a Game Publisher

Video games may have begun as novelties found mostly at arcades, but since the 1972 release of Pong, they’ve definitely come a long way! Video games have forged a reputation beyond simply being a toy. They’re key for social hangouts (imagine a party without Mario Kart!), the platform for professional eSports competitions, and the video game industry has skyrocketed to keep up with the increasing demand for new and improving games.

Globally, the video game market was worth $155 billion USD in 2020, and this value is forecasted to nearly double to $268 billion USD by 2025![1] With the game industry continuing to grow, more and more eager developers are trying to get their foot in their door but may find the industry to be very competitive and dominated by huge experienced game teams and studios.

This is where game publishers come in. Small, indie developers (perhaps like yourself or your team!) offer fresh ideas and new insight into the gaming industry but may be crushed by bigger corporations with more money, manpower, and experience. Signing with a game publisher allows small developing teams to receive the funding, assistance, and experience they need to make their game successful in this increasingly competitive (yet lucrative!) market.

Just keep on reading for the top 10 reasons why you should consider working with a game publisher!

10 Reasons To Work With a Game Publisher

  1. You’ll likely make more profit overall!: the marketing help from your game publisher is instrumental in driving up exposure and user acquisition (UA), such that even after revenue splits with them you’re likely to turn a greater profit! However, this does depend on your deal and the game’s success.
  2. They’ll give you funding: they’ll provide you with the necessary funding, which is especially necessary for the early days when there is no ROI yet! This is especially important if you have big creative ideas/plans for the project!
  3. They’ll take care of marketing: they can handle the many different forms of marketing so you can focus on other things. They’ll be able to provide your game with greater exposure, attention, downloads/user acquisition, and overall drive traffic!
    1. Product/brand management, marketing strategy
  4. They’ll take care of manufacturing and distribution: including physical and digital distribution. This is aided by the fact they have experience, so they’ll do this much quicker so your game can get out there! If you went solo/indie, it’d take longer as the market would need to validate your name and you need to do the paperwork yourself.
  5. They’ll take care of localisation and porting: allows for greater reach by funding text translation for different languages and help with porting to different gaming platforms.
  6. They’ll take care of player support & engagement: customer service, quality assurance & finding playtesters, and creating the website/SM(?). Also, help maintain an online presence, respond to messages, and community building.
  7. They have experience in the industry: they may be able to support/advise on certain aspects of your game development, boosting the overall quality of your game and letting you learn from them. This is especially useful if you find a publisher with experience in the same niche of your game!
  8. They have connections with industry experts: often have many good relationships with experts in the game industry, including those in sound, art, and tech. This means networking and potential additions to your team. Also means access to more expert advice.
  9. They have connections with main industry organisations: often have good relationships with important companies in the game industry, such as advertising networks and user platforms. These companies may look more favorably upon your game, giving you access to exclusive deals (increasing eCPM) or front-page reviews.
  10. They can help with project management: With their experience, they can help you plan the development process and set comfortable deadlines to target the development speed. They usually require milestones for payment/funding, which requires organising the milestones as well as motivating you to complete their development by the agreed-upon deadline. Overall this will help you stay on track so you can release the game on time!

Conclusion

Overview of major reasons:

  • They’ll help you get off the ground by providing you with the necessary funding. WITH NO UPFRONT FINANCIAL COST!
  • They’ll take time off your hands so you can focus on the game quality, not on marketing/distribution/community engagement/support, etc.
  • They have experience & an established reputation, helping you get your foot in the door.
  • Your game will get greater reach, visibility, and user acquisition.
  • You’ll make more money.

Sometimes game publishers may get a bad rep, but that’s on a case-by-case basis which is why it’s important to research and communicate with different game publishers – find someone fresh!

Many of your favorite games might never have existed if not for the funding and expert aid of a game publisher.

But it’s not totally simple to get a publishing deal as there are many expectations publishing companies have for budding game developers. Don’t fear though, as we’ll be letting you know the top tips if you’re looking to score a publishing deal! (?)

But if you’re thinking that a publisher is easy to get – you’re absolutely wrong. There is a whole set of tasks that you need to complete before you actually get through one!


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