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Publisher Royalties

09-21-2009, 03:17 PM
#1
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 40
Publisher Royalties

Hey all,

Does anyone have any idea what royalties a publisher will pay an indie developer on average to publish a game for that indie developer? Let me know. Thanks.
09-21-2009, 03:30 PM
#2
Quote:
Originally Posted by EndeavorBros View Post
Hey all,

Does anyone have any idea what royalties a publisher will pay an indie developer on average to publish a game for that indie developer? Let me know. Thanks.
Depends on the publisher and whatever agreement you make with them. For example, they could pay for the development of the game at milestones, such as once BETA is complete, etc.

You can also negotiate the royalty percentages and ownership rights on the intellectual property.

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09-21-2009, 03:30 PM
#3
it all depends on how much they like your game and what they plan to do with it - and if they give you an advance of cash or not.
The percentage can range from 5-50% of sales after apple takes their share.
09-21-2009, 03:38 PM
#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshCM View Post
it all depends on how much they like your game and what they plan to do with it - and if they give you an advance of cash or not.
The percentage can range from 5-50% of sales after apple takes their share.
It could range to much higher than that. If the developer wanted $30,000 for the game, 50% at beta and 50% on release, the publisher can ask for 80% of royalties. (All of those figures were arbitrary.)

We Are Pocket Monkey Games
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•Our Games on the AppStore•
09-21-2009, 04:21 PM
#5
If you fully fund the development of your own game and are only going to a publisher for publicity and promotion, 5-20% is the amount of royalties you should be discussing as their share, but this of course depends on the budget of your game development vs. the marketing budget they're committing to.

Naturally the quality of your game and the effort you're planning to invest into marketing on your own are also factors to consider.

Generally, never trust a publisher to think of your interests as an indie. There have been many occasions when the "standard deal" offered by a publisher is anything but up to standards. Quite often you'll see contracts with which publishers will attempt to own or at least control your IP, bind you into responsibilities like perpetual bug fixing or even sequels etc.

The sad reality is that many beginning developers have limited business experience and jump into horrible deals in the excitement of working with a publisher.

That's not to say publishers are useless, if you get funding for your development or are not willing to commit to marketing your game on your own, the publisher can jump through the hoops for you. But every developer should be mindful of how much actual value a publisher is able to offer, and how much they should be compensated for it in the way of royalties.