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would you accept offer from a big publisher?

06-14-2010, 08:21 AM
#1
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 217
would you accept offer from a big publisher?

What are the advantage of being published by big publisher?If a big company ask to publish your game would you accept?

I understand they would pay for marketing... but how much % do they take? those it worth it???

Any experience to share?

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06-14-2010, 08:44 AM
#2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmamba View Post
What are the advantage of being published by big publisher?If a big company ask to publish your game would you accept?

I understand they would pay for marketing... but how much % do they take? those it worth it???

Any experience to share?
On an iPhone game typically 20%-40%, if it's less than 20% then chances are there ripping you off as they wont have a high enough percentage for it to be worth their marketing spend. And over 40% there ripping you off by taking too high a percentage.

Most have a good relationship with Apple and will help get you featured (if you don't have a good relationship/ any relationship with Apple yourselves). So theres that...

I would also say the larger publishers really know what works and what doesn't and have made all the mistakes already; so if you approach them with a puzzle game, then they have probably have published a number of puzzle games in the past and will really know where to best situate their marketing spend, and where to focus their PR efforts to maximise revenue etc...

Up until now we haven't used a publisher. I am considering it for our next game however; and am in discussions with a few publishers about this.

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06-15-2010, 03:20 AM
#3
I work for a publisher so I'm probably a bit biased

There are definitely advantages of having a publisher (marketing, know-how, etc) but it's not for everyone. In my opinion it depends on what type of game you are making and how well you think you can handle marketing etc yourself.

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06-15-2010, 03:36 AM
#4
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Oslo, Norway
Posts: 731
I've been a iPhone developer for nearly two years and I have yet to see any returns what-so-ever.

[musicPlayer playSadViolins];
[self cryLikeABaby];


I am also currently demonstrating, yet again, that I know nothing about advertising.

The App Store is an extremely competitive market place and the share number of titles means that the majority of developers won't see big returns on their investments. Doing OK'ish is probably good enough, though, and as long as you can keep your head above water you can keep the dream alive that you will be the one with the next sleeper-hit (Doodle Jump, Canabalt etc.)

The way I see it, if you can get a contract with a publisher you won't be able to cash in big time if you get that one monster hit, but you might get a somewhat healthier return on the titles that would not otherwise have made it...
06-15-2010, 04:13 AM
#5
@NickFalk:

Consider this: You make a mega hit, something truly comparable to Doodle Jump. You go through a publisher who takes a good 40%, but in exchange, that publisher helps your hit make its way up the charts, and consequently you get more sales. Let's say that an experienced publisher does twice as good a job as you would have done yourself -- your hit game is twice the success.

Your profits without the publisher (after Apple takes their cut: ) 100%
Your profits with the publisher: (100%-40%)x2 = 120%

When you think about the fact that the publisher has much, much more marketing experience than your run-of-the-mill indie dev, and probably has better marketing resources at his disposal, the odds of that effort at least doubling your sales doesn't seem terribly unrealistic.

Just something to think about.
06-15-2010, 04:17 AM
#6
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Oslo, Norway
Posts: 731
Sorry, I still believe that if you have that one run-away hit that catches the eye of the press it is the one case where you really don't need a publisher.

I do believe however that a good publisher could help you get from "good game, not getting enough attention" to "rather successful title". If it help you feel better I believe the second scenario is the most likely.
06-15-2010, 07:10 AM
#7
Also consider that publishers only want to publish quality titles. They know what will sell, and what is worth their marketing $$$. Don't forget the power of cross-promotions like "Other Apps By..." that will help your published app get a lot more exposure than it could on its own

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06-15-2010, 08:58 AM
#8
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 179
Also consider the longer term implications..

If you go it alone, you will have plenty of opportunity to learn and to develop marketing know-how, and to grow your press contact-list, all of which will help with your future products..
06-15-2010, 09:23 AM
#9
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,006
I think the whole idea of using a publisher is a bit strange, considering that traditionally their main purpose has been distribution - the one thing Apple does for us.

A publisher is no substitute for having an appealing app, and the fact that publishers are picky makes it tricky to judge the value they add. If you compare a random set of games pushed out through big-name publishers with a random set of games that were self-published, chances are that the publisher-associated titles will do (much) better, but is it because of marketing magic, clout, and/or publisher feedback during the dev process, or the fact that the publisher was just more selective to start with?

There have been examples of games distributed through publishers that have flopped, as well as games distributed without publishers (Daredevil Dave!) that have soared. Once an app has achieved a good chart position, the visibility benefits from the AppStore itself take over.

If you go through a publisher, you'll be all but guarenteed to get timely front page coverage at review sites like TA. This can make all the difference at that critical juncture when an app is first released, but needs a critical number of concentrated downloads in order to first chart.

But if you truly believe in your app, and think it needs that extra boost at launch, doing extended beta testing, buying ad space, and (if needed) hiring someone to help with promotion isn't all that expensive.
06-15-2010, 01:57 PM
#10
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle Poole View Post
Also consider that publishers only want to publish quality titles. They know what will sell, and what is worth their marketing $$$. Don't forget the power of cross-promotions like "Other Apps By..." that will help your published app get a lot more exposure than it could on its own
Cross promotion is incredibly important in the app world, IMO. It's so easy to get lost in the massive sea of apps, with over 200,000 right now and 350,000 by the end of the year. While publishers can help you gain popularity and ultimately profit, new startups offer a similar service for free. From what I understand, you just implement an SDK ("More Games") in your app, and in return get featured in the "more games" section of other apps.