Don't get Snaked signing a Publishing deal

Tips Establishing Publishing Deals

When establishing a Publishing agreement, there are 2 major points Game Developers need to address immediately in negotiations. Don’t let slytherin [publishers] snake you.

1 - Exclusivity. Are you giving up the exclusive rights to your game, to X publisher? Does this agreement bind your game to the Publisher even if the app fails?

Many of the horror stories I hear from developers unhappy with their Publishers performance are locked into exclusive agreements. Meaning, they can’t pull the app down from the store and re-launch or re-brand.

Sometimes this often spills into the Android release… where developers have shot themselves in the foot by establishing multi-platform deals with halfhearted Publishers.

Don’t let this happen to you.

Establish individual platform deals. Diversify your odds of success by working with a few Publishers on each platform. If you piece out your game into each platform, you’re also positioned well to get the most competitive terms from the best platform specific publishers. Why? Platform Competition.

The point is, you’re taking on a challenging project — building games cross platform… and you should be taking advantage of every opportunity you can.

The next critical point you need to address when establishing a deal revolves around IP.

2 - Intellectual Property - Who owns it? As a developer you should retain your games IP. On the rare offshoot you get a BIG offer ($100k+) then maybe consider selling it.

IP is extremely valuable. There are longer term opportunities to establish a game series, or even merchandising. Take Rovio’s Angry Birds for example. In 2012 30% of Angry Birds revenue came from Merchandising. That’s millions of dollars. I wouldn’t be surprised if the breakdown was an even higher % in 2013.

What are the most critical aspects of establishing a Publishing deal for you?

  • Revenue share
  • Cross promotion capabilities
  • Advertising budget
  • Minimum guarantee on earnings
  • Publisher Prestige

Answer me on twitter where I’ll be actively responding (in english) & slap on #gamedev to your response.


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