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  Publishers and Royalties  (Read 3792 times)
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Offline DanK

Junior Duke




Javver games rock yawel!


« Posted 2005-02-05 04:46:48 »

Time to put this forum to some good use... I hope.

I'm wondering if anyone has much experience with typical royalties paid by publishers of smaller games such as those featured on shockwave, pogo, yahoo, etc. I'm hoping to be negotiating that myself soon, but due to NDA's and the fact that in reality most people probably don't know, I can't find as much information as I'd like to on the subject, I hate to go into things with the wrong impression (too high or too low).

If it's helpful, the game is totally developed, so there isn't any advances or anything along those lines (and if there was, I'd already know the royalty stuff since I'd have an agreement with someone long before any advances happened). I don't expect the game to actually hit store shelves, but I can't rule out merchandising (I might just have to get me a one off coffee cup made... this is probably about the limit of any merchandising though hehe).

I'm hoping someone of the vets here have some experience with this that they can share (on a general basis, as I'm reasonably sure specifics would mean breaking an NDA or two). Most the information I found was regarding publishing of books, which while similar, has a much different ratio of work for a publisher and developer like the developer of a book is usually one person and maybe an artist for some cover art (reference material probably involves a lot of researchers/reference people though). The publisher has to manufacture the actual books, deal with distribution, marketting, a pile of work... with computer games, the publisher still has plenty of work to do, but entire teams of people are involved in the creation of the game, really, teams of teams... this of course doesn't apply to me, but overall I'd assume that publishers in the computer industry typically pay higher royalties than publishers of books.

Seems like cas had mentioned trying to get a game or two published, any feedback (not sure if you tried and got denied, or actually got to a point of negotiations and couldn't get a large enough royalty to make it worth giving up control of distribution or anything)? Anyway, I appreciate whatever information can be provided, and hopefully I'll be able to put that information to good use (by getting a game published).

Offline vredungmand

Senior Newbie




Java games rock!


« Reply #1 - Posted 2005-02-17 08:37:28 »

I recently looked at a J2ME game deal with a publisher. The payout was 0.15 - 0.5 euro pr. sold game. The games were sold by preminium SMS, leaving the payout percentage between 5% and 15%. The deal had no cash up front advances.

I did turn it down, but for other reasons than the pathetic payouts.

As for web games. I have not been offered any reasonable deal. Currently I have a modest, but steady income from Google AdSense.

As for shareware I have no personal experience. But I think basic registration service, no advertisement, will give you 80% and the registration service 20%.

PS: Look at this board's business section - http://forums.indiegamer.com/

Offline DanK

Junior Duke




Javver games rock yawel!


« Reply #2 - Posted 2005-02-18 02:17:46 »

I'd seen references to those forums before... thanks for posting them, because they are really what I need to be looking to as I have a game I feel pretty strongly about it's commercial potential, but so far I seem unable to convince publishers of that, so I'm looking at self publishing it... just don't know enough to decide how to do it.

Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline vredungmand

Senior Newbie




Java games rock!


« Reply #3 - Posted 2005-02-18 09:19:45 »

The people at indiegamer.com are in general open about their earnings, sales and expenses when self publishing. Just browse the forum.

Personally I don't have high regards of the game publishers. You should be very critical on exactly what they bring into the equation in terms of design feedback, marketing and sales channels. If they are not bringing anything - then you have no use for them. If the payout is 50% - then you are paying them 50% - be sure to ask what you are paying for.

Offline DanK

Junior Duke




Javver games rock yawel!


« Reply #4 - Posted 2005-02-20 04:51:44 »

Publishers provide distribution, and lots of it... there were some other benifits to the major publishers I was aiming for but since none of them seem to have picked up my game (a few non-responders so it's possible someone's just slow) I've been forced to learn a thing or two... and pretty much reduced the publisher side of things to a purely distribution issue... probably what it should be, however, it would've been cheaper to startup had a publisher picked the game up, a couple of pricey programs have been added to my must have list since I decided I had to self publish my game.

I don't mind self publishing too badly... though I'm not really looking forward to spending all the time working on promotion (cause I've done it before, it's a full time job... grrr), but a lot of the things I was worried about have pretty quickly become non-issues after a little research. I am pretty confident that once I start pushing my game publishers will realize the error in their ways and decide to come back around, but I'll have a much better bargaining position then... or a much more realistic idea of the commercial viability of my game (hopefully that won't happen though).

Offline vredungmand

Senior Newbie




Java games rock!


« Reply #5 - Posted 2005-02-20 10:33:08 »

Yes. They provide distribution and they should. But spending a lot of time getting into some publisher's portfolio of 300+ games, may not be worth the trouble if the game is not marketed.

Offline Nraged

Senior Newbie




Java is the future of Gaming


« Reply #6 - Posted 2005-03-11 14:10:50 »

Good luck dude it a competiv emarket and it only going in one direction their is a trend towards branded titles, but that does not mean they are any good!  Try http://www.thegamesarcade.com

Play mobile java games all day and party at night
win a nokia N-gage QD
Out now   Terminator 2
Offline kylix999

Junior Duke





« Reply #7 - Posted 2006-02-06 10:53:45 »


nraged you gave wrong link it redirects here: http://www.java-gaming.org/forums/www.thegamesarcade.com so nowhere Roll Eyes
this is working:   http://www.thegamesarcade.com/
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