Why Publishing Matters (For Indie Games)
Hello! I’m Tats, Publishing Manager for Codex Worlds.
I've been in the video game publishing industry for just over 10 years. I've mostly worked as a producer at Ubisoft, publishing dozens of titles in North America, and I'm using my experiences to help launch Infinium Run.
“What does a publishing manager do anyway?” one may ask, or, “Why should that matter for an indie company?” Those are good questions. First, here’s what a Publishing Manager does: make games successful.
To explain this, let’s start with the basics:
It’s common knowledge that game publishers (e.g., EA, Ubisoft, Activision, etc.) help developers publish their games by funding them, submitting them to first-party companies (Sony, Nintendo, Xbox, etc.), manufacture the media, market them, and distribute to stores. Back in the day, a developer could not release its game without a publisher, but these days, thanks to digital downloading, almost anyone can self-publish a game without a publishing company, even on consoles.
However, developing and releasing a game by yourself does not mean people will flock to it and make it rain digital dollars. In fact, only one-fifth of iPhone developers actually make enough money to maintain a business.
Throughout my career, I have witnessed and worked with incredible developers with fantastic vision, genius programming skills, fierce ambition, and unlimited passion for their games. However, quite a few of them were starving artists who saw no room for anything and carved their games by their own design. It’s not really a bad thing, but without guidance or some business sense, these developers would almost never get their games released. If they did, there was a good chance lack of quality publishing for their company often resulted in much lower sales to the point where they might not survive to make another one.
In more than one instance in the past, when I worked for a publishing company, I met with developers looking for publishers, and they asked me, "What can you do for us other than putting our game in a box?" I usually reply with the following:
- When we put your game in a box (or digital art), that box will look so good that everyone will notice it.
- Your game will be on store shelves in all major retailers (or noticeable on major digital distributors like Steam).
- Your game will be translated into multiple languages and shipped worldwide.
- Your game will get maximum exposure in all media outlets.
- Your game will have extensive game play testing for balancing and optimizing fun.
- Your game will be thoroughly tested for bugs and vetted through focus groups.
- And of course, we will fund your development so you can make your game, and all of this can happen.
This is why publishing matters, no matter what platform the game will be on. I help with all the aspects of game publishing in order to make sure the games that are being developed have the best chance to be successful and make money.
In future posts, I will write more details about publishing that are important to know when developing a game and why Codex Worlds stands out from other indie developers.
We are not only striving to make excellent games but making sure they reach gamers far and wide and become as successful as possible.