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Publishers

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I was wondering what it is exactly that a publisher does for the developer and why do developers get so little of the money coming in for the games that they designed.

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I'm no expert but here is what I know. The publisher gives a game dev company money to make a game. I.E. Activsion may give ID software 2-3 million (?) to make a game. ID sotware will use this money to pay personal, buy equipment, research, and enough to basical cover ALL resourse costs. Of course the game developer company has to present an idea to a publisher before the publisher will make the descision to publish them. The publisher does this of course to make a profit. So ID softeware would have to pay back the 2-3 million in full and they would also have to pay them more becuase Activison needs a profit. Now as we all know the only way a game makes a profit is if it sells. And game companys usualy do not have a marketing department, so the publisher as part of the deal markets and sells the game. After taxes, the publisher takes a %, the store takes a %, the game developers are left with about 4% (?), the publisher does not get 96% I read a PC gamer that told where all the money was taken from. If a game sold 2 million copies that would be some million dollars (50$ a game) and at 4% per game they make not that bad money. Now remember they have already given themselves and everyone that works for them a paycheck (the 2-3 million dollars). So basically that percent belongs to them, to split up as they see fit, or to put back into the company. Now that reason that most game companys go through a publisher is because there is no way in hell a bank is going to loan them that money and because they do not have to worry about marketing. Hope that answers your question in full. Now I must get back to work...

[edited by - HunterTKilla on July 25, 2002 2:24:29 PM]

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A publisher obviously "publishes" games just like a book publisher. This involves, marketing, distribution, selling, publicizing about the game, and just making people aware of it.

They can pay a company xxx dollars to develop a game then they own the "rights" to it aswell as the profits, or they can work on a royalty basis, or any numerous of viable "deals" that may be made.

To reflect on HunterTKilla,
"ID softeware would have to pay back the 2-3 million in full and they would also have to pay them more becuase Activison needs a profit" not entirely correct. They don''t "pay them back", they get their money back through sales.

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I think ID software is a bad example. In their case, they probably have the money already, possibly even enough to publish on their own. They just choose to let Activision publish their game. Most likely they make the game on their own budget, and then let Activision publish it. Activision then gives them like 15-20% of the end profits. Other smaller developers may get advances from publishers, which they DON''T have to pay back. The thing with advances though, is the bigger the advance, the less the developer gets in terms of royalties from the sales, some times they may get nothing.

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