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# Cash..? How Much Cash?

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Soulz    122

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nosfy    194
What is an average game? I think your question is quite unclear so you receive quite unclear answer. Are we talking professional games? Indie games?

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"if one company designed, programmed and did like 90% of it but had a diff company destribute it ... how much would it make  wise?"

This are many factors to consider here.. It sounds like you are talking about going to a publisher. I''ve never done so myself, but I''m pretty sure thats a bad thing to do if you want to make money. From what I hear, a publisher pretty much steals your game and your rights. They will force you to change the game around, then sell it in stores and take 90% of the profits and give you "royalties" which are hardly anything.

That''s why I plan to go the D.I.Y. approach (shareware..) with no publisher. I''d like to have full control over my products AND be able to get as much payment for my efforts as possible. Of course this requires more (server hosting, PHP/MYSQL, etc) but in the long run I believe it will be very worth it.
If you go to a publisher with your game(s),
I don''t think you would EVER see a million..

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Um. If the guy/girl doesn''t say pro or Non-pro Company just says company then common thinking is that both are to be included.

So the taking in both pro and non-pro my guess would be like 100-200,000 or so but then again I’ve never really look at this before so I may be wrong

--I''ve beem to H@ll and Kissed the devil--

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Yann L    1802
quote:

This are many factors to consider here.. It sounds like you are talking about going to a publisher. I''ve never done so myself, but I''m pretty sure thats a bad thing to do if you want to make money. From what I hear, a publisher pretty much steals your game and your rights. They will force you to change the game around, then sell it in stores and take 90% of the profits and give you "royalties" which are hardly anything.

Yep, that is pretty much the case with a publisher. Royalities are around 10% to 25% (if you are really lucky). And in most cases (depends on the publisher) that does not even include marketing/advertisement costs. So in the end, you''ll end up with with 3% to 5% on your product. Pretty unacceptable. But note, that a publisher will pay for the development of your product, ie. they will give you risk capital.

A distributor is different. This is just a service company, that exclusively sells your product for you. They have the distribution channels, advertisment contracts, production facilities, etc. You have to bring in the 100% finished product, ready to ship. Distributors take considerably less money. Depending on your negotiation talents (and on the product quality), you can get up to 60% and more, if you are good. You have much more pull here, because you basically present a ready-to-ship product, and could just as well go to the competitor.

Most large game companies both offer publishing and distribution deals.

quote:

If you go to a publisher with your game(s),
I don''t think you would EVER see a million..

Depends. We were offered much more than that for our game, when we looked for a publishing contract. But they will take everything away, so you have to choose what is more important to you: your game and copyrights on the technology (which could give you much higher long term profits), or the quick money.

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quote:
Depends. We were offered much more than that for our game, when we looked for a publishing contract. But they will take everything away, so you have to choose what is more important to you: your game and copyrights on the technology (which could give you much higher long term profits), or the quick money.

So youre telling us that they wanted to take the rights for everything that might be created in future with YOUR OWN ENGINE ??? Come on, this would EXTREMELY suck. I know that they wanna exploit you in a maximum way, but what ON EARTH makes them think you gonna give them rights for everything to be created in future with your engine ? Or does EVERY publisher does it that way currently, so youre left with no choice ? I mean, your engine is already created from about 60-70% (IMHO from the great thread in other forum), so they cant just ask for this. They might, but only in case you came to publisher, signed a deal and only then started to code the engine from scratch (with your know-how from previous game engines youve been working on since otherwise you wouldnt be granted the deal).
And frankly, a million or two is little money in comparison to your technology.
BTW Im showing your screenshots to everybody that has an idea of game programming that I know , and everybody just says: hm, nice render :-)

Regarding the original post, I read somewhere on Gamasutra that the average game sells about 80.000. It is usually considered a failure if it sells 25.000 copies or less. As for this "million copies", just few games a year out of thousands make it here. If a game sells 400.000 copies you can read everywhere on web how the game is succesfull and the typical stuff with interviews, e.g. Hidden and Dangerous 1 sold about 400.000 copies and the web was full of it.

Hm, as for the distributor channel, i think those 60% is pretty high number. Which company are you talking about ? Id be glad to talk with them. I know of several distributors that are giving you max.35 % But 60% would be really great, IMHO. Please give us a link.

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thona    100
::I know of several distributors that are giving you max.35 %

Not about games - but when I started shopping around for a customer having a nice end user product (in the same price area), we were offered 50% right at the table as negotiation start.

It was a "customer comes with product, even pays production", though.

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quote:
It was a "customer comes with product, even pays production", though.

Yeah, but then you have to create box for a game - i.e. pay for design, pay for boxes, pay for creating of CDs. When you have it packed, you have to start making some ad campaign at least in your region and lets not forget that you have to visit every store separately and since you dont have established contacts, you end up with just few supermarkets or local stores having your game (which you also have to pay for). One distributor with all necessary infrastructure is definitely big plus. How much can you advertise your product ? How many people shall be adressed with your promotion ? Naturally the distributor may not do anything special in the end, but theres at least a chance... If not, you can start hunting other distributors...

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Yann L    1802
quote:

See, the publisher is paying for the development, they see it as a job: "we pay you to program this game for us". Getting longterm high risk capital from a bank will range at similar rates, in terms of percentages, but not in terms of copyright implications. But it will be near to impossible to get one for a startup game company, without the required credentials. So essentially, the publisher plays the role of a risk investor, and they (theoretically) take a large risk by giving you the money. If that was really such a high risk in our case is a different question, but the principle is the same. Also, I''m not saying that all publishers are like that, but we did a bunch, and the results were a little disapointing in that matter.

quote:

Hm, as for the distributor channel, i think those 60% is pretty high number.

Yep, it is pretty high. That''s why I said that it depends on your negotiation talents, and obviously on the market profile of the distributor (local, national, worldwide, type of exposure, etc). Another important point to get the good deals, is making an exclusive longterm contract (ie. you guarantee to sell all the games you release within the next 10 years through them). 35% seems a little low too me, though. At my real-life job, I''m working for a professional sim/vis software developer, we sell our products through one exclusive distributor, and get largely over that amount. In the end, it depends on how tight your business relationship is. We got offered 40% by a distributor for our game, as negatiation base. We didn''t negotiate it through (yet), but 50% should have been possible without too much trouble.

What alternative do you have ? Distribute yourself. Doing so on a physical large scale retail is extremely expensive, of course. But doing so on the internet is not. For a first time game or small application, you should definitely consider this method of distribution. Release a limited demo (2 levels), and sell the full game on your website. Either through direct download (subject to an authorization code), or if you have the money, have the box/CDs professionally manufactured and send them to your clients. A lot of eg. commercial 3DSMax plugins use this method of retail, and it works pretty well.