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databandit

Starting a publishing company

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hi, let''s say that i have got a capital of $10,000. I want to start a publishing house. What equipment do i need to buy and basically, what do i need to do? any help will be appreciated.

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First you need to learn to ask good questions if you want to get good answers. You haven''t provided any information at all about what you want to do.
Where will you be based, what type of games, is this retail, online, mobile publishing, PC/console..... what are you aiming to achieve, what size of company are you hoping to create.

Second you need to create a business plan that outlines all of the above and includes some market research and financial projections. That will help you to work out what you can achieve with your money.

Third, it would be far easier if you knew how the industry worked through experience. Working for an existing publisher would teach you a lot and help you avoid making a lot of basic errors.

Dan Marchant
Obscure Productions (www.obscure.co.uk)
Game Development & Design consultant

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hi,
this is the plan:
we will publish PC games, mainly FPS.
we will be online publishers as well as offline
we will supply the games to retail stores around the country
we are thinking of creating a small company with about 15 - 25 people.

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Take that data, work out all the details, come up with 20 pages or more of well written, well thought ideas, and understand that 'we will supply these games to retail stores around the world' doesn't just happen...if you could just toss them at these stores, indy's would be doing it all the time...these companies have contracts, and getting these setup costs money...lots of it...and get all that together and that's a business plan, not five lines. Get that all together and realize that $10,000 is pennies for such a venture and you'll be on your way...maybe.

[edited by - direct on June 5, 2004 12:13:08 PM]

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Interesting.

You''ll probably need a more detailed plan than that -- especially as relates to your employees (did they invest in the company at all? If so what are their rights as stockholders, what happens if you fail, what happens if you succede, how do you pay them, all that stuff.

But, that aside, I would think the logical next step would be to find yourself a game to publish. Probably nobody is going to come knocking at your door if you are new to the industry, and unproven. So you''ll have to find a game that looks promising and see if you can arrange something with that team. This definately should involves contracts so you''ll probably need a lawyer. Also a lot of the time publishers pay the developers as the developers meets their milestones, so you''ll need to find a team that has or is willing to develop a schedule for themselves.

Then, once you''ve got some pretty pictures from your development team, you''d have to get in touch with the buyers at major retail outlets and see if you can convince them to carry the game on completion. Then you''ll need to get in touch with a printer/manufacturer to arrange the boxes and manuals and whatnot.

On the bright side, I don''t think you need to buy that much equipment, per se, but you will need the money you have to pay legal fees and pay your developers.

Good luck. Publishing is a rough business to get into.

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quote:
Original post by databandit
hi,
this is the plan:
we will publish PC games, mainly FPS.
we will be online publishers as well as offline
we will supply the games to retail stores around the country
we are thinking of creating a small company with about 15 - 25 people.
Rich that is the first of my points. Now you need to do the business plan.



Dan Marchant
Obscure Productions (www.obscure.co.uk)
Game Development & Design consultant

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I don''t know what country you''re in, but $10,000 pays the office rent, salary and overhead for ONE PERSON for ONE MONTH in the bay area, California. Assuming that person isn''t very highly paid (and thus, probably not top notch talent).

The publishing business works like this (more or less):

1) Publisher solicits demos from prospective game developers.
2) Publisher evaluates the game demo and the team that made it.
3) The best few prospects get the go-ahead, agree on terms (typically, a few million up-front staged on 3-5 milestones) and start developing.
4) The publisher pays developer agreed-on up-front money when milestones are met.
5) If games flounder, publisher cuts their losses and cancels the game. Money paid to game developer already is irrevocably lost.
6) When game finishes, publisher pays manufacturing, wholesale, slotting, and marketing costs for game retail SKUs.
7) Publisher ships boxes to retail channels and wholesale distributors, but doesn''t yet get any money back.
8) Once game sells in retail, retailer pays publisher for sale.
9) If game doesn''t sell well at $49, retailer will offer the publisher the choice to: a) have all their boxes back or b) accept a sale price of $19 (and thus a much lower take per box).
10) Once publisher has collected sale proceeds, game developer portion is set aside. Once pre-pay sum is accounted for, game developer royalties start getting paid out.

The ratio of games entering in 3) and coming out with actual royalty payments in 10) is, my guess, 20:1. The ratio of games entering 1) and going ahead in 3) is, my guess, 20:1.

If I wanted to make money, I''d start a large retailer business. That seems to be where the least risk and most money is...

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quote:
Original post by hplus0603
The publishing business works like this (more or less):

1) Publisher solicits demos from prospective game developers.
2) Publisher evaluates the game demo and the team that made it.
3) The best few prospects get the go-ahead, agree on terms (typically, a few million up-front staged on 3-5 milestones) and start developing.........
Actually it's usually a lot "less". The publishing model you describe is that of an established publisher. While a few very well funded new publishers may adopt this model most new/smaller publishers work on a turnkey model. That means they only accept finished games, which greatly reduces their risk. They then pay for sales, marketing, production, distribution etc. A few of these games will come from new developers but most will be licensed in from other territories/publishers.



Dan Marchant
Obscure Productions (www.obscure.co.uk)
Game Development & Design consultant

[edited by - obscure on June 6, 2004 3:33:02 AM]

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Some of sites useful for small business start-ups

http://www.helpbizowners.com/


http://www.morebusiness.com/

You can find sample business plan there..

Regards

e-Zest Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
+91-20- 24463391 / 92 / 93
[URL=http://www.e-zest.net]http://www.e-zest.net[/URL]


A [URL=http://www.e-zest.net/Software_developement_india.html]Custom Software Development Company[/URL]

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The main purpose of the publisher is to usually fund the development of a game, as well as funding the advertising campaigns, the production and all of the logistics. Just what exactly did you have in mind here with your 10 000? I mean, as someone else put it, that pays for one employee and an office and supplies for one month. Unless your idea of a publisher is a company with one employee who answers phones in an office all day and does absolutely nothing else you are seriously going to have to rethink your plan or research what is involved here

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