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flip5577

Publishing my GBA Game

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I have been working on a GBA game thats about ready to put on a flash card. I was wondering Is there anywhere I can get blank GBA flash cards (8mb not the 512 megs that most programmers use) Im trying to find a way to mass produce my game for the GBA. But the 512 or 256 cards alone are the cost more than a new gba game. Would i contact nintendo and buy them or what? can anyone help?

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Test out your game on the actual GBA device. Make sure its all running fine no bugs. Play it through a few times.

Then contact your closest nintendo 'branch'.

It'd be best if you could give them a first hand demo of your game actually running on the gba.

Second best would be emailing them with some screenshots, then once you trust the person on the other end; send them a copy of your game via snail mail or via email. Make sure you've also sent it too someone else who you trust (father, mother, other family, good friend) or even better a lawyer.

Nintendo might, if the game is good enough, publish it.

If this approach doesnt work find some other GBA developers or publishers in your area and approach them yourself rather then email.

A personal meeting is much more effective then email. Anyone can send an email.

Hope this helps.

Regards,
Scott

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[Bah, had a more detailed reply done to this but lost it, so here is the shortened one]


You have three options:

1) Take your game to an existing publisher who are already a Nintendo Licensee.

For a cut of the profit, they will then pay for the Nintendo testing and approvals process; the sales, marketing and PR; the manufacturing, distribution, warehousing, returns and support.

This is the easiest and cheapest option by a long way.




2) Try to become a licensed Nintendo publisher yourself. There are details and contacts for this on the official Nintendo SDSG website: http://www.warioworld.com

However you're unlikely to be successful unless you're an established and financially stable/capable company.

You'll need to pay for the things that a publisher would normally do (either yourself or outsourced, Nintendo will help with the manufacturing side).

Contacts and experience would be advisable here, if you don't already have a good contact at Wal-Mart and similar retailers, combined with the cash to pay for PoS and placement "sweetners", then your game is unlikely to sell many units!

You may also have a tougher time explaining to Nintendo how you developed a GBA game without being an Authorised Nintendo developer (see Warioworld above). They'd be worried that you'd used undocumented/development-only features of their hardware (which causes compatibility headaches when they make small hardware changes); they'd also be concerned that your game didn't follow various usability guidelines.




3) Find a company willing to manufacture GBA cartridges for you without Nintendo's blessing (it has been done in the past, but isn't advisable).

You'd still have all the same publishing and distribution concerns as above unless you were planning on selling the game on the streets out the back of your car or something. Of course, having an unofficial game without the Nintendo approval seal would make any large retailer stay well away from touching your game.

Finally, as soon as your game sells enough units to make the whole venture worthwhile, Nintendo would find out and you should almost certainly expect a lot of nasty letters from their lawyers!

Remember, GBA is a closed system and the cartridges it uses are of proprietary design which includes some patented parts. And by bypassing the official process, you're cheating Nintendo out of their usual per unit royalty - that's a lot of ammunition for a team of lawyers...




4) IMO, option #1 is best[smile]

- option #2 costs a lot of money which is why there aren't so many publishers in the world.

- option #3 is the most risky AND can cost lots of money if/when you get caught - probably only really an option if your family are all lawyers and you have lots of money from a "no questions asked" source.

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I didn't know that option #1 existed, thanks for the information Simon. And as for option #2, I don't think this will happen, but since I have not seen your game (yet, hopefully) anything can happen. Personally, I think Nintendo would enjoy original game designs, but the yes-answer is not that close.

#1!

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Quote:
Original post by Pipo DeClown
I didn't know that option #1 existed, thanks for the information Simon. And as for option #2, I don't think this will happen, but since I have not seen your game (yet, hopefully) anything can happen. Personally, I think Nintendo would enjoy original game designs, but the yes-answer is not that close.



A couple of points:

1) Something I should have mentioned is getting a publisher such as THQ or Activision to take a GBA title is just the same as getting a publisher to take a title on any other platform.

They will only be interested it if:

- it will make them money

- the risk involved isn't too great (the points below could be classed as risk)

- it doesn't cost too much money (e.g. if they had to go pay for a film license to be able to publish the game, they'd have to be much more certain).

- the game fits into their release schedule (e.g. if they already have a side scrolling shoot-em-up planned for this Christmas, they're unlikely to want to release two similar games at the same time).

- the game doesn't clash with anyone elses release schedules when possible (e.g. if Nintendo are due to bring out one of their Karting games, nobody is likely to touch a karting game in the same time frame).

- it can be marketed easily - a niche game which only appeals to a small group of hardcore gamers in a particular scene is less likely to be as attractive as something with broad appeal such as a sports game.

- the publisher actually has enough left in their budget for the title - the promising unsigned titles from E3 will be taking a fair chunk of that.

The main difference with a developer having an almost completed game is you're not also asking for development funding as well as publishing help; If you do need money to pay for development, then expect the process to be much tougher (because it means more risk to the publisher).


2) To become a licensed publisher, it's less about whether someone at Nintendo thinks your game design is good - it's much more about whether you're capable of actually publishing and shifting units to stores. Lots of money helps; Being an established company helps; Having lots of industry contacts helps; Having prior publishing experience helps.

The per-game approvals process does look at the gameplay, as well as many of the viability things a publisher looks at anyway. But that's entirely separate from getting licensed status.

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wow thankyou for all the usefull information.

I was just hoping to maybe get 50 blank carts for like 500 or something. I never thought about going mainstream with my project.

I just wanted to include it in my portfolio to send out to companies.

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Quote:
Original post by darookie
Quote:
Original post by flip5577
I just wanted to include it in my portfolio to send out to companies.

Remember not to send out flash cards to publishers - use ROM images instead.


Agreed, if you're going for a job at a GBA developer, they'll have a devkit and test kit in their office - a ROM image is easiest for them to use. You don't need to send them a flash card or cartridge.

On re-reading the OP it does seem I got caught up in replying to McMcDonald's reply which first mentioned publishing - oops [smile]. The info might be useful to someone in the future though.

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