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Xing Interactive

New Indie Self-Publishing Model

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Because we see a lot of questions regarding this subject in this forum but little in terms of solutions there seems to be a gap in the market for a new model which allows a developer to self-publish his or her games in retail. The way it works is that Xing Interactive will act as agents for: a) CD replication (if required) b) Packaging design (if required) c) P.R. and Promotions (if required) d) Logistics (if required) and last but not least: e) Sales and distribution For 10% of the invoice value of every unit sold Xing Interactive will provide this service, leaving the developer in full control of everything. You pay for CD replication etc. but you benefit from our bulk contracts and established pricing structures without any mark-ups. We have established sales channels in 32 countries worldwide and although not every title can go in every channel it will be possible to work with us to optimise your chances. If you are interested then please contact Alex de Vries at alex@xinginteractive.nl for more information.

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No offense, Alex, but this sounds rather suspect. I don't see much in the way of profit margins for your company from this...which suggests to me that this is not the entire deal.

Why would you take 10% when you could get 40-50% or even more? I realize the risk for you is lesser, but on this plan, I see almost no upside for your company.

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Why would this be suspect? We do not invest anything in this except time to sell and a few pointers to how best produce and design the product. We take 10% from what we sell as opposed to a higher share if we published it for a developer. Then it's our money invested in replication etc.. If this isn't interesting to anyone then fine with me but my impression was that many developers think a publisher just needs to put games in stores. Well that's exactly what we offer. So they pay for replication etc. and we sell it.

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I'm by no means an expert on the subject, but I think marketing a product (competent marketing, at least) would require more than ten percent of invoice price--assuming you didn't want to make any profit whatsoever, I'd at least double it.

Of course, you could be using shoddy marketing tactics--I don't know, I don't publish with you.

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You're entitled to your opinion like everyone else but 10% as a sales rep fee is quite normal in this industry. I think you still do nt realise that all we do is the pitch to the retailers and take the orders. The rest is all the responsibility of the self-publishing developer. We pitch new titles on a regular basis so the extra product doesn't require a separate sales meeting or "shoddy marketing tactics" like you mentioned. Essentially we do this for a few other publishers in our channels already and it works well so why shouldn't we give the chance to a few of the indie developers who have ambition as well? Maybe we could ask for 20% instead of 10% but we're just following industry standards like I said.

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Oh and by the way, marketing a product and doing a sales pitch are 2 different things ;-) We only present the products and take orders. If a developer wants us to do marketing and P.R. they hire either our services or the services of a separate agency. Essence of our offer is: we do not do anything for you that you don't want us to do or do not need us for.

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Interesting. What kind of QA do you put potential clients' products through to maintain your reputation?

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Guest Anonymous Poster
FYI we have plans to do similar things with the java games factory. Historically, the site was created by games devs because there was no 3rd party place to showcase our games and to share java-specific game-programming articles etc ... so, coming from that background any revenue model that crops up will be primarily to give indies a zero-upfront-cost publishing system, with some being taken off for maintenance costs (hosting, bandwidth, staffing costs where necessary).

I don't have any idea what is realistic to cover the costs (I don't have any idea what the revenue would be!), but I would guess that %10 would probably be OK, maybe more at first to cover the high fixed costs and low revenue. I would have thought that when you reached a large scale (many games) you could safely go below 10%, perhaps 5%.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by d000hg
Interesting. What kind of QA do you put potential clients' products through to maintain your reputation?


At the moment, *we* just have a group of volunteer games-players who get a copy of each game a couple of weeks before it goes live; if there are any problems in that time, we demand the author(s) fix them before going ahead. We were forced to do this because it got to the point where no individual could spare enough time and energy to test everything that came in.

Once money is involved, things become more sticky. There are plans to supplement the closed beta testers described above with a couple of staff whose main job is simply to evaluate each game once the testers have done their bit - if the testers give it the thumbs up, the staff can then do their own review.

But...I suggest you check javagamesfactory.com some time in Jan or Feb, when these issues might have become less theoretical and more practical for us.

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QA is minimal since our logo/name would not be on the box and therefore the product is never perceived as a Xing product by anyone. Retail buyers are picky so we'd do our best to guide developers who want to turn publisher to whether it's worth the effort to pitch a certain game or not. Of course we won't stop anyone from doing so if they insist but we're keen on helping them not to make the obvious mistakes. We've been around for a while so we know what to do and what not to do by now. And yes, we learned it the hard way in some cases too... ;-)

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