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Publishing - The Process

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Hello, I was wondering if anyone here could explain or provide me with a resource that explains exactly the process of publishing. Not Indie publishing, but actual "this is going to be in stores" publishing. It is for a school paper so I need as much information as possible. Thank you very much, Mike

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The usual suspects:

http://www.gdconf.com/archives/2004/swartz_bill%20.ppt
http://www.charlesriver.com/titles/secretsgamebus2.html
http://www.obscure.co.uk/publishing.shtml
http://www.igda.org/biz/submission_guide.php
http://www.igda.org/biz

-cb

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That helped a bit, but I am more interesting in exactly what the publisher does. For example, do they always do the box art, manual, cd pressing, marketing, packaging, etc. or can that be outsourced to different places?

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Publishers make decisions.
The commission titles, project manage them, do the marketing/PR handle the sales. Other things they farm out to companies that specialise in the particular field such as CD duplication, printing, packaging, shipping etc.

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Quote:
Original post by brcolow
Any idea on how much profit the publisher recieves?

Profit is income - costs. There is no standard profit a publisher makes from a game because different games cost different amounts and sell different amounts. If you want to know what actual publishers made in any one year you need to go and look up their SEC fillings to see what each one earned.

Quote:
What you usually have to pay a publishing and any other fees involved?

I'm sorry I don't understand the question. What WHO has to pay a publisher and other fees involved in WHAT?

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Alright. If you completed the game externally without any funding from the publisher and then went to them to simply get it into stores, etc. would they even charge? Or, would it be a percent of the profit? Also, do publisher own the rights to the game if they publish it, or do you retain all rights?

Thanks,
Mike

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A publisher would publish the game for a percentage. How big a percentage would depend on how much they were investing in all the non-development costs (marketing/pr, sales, production etc), how good the game was and also how good the developer was at negotiation.

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No matter whether or not they funded it, a retail publisher will take the majority of the money. There is limited shelf space, so it's only worthwhile for them to distribute games that they get a big % out of. I don't have exact numbers, but you shouldn't plan on getting more then 30%, with the publisher getting the rest. If you are a first-time (aka no name) developer then you will get an even shorter end of the stick.

The fact that this is not a very good deal for the developer is why the idea of self-publishing on the web has been growing and growing recently.

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Developers also get paychecks, meaning that the publisher carries most of the risk, resulting in very low royalty pay-outs for the developer.

Of course all deals are structured differently, and as such, there is no concrete answer to your question.

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