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How can an indie get a publisher?

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My company has been working hard on a game, and we are currently looking for 3d modelers and animators. Once we have some new graphics, we will be all done with our game and we can go to QA stages. Our game has an introductory cutscene, multiplayer, intense solo mode, and very good design. How can an indie attract a real publisher that can get your games on shelves, with advertising? I mean, I do not want this game to just be some left in the back of the shelves type game. I want the game to have some articles and ads to get popularity up. How should I go about this?

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Well word of mouth is usualy your best bet... Put it out there offer some kinda of free trail and charge for the full version... If your game is realy good then friends will invite friend who invite friends... For example look at games like gunbound... Complete word of mouth game.

My current project has a fandom of over 100 now and I'm still working on the engine...

If you build it they will come...

The internet is a amazing place to spread info fast...

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(This advice comes second-hand, it is the advice I have picked up over the years from various places\people)

If you are serious about looking for a publisher trade shows are a good way to go. Building up a good contact rolodex can be hard and trade shows are a good way to meet people. If your product is near completion all the better, as scehduling meetings with the various publishers goes easier for unknown entities if they have something near-complete to show. Just walking around a whoring yourself out to anyone in earshot is often a good idea! Print up some nice looking info-sheets on your game (and/or a demo CD) and distribute like hell!

Trade shows don't work magic though.

In addition to the madness of E3, GDC and GDCE there are now various business orientated conferences/shows going on these days. For some reason I can't think of any names off the top of my head but a web search should prove fruitful (There maybe a link to some from the GDC website).

Obviously the main problem if this is your first title is the fact of a lack of a good track record. No way around that really. If you or members of your team have commercial titles under their belt advertising the fact would probably be a good idea.

Finding a well respected industry insider to champion your cause can work wonders but then, you have to have the contacts to get your product infront of someone like that (or just blat it onto the web and cold-call people...). This happened to CroTeam - having LevelLord (I think it was him) on their side certainly helped them.

Also getting your game previewed or at least mentioned in well respected magazines such as EDGE or PCGamer can help! Just email the appropriate member of staff (magazines and let them know what you are up to.

A few agencies for games development studios exist these days, but I don't know much about their effectiveness.

Alternatively, GarageGames are doing good things these days. You might want to contact them for a chat.

Anyway, just my 2pence. Take it with a grain of salt!

Mike.

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1. You make a list of publishers
2. You look at each one's web site and catalogue to see if they publish the sort of games you are developing.
3. You phone those publishers who do publish your sort of game and ask the name of the person who handles acquisitions/submissions.
4. You send a copy of your game and accompanying documentation to that person.

If they like the game and if they think it is of a high enough quality to match other retail games and if they feel that they can market it well, then they will want to negotiate a deal. Do the deal and off you go.

Alternatively find an agent who will represent your game for you.

Quote:
Original post by MikeWW
Trade shows don't work magic though.

The problem with tradeshows is that you need to have the contacts before you go. Most publishers attending the show are booked solid weeks before the show starts. Turning up at the show and hoping to get an appointment is a waste of time and money as you need to book in advance and for that you need to know who to talk to. Hence my advise that you should create a publisher list and work from there.

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I agree with what you say (Obsucure), definitely. Although I have found that I have made some very useful contacts at trade shows, but I agree that they are of much more use if you already have a good base of contacts.

I should say that my business experience is centered mostly outside of the games industry (but still in the IT industry), so listen to Obscure rather than me! Lol.

Mike.

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Quote:
Original post by MikeWW
I agree with what you say (Obsucure), definitely. Although I have found that I have made some very useful contacts at trade shows,....
Yes, most certainly. Many of the most interesting meetings I have had at shows are from bumping into or being introduced to people in passing. However, they are the icing on the cake rather than the cake itself.

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I know that (good) agents in the entertainment industry are hard to come by. Are there any listings for agents in the gaming industry. Specifically for a person in the situation that he is describing? Anyone know?

The only thing I would expect is that unsolicited submissions wouild get you nowhere, and usually you would hire an agent to get into a distributor - at least in other industries.

Whiteston

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