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Marmin

Current market for quality, semi-professional games

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I'm quite new on this subject. But I couldn't help noticing, that there are not so many solid game publishers, that successfully collect, promote, and sell, newly developed games that fall in between 'home-made', amateur projects, and commercial projects. -Especially- on Linux. Secondly, why do I see a lot of good games that are offered for a free download, scattered around the net, when a good publisher could ask a reasonable amount of money for it, supporting the future growth of that game and their developers. Is this pure a matter of advertising, or is it determination, or skill? A lot of good semi-prof. games go for their own web site and all, they fail, want to do it all alone. Is that a wise choise - or should there be an excellently organised publisher, that guarantees for the semi-professional developers income. There seems to be a Huge gap in organisation/advertising between semi-commercial, and commercial game releases. Please feedback.

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There are many sites like that.

They range from download.com, tucows, shareware.com, and several other major sites. Since there are so many games in that range, very few of them show up on searches.

If there were some special clearinghouse that suddenly became popular, it would become just as flooded as today's sites are.

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So essentially what you're telling me, is that sites like download.com are the 'game publishers' ..and as a semi professional game dev team or 'lone Wolf' you just need to cross your fingers that some one clicks on your game in the midst of hundreds of other games in you catagory, downloads a demo, and buys your game.

Still I miss the part of a game publisher that collects games alike, and sells them without the need of a separate site.

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Quote:
Original post by Marmin
... why do I see a lot of good games that are offered for a free download, scattered around the net, when a good publisher could ask a reasonable amount of money for it...
...should there be an excellently organised publisher...


I may be thick, but I'm not sure what you're asking, or why. Are you thinking of forming such a publishing company? Is that why you're asking?

Tom

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The good games for a free download are usually created as homebrews by either those who do it in their spare time or those who are trying to get into the industry.

As far as publishing for those kind of games goes, there are smaller companies that will do that (GarageGames is one), and Valve (with Steam), Microsoft (XBox Live Arcade), and soon Sony (announced at GDC) have downloadable game services for the PC and major consoles that help these kind of games get out there into the mainstream.

It's coming... :)

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Quote:
Original post by tsloper
Quote:
Original post by Marmin
... why do I see a lot of good games that are offered for a free download, scattered around the net, when a good publisher could ask a reasonable amount of money for it...
...should there be an excellently organised publisher...


I may be thick, but I'm not sure what you're asking, or why. Are you thinking of forming such a publishing company? Is that why you're asking?

Tom


It slipped my mind, yes. I am a very organised individual, and I see a gap in the market for bringing semi-professional games to the public. A site, that has it all neat, clear, ready for families and public. Not a site like download.com which clearly does not focus on the developer p.o.v. A site that cares for indie game developers who spend a lot of time and effort in their games, and we all know that it feels so good to receive money for all the efforts. If a consumer can spend $50 on a commercial game, he can surely spend $5, $10, or $15 on a few games that may be also very good.

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Quote:
Original post by JBourrie
As far as publishing for those kind of games goes, there are smaller companies that will do that (GarageGames is one), and Valve (with Steam), Microsoft (XBox Live Arcade), and soon Sony (announced at GDC) have downloadable game services for the PC and major consoles that help these kind of games get out there into the mainstream.

It's coming... :)


Yes, garagegames got me a google hit, indeed, but they made it clear that games developed with their engine would be favored : down: It seems that most of those índy game publishers don't really care about the developers themselves. That needs to be changed.

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>>Are you thinking of forming such a publishing company? Is that why you're asking?

>... yes... I see a gap in the market for bringing semi-professional games to the public. A site, that has it all neat, clear, ready for families and public. Not a site like download.com which clearly does not focus on the developer p.o.v. A site that cares for indie game developers...

OK, have you checked out garagegames.com? Read my article 60, I listed a couple other sites in there I think. www.sloperama.com/advice/article60.htm
Take a look at RealArcade too. I recommend that you do some careful research before you start investing money in doing this.

Good luck...
Tom

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The biggest problem is tuning Quality vs Quantity. If you look at garagegames.com, they don't pack in tons of games, and they dedicate a fair amount of screen-space to each game they offer, not to mention a custom page w/ screenshots & videos for each one.

I would support an indy publisher that offers for purchase/download games which are fun & polished. Because the more games there are up there, the more confusing it is for the client, and one bad game will poison your crop.

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Quote:
Original post by tsloper
>>Are you thinking of forming such a publishing company? Is that why you're asking?

>... yes... I see a gap in the market for bringing semi-professional games to the public. A site, that has it all neat, clear, ready for families and public. Not a site like download.com which clearly does not focus on the developer p.o.v. A site that cares for indie game developers...

OK, have you checked out garagegames.com? Read my article 60, I listed a couple other sites in there I think. www.sloperama.com/advice/article60.htm
Take a look at RealArcade too. I recommend that you do some careful research before you start investing money in doing this.

Good luck...
Tom


I've checked most sites out, and I do think there 's a step Up regarding those sites. I mean, there's a gap between Realarcade/ download.com, and www.Microsoft.com or wwe.ea.com or www.Ubisoft.com.
I may not make it to crystallize these ideas, but the gap is there to take. I think it's important to get the right games and the right customers, and proceed from there.

i.m.o. the problem with most of these sites is Clearness. They want you to click on their commercials or buy their products, and they forget the essence of it all-- a fair share of the effort that comes in to developing semi-professional games, Windows or Linux.

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You mean like Rampant Games? They seem to be doing all right with non-exclusive online resale of other independent games alongside their own. The only thing I mislike about their setup is the total dearth of information about the actual game developers of the games they're selling. I understand the business logic, but I can't help feeling it is somehow contrary to the spirit of cooperational abundance to enrich one's brand equity entirely at the expense of one's partners. I think that's a big part of why so many indies avoid working with other online publishers, at least where the business relationship is necessarily an exclusive one.

Hopefully you buck that trend :-)

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Quote:
Original post by Muse
You mean like Rampant Games? They seem to be doing all right with non-exclusive online resale of other independent games alongside their own. The only thing I mislike about their setup is the total dearth of information about the actual game developers of the games they're selling. I understand the business logic, but I can't help feeling it is somehow contrary to the spirit of cooperational abundance to enrich one's brand equity entirely at the expense of one's partners. I think that's a big part of why so many indies avoid working with other online publishers, at least where the business relationship is necessarily an exclusive one.

Hopefully you buck that trend :-)


Wow... yeah... even with the big-shot publishers who own your company... they still put your company logo on the game as well as their own.

Mythic Blades on that website, no mention at all of Cartel Games. While I'm too lazy to look, I expect that the others are the same way. It's unfair, and Rampant Games should be ashamed. (Note to Rampant Games employees that may be reading this: slap your management until they see the error of their ways).

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Basically, this already exists:

For hardcore gamers, as someone mentioned, Sony, MS, Valve and Garagegames already provide this kind of services.

For casual gamers, Real, BigFish, Oberon, TryMedia, Reflexive, PlayFirst, and a hundred more all provide excellent distribution services. Go look at BigFish for a pretty decent example of how online distribution can be done.

There are some value distributors that sell through brick-and-mortar, but the cost of production for those games are pretty damn high (compared to most games targetting online distribution).

There isn't much targetting the Linux market specifically (though some of the casual developers do support that market), mainly because they're pretty adverse to paying for content.

Entering this market as a 'publisher' (or a distributor) isn't that easy. Since there's an overhead for me as a developer with every distributor I deal with, I tend to focus my efforts where it's likely to make me a good return; which is mainly the big distributors, with sites backed by major advertising, and/or a connection to one of the big portals.

I'd also expect a 'publisher' to provide services above and beyond distribution, potentially including financing (like PlayFirst), QA (like Real) and Marketing (like Yahoo).

Good luck,
Allan

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