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# Survey game developers

## 3 posts in this topic

Hi everyone!

I am writing a thesis about the gaming industry, and I would like to have some more information about the developers. Would you be so kind as to fill out my survey? It will take less than 3 minutes and i'd be very very greatful

You could find the survey at link below:

http://freeonlinesurveys.com/s.asp?sid=n82uww3s64lbss7410304

Sarah

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Thanks to the 6 who filled it in ! Just 44 to go

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I'd fill it out but I'm really more of a hobbyist who's never attempted to publish anything (and I'm not sure if I'm inclined to change that or not). Since publishing games seems to be a focus of your survey, I don't want to skew the results. Don't know if others would fit in the same situation but I thought it might be worth mentioning.

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In my experience the main relationship between the large publishers and developers is one of funding. The survey questions about publishers therefore don't seem very relevant.

Say it costs $10M to make a game -- most development studios do not have that amount of capital sitting around, or even if they do, they cannot risk it all on one game, which might bankrupt the company in case of failure (and they'd also need a further$5-$15M to pay for marketing and distribution costs after development). This is where publishers come in. Publishers often contact development studios, advertising that they want to make a particular game, and asking the development studio to make a "pitch" (like a bid) for the game. You draw up a GDD, a budget, a TDD, etc, and send it off to the publisher. They compare the basic designs/concepts and budgets given to them by different studios, and then "greenlight" one of them to go ahead making them game. Every few months, the developer has to show their progress to the publisher, and then receives a payment to cover their costs. When the game is finished, the studio gets their final payment and that's it. The publisher then sells the game to the public and takes their money. Usually the developer will have some kind of royalty agreement with the publisher, but it will be written in such a way where the developer never actually receives a cent. This is a complete work-for-hire business model. The other situation is where a developer has their own idea for a game, but again, doesn't have the required$25M to make it happen. They pitch the idea to a publisher, who after much deliberation and negotiation, may "greenlight" it as above. The publisher then usually takes ownership of the idea, and the rest plays out as above -- the developer is paid for their services, and the publisher sells the game to the public.

For indie devs, things can be a bit different. If an indie dev has developed their game already (paid their own development costs), then they'll be going to a publisher just for publishing/distribution services. The big publishers (EA, etc) will not be interested in this. Instead, the devs would have to deal with much smaller niche publishers aimed at indie devs (e.g. my local one is Surprise Attack) -- they're not publishers in the same was that EA/etc are, instead, they're more like a marketing and PR agency.

Edited by Hodgman
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