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Is it recommended to find a publisher? (on mobile)

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I am wondering how indie game developers are doing in general on the iOS and Android mobile store when self releasing a game? Is that the common method and Is it possible to just release a quality game and have it become succesfull, or are you really better off going to some "publisher" that can handle it for you for a cut? (I assume quite a big cut) How are other developers here doing when it comes to this area?

 

Can you survive as long as you have a good game or is marketing something that you need to do? Is it enough if you have a good game to show it to different review sites and have the ball get rolling from there or again are you better off letting someone big handle the "publishing" of the app for you?

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You have to ask what the publisher is going to do for their cut. For me, there's four circumstances which would make me say that a publisher might be worthwhile:

 

  1. The publisher is funding the development
  2. The publisher has a very good marketing pedigree and a lot of clout (e.g. Rovio Allstars) and your app is a particularly good fit with their user base so they're pretty much guaranteed to generate a lot of extra income
  3. You have some reason that you can't do marketing/publishing by yourself (e.g. maybe you don't speak English, or maybe you're from a country with problematic iTunes/banking systems, or maybe you are incapable of communicating with people without riling them up)
  4. You're fully embracing f2p mechanics and you have data showing that your game can get to a point where the revenue per user is greater than the cost of user acquisition. In this sort of scenario, a publisher might be worthwhile in terms of helping you optimise your KPIs and providing and managing the very large advertising budgets that will be involved in exploiting the money printing machine you created.

I think for most developers, especially indies, none of these are usually the case, and the best choice is self publishing. Otherwise I think you'll just be giving a big percent to a publisher who really has no incentive to do anything much to push your game, from their point of view, your app is just a lottery ticket they got for free.

 

Not that I can claim to have had any great financial success with my indie game :). We have had reviews and Apple features without a publisher though.

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Marketing can be a complex subject, I am pretty sure it's the biggest industry in the world, right at some kind of heart of capitalism/competitiveness and in a lot of cases snobbery and blatant brainwashing.

 

So you want to make a living on the app store from your game/app and how do you do it?

 

Generally produce a visually stunning and detailed game, or a very cultish game or a very addictive game or a combination of all of these,  gamers now what they like and will rarely be persuaded by commerial marketing I think, but how do you even get you game noticed when there are hundreds of thousands of app/game on the store(s). That's a good question and I am sure there are many many people out there asking the same.

 

I will do some research on the topic.

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