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My distribution policy - to be hopefully imitated.

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I am writing this topic to inform you about a strict policy I will stick to in the future. It is to avoid frustration in publishing affairs and to achieve fair deals for both sides. I ask you to use the same policy, because you will only get ripped off if you don't. Period. If you disagree or have additions to this post, please reply here or email me. Please understand that I do not encourage you to "flame" or in any way give unconstructive criticism nor will I answer to such attempts. Here you are: Niels Bauer Software Design - distribution policy Version: 1.0 of 18th April 2002 Please understand that we want to only participate in fair deals that offer a win-win situation for both parties. To accomplish this we will stick to the policy explained herein. We do not sign contracts that give a company or single person the exclusive or not-exclusive right to sell one or more of our games without limitations to certain editions. For example: We sign with you and you "do your best to publish our games" and pay us a certain amount of royalties from the deals you are able to succeed in. What we can agree to is to give you the license to publish our games in certain editions - for which of course you would need to pay the full sum in advance. For example: You want our games on your CD that has an edition of 5000 CDs. We sign a license agreement and you pay us for 5000 CDs. We understand that - because your risk is higher - the amount to be paid in advance will be lower than the other way. Please make us a fair offer and you will get a fair deal in return. Thank you for your attention. [edited by - Jester101 on April 18, 2002 11:54:59 AM]

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I absolutely agree... I''ve been following the same ''procedure'' for some time now. If I''m dealing with a company who''s track record I''m personally not aware of (i.e. I have not dealt with them before), I will not sign any contract that doesn''t include a reasonable advance payment.

I''ve been caught on too many deals that promise the moon, and just deliver some cheese.

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Jester: didn''t you always suggest self-distribution without the "help" of publishers?

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Guest Anonymous Poster
that kind of policy has nothing new to imitate....

it''s just that you so-called "indie" developers
allow yourselves to be raped with the wrong agreements
and then complain when nothing goes your way....

licensing a product, or technology that you''ve created
has been a practice for years....
look at the music, film, and any other "creative" industries
for examples....
it''s analagous to the "e-commerce" procedures many of you
already implement.....except a distribution company is
buying the right to distribute your products in bulk rather
than on a single copy basis.....

it all boils down to knowing what kind of agreement to sign..

why don''t you wake up....

you indies have so much potential as a whole.....
but it''s moot since you''re being
squeezed out by bigger companies as we speak....

why don''t you band together and support each others products?
there, you might have a chance.
i''ve been to most of the people''s websites as a result of
"lurking" on gamedev.net since it''s inception....
i''ve played some of the games and have been impressed.
but in almost all cases....you lack a grasp of the bigger
picture of your industry(so-called indie, i mean) as a whole....

coming from someone who''s....
been there, done that.

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He forgot to mention his name

Possible:
Alex de Vries (or perhaps someone else)

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Or he sounds like the guy from garagedeveloper.com

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No you got me wrong. I am in no way frustrated or something. This is just my policy which makes sure that I will NOT be frustrated in the future. Actually I am completetly satisfied with the online sales alone. I do not depend on any publishers or retail sales or something.

And yes: This kind of policy is absolutely nothing new. But it seems to be NOT used in the computer games industry (budget market; I don''t know and don''t care about the AAA games market).

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"Or he sounds like the guy from garagedeveloper.com"


no,wasn''t me.


--

GLIPS Entertainment, Inc.
DEMOS.GAMES.ENTERTAINMENT.tm
http://www.glipsent.com/

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Guest Anonymous Poster
How much do you sell about a month in units.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
How much do you sell about a month in units Jester.
And how big is your staff?
How long did it take to develop each product?
And what product is selling the best?
How do you promote your products?
And where can I find reviews?

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HI Jester,

I checked in google and didn''t find much reviews or downloadsites where your games are listed.
Some on CNET, also your own smuggler.net site.
And a bit 3 or 4 other sites for TV manager.

But your aren''t listed on all or most of the "hundreds" of download and review sites. How did your game(s) become a succes?

Your website looks by the way very well.
But how did people know your game?

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btw, a "non-exclusive" distribution deal means that you are free to distribute with ANYBODY else you want. an exclusive is you will only deal with them. a distribution that is neither exclusive nor non-exclusive is non-existent and thus means you are granting NOBODY distribution rights. just an fyi so you dont look stupid when showing this to prospective publishers.

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"single person the exclusive or not-exclusive right to sell one or more of our games without limitations to certain editions."

For sure you need to read it as ONE sentence. We do not give not-exclusive rights to sell without limitations. Of course we give a not-exclusive rights WITH limitations.

---

I am earning a couple of thousand dollars every month.

Smugglers 2 sells the best. TV Manager is not running so good, but I did less promotion for it and the development costs were 75% smaller.

For both games I needed 1-2 months (full time working, I worked longer, but not full time on them).

I am tired of submitting it to all Shareware sites. Most don''t even get more than 100 downloads of their TOP downloads (not even neccessarily my games) - so I don''t care about them.
But there are some few that rock.

I am thinking about building up and promoting an own Shareware site - investing about 5000$. Where should I buy advertising spce for a Shareware site?

But you all know this already. There are some posts in this forum from the past.

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Wow Jester, that is great! I can recall not too long ago when you were posting about just a handful of sales per month! You are doing very well. Are you distributing a German and English version? If so, how do these sales compare? Where are most of your sales coming from, what countries?

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Hi Jester,

How do people know your game Smuggler 2, so how did you promote/market it, that it sells the best.

Thanks!

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Yes, how do people find your website in the first place.
What kind of search techniques and promotion methods did you use?

Your website is indeed of good professional quality. And also the game, that is why people buy it.

But...why was Smuggler 1 not selling the best?
Or for instance the strategy game Starliner of Positech?
This is what I was wondering about.

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I simply submit it to the major shareware sites. Hell, even without Tucows (as they want a 30-day unlimmited copy). The rest is...well...marketing. How your product is presented to the customer - and the product itself for sure.

For sure I do offline selling too (-> in which I use this distribution policy) also, but I didn''t calculated that to the amount of money mentioned above.

The download/buy ratio of Smuggler 1 was the same - but more people download Smugglers 2.

I don''t know how Starliner from Positech sells.

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[Buster doesn't like TUCOWS]

[edited by - DavidRM on April 23, 2002 1:30:25 PM]

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What''s so bad about Tucows? At their ARC (Author Resource Center) section they require that "Shareware or commercial applications should have an evaluation period of seven or more days". Can''t find anything that says 30 days unlimited.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Jester,

Why do most of your customers comes from the USA?
And you never have to work for two months work

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I guess most of my customers come from USA, because in other countries there seem to be no well-visited download sites.

And yes: I don''t regret the two months work.

Indeed it looks like I need to shut down the site and quit business for the rest of the year due to tax reasons.

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>Indeed it looks like I need to shut down the site and quit >business for the rest of the year due to tax reasons.

What are the tax problems about?

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