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Mman

Xtreme Games LLC royalties vs. Dexterity royalties

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Mman    122
Hi, I was wondering if anybody here ever published a game with Xtreme Games LLC? Can you expect about the same royalties as Dexterity Software offers ($1000-$10000/month)? Thanks!

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WeirdMan    122
I''m kind of wondering something like this as well as the group I''m in has just finished our first game, and XTreme said they would pubish it. I''m wondering if going the shareware route would be a wiser decision for a small time game tho? Will XTreme do enough work to make the 50% cut worthwhile in you folks opinion I guess is what i''m saying.

- Dustin Hubbard

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
Xtreme are not a publisher. They are an agent. They do not directly produce any product or supply product directly to any retail outlets.

They take 50% for sublicensing your game to publishers who then produce product and send it to distributors or stores.

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Mutation    122
Hi,

I''ve pretty much been through them all over the last 3-4 years regards publishing and I never recieved a penny from sub-licence deals via them at least.

The only actual ''Budget Publisher'' I trust these days is eGames USA as the rest are really not worth the time and effort for what they ''eventually'' pay you.

I''ve seen it all trust me, and it''s not nice ! (


Adrian Cummings (Proprietor)
Mutation Software
EMail: arc@mutationsoftware.com
URL: www.mutationsoftware.com
URL: www.dweebs.info

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borngamer    204
I''d like to believe everything publishers say about payment, but unfortunately with all these NDA''s you never hear any good news.

Dexterity sounds like a good deal from all the spin published on their site and even here at gamedev. But I haven''t heard anything good or bad about them.

A few months ago they had this whole site buzzing with grand publishing opportunities and mention of a number of great titles being submitted. I''ve been routinely going to their site just to see any mention of these games. So far nothing, but it could be just too early in the process to mention a game.

I would hope that sometime in the future a publisher of budget titles will step up and openly make information available to the community of developers. Some of the information that would put me at ease would be:

1. For each game on a site, show the number of downloads vs. the number of sales (and in Dexterity''s case, the number of returns).

2. Either give contact information of previous developers or allow previous published developers the ability to post comments on the publisher''s site documenting how well or poor their game is doing.

I''m sure most if not all publishers would laugh at this and totally ignore the message. For the few that take it to heart, I think you could really help establish good publisher-developer relations which would greatly improve the submissions you recieve. I myself would gladly turn over my games (when they are complete) to a publisher I trust rather than spending time and money on self publishing through shareware.

borngamer

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Mutation    122
Just for the record I have nothing against Dexterity and wish them well... my comments were more aimed at Xtreme and as I am currently involved in finaly sorting out a contractual battle with several budget publishers and outlets (which I am winning nicely btw !) I am not at liberty to say any more.

Adrian Cummings (Proprietor)
Mutation Software
EMail: arc@mutationsoftware.com
URL: www.mutationsoftware.com
URL: www.dweebs.info

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DoctorK    122
Everything I heard about Dexterity was good news until now. And the main guy there, Mr. Pavlina, seems to be a very trustable person (he''s been the president of the famous ASP).

And Dexterity has published at least a third party game, Fitznik, though it''s been a long way ago. I''ve heard him saying in these forums that he''s going to release the next third party games one by one, so I suppose it could take some time for him to publish them all.

Best regards,


--DK
--H. Hernán Moraldo
http://www.hhm.com.ar/
Sign up to the HHM''s developers'' newsletter.

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cliffski    122
Publish your game as shareware for a few months, then consider the budget route once you have all the user feedback (and thus their bug reports )
Publishers generally dont mind if a title is already on sale as sharewrae, in fact it proves the title is of saleable quality, and then you can compare your shareware eranings to the publisher cut and see if its your games fault (for being no good) or the publishers fault, if you dont earn enough cash.

http://www.positech.co.uk

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Mutation    122
I agree... best to publish as shareware first to get feedback and iron out any potential major bugs. You can always send it off for evaluation to a decent budget publisher when you tested the water a bit.

Adrian Cummings (Proprietor)
Mutation Software
http://www.mutationsoftware.com
http://www.dweebs.info

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Mark Tanner    100
Hi,

You have to understand that only very select games make thousands or $10000 USD per month. You will never get this kind of money through XTreme games, ever. Looking at the royalty rates XTreme pays, I expect you to get less than 5% of the money you are mentioning.

I think Xtreme uses a confusing publishing scheme. What happens is this: you license your game to Xtreme, Xtreme pays you 50% of what THEY get from a publisher. Since they sell collections of games, you get a very small royalty percentage, several cents per copy sold if that.

This is because if they knock 10 or 20+ titles on a CD, and the publisher sells that CD for 9.99 or even 19.99, you get the following:

Publisher pays XTreme, say 10% royalties. Xtreme divides this by the number of games they licensed, say 20. This means 0.5%. THEN they pay you half (50%) of that since they obviously keep the other half as profit. Result: 0.25% royalty. I know this sounds unbelievable but this is what you get in the end. For a full price game, developer royalties usually run between 15-40%, depending if you self financed, finished the game or not, etc.

You may get a bit more if there are fewer games bundled, or you may get even less if there are more.

Yes, some budget collections sell a lot of copies, but that's over several years. You're fooling yourself if you think you'll get even a few hundred USD per month for years because you will not. Guaranteed.

Now, dexterity pays you more since they do not go through a publisher, plus they don't need to pay stores, distributors, etc. On the other hand, I know Dexterity does not accept most games because they would swamp themselves with a load a mediocre titles, which is not good.

If this is your first title, go shareware. If it does well, some budget publisher will approach you.

HTH

Mark






[edited by - Mark Tanner on May 7, 2002 3:48:30 PM]

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Mman    122
WOW! I didn''t expect so many replies. Thanks! Actually, I heard a lot of good things about Dexterity too, but the fact that this is my first commercial title, they will probably reject it. But who knows

Also, can anybody point me to a good site which explains everything about sharware. (ex: how to set up your site for sales and stuff)

Thanks again!

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Dexterity    200
quote:
Original post by borngamer
A few months ago they had this whole site buzzing with grand publishing opportunities and mention of a number of great titles being submitted. I''ve been routinely going to their site just to see any mention of these games. So far nothing, but it could be just too early in the process to mention a game.

I would hope that sometime in the future a publisher of budget titles will step up and openly make information available to the community of developers. Some of the information that would put me at ease would be:

1. For each game on a site, show the number of downloads vs. the number of sales (and in Dexterity''s case, the number of returns).

2. Either give contact information of previous developers or allow previous published developers the ability to post comments on the publisher''s site documenting how well or poor their game is doing.

I''m sure most if not all publishers would laugh at this and totally ignore the message. For the few that take it to heart, I think you could really help establish good publisher-developer relations which would greatly improve the submissions you recieve. I myself would gladly turn over my games (when they are complete) to a publisher I trust rather than spending


We have a pretty extensive Developer FAQ at dexterity.com/developer that explains how our publishing model works, including a basic outline of the whole process for developers who work with us. We''re continuing to add to the FAQ every week or two, since we want developers to have a clear picture of what to expect.

We currently have five new games in our QA queue right now ... i.e. five signed publishing contracts with five separate indie developers. We''re very picky about solid QA, since we expect each game to sell for many years. Even though this process can take several weeks, we''ve been finding that the developers appreciate this. I think one puzzle game we''re testing has around 150 levels, and we test every single level. We''ll be pacing out the launching of new games, but it shouldn''t be long before the next title ships... a few weeks perhaps. It really depends on how long it takes the developers to finish the bug fixes and for us to verify the fixes. Some games have 50+ bugs. In our QA reports we also include many suggestions for minor interface improvements, gameplay improvements, etc. All bugs must be fixed before launching, but change requests are at the developers'' discretion. Some developers agree with our suggestions and take the extra time to make additional improvements to the game.

As mentioned in our Developer FAQ, we won''t publicly reveal developers'' sales figures, although the developers are certainly free to reveal that information if they choose. We consider this a simple issue of privacy -- it should be up to the developer to decide if they want their sales figures made public.

Our return rate was about 0.2% last time I checked (two returns out of every thousand sales). Last month (April) we had zero returns. We offer a 60-day unconditional money back guarantee for every game we sell. The most common reason we get for returns is that our puzzle games (Dweep Gold and Fitznik) are too cerebral for some people.

The idea of listing contact info for developers who are currently working with us on our web site is interesting. I''ll discuss this with our developers and see if they like this idea. I can see that this would help new developers reduce their risk of working with us (which I''m all for), but I''m not sure our current developers would want to get lots of "How do you like working with Dexterity?" emails. Thanks for the suggestion.


Steve Pavlina
Dexterity Software
www.dexterity.com

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Dexterity    200
quote:
Original post by Mark Tanner
I think Xtreme uses a confusing publishing scheme. What happens is this: you license your game to Xtreme, Xtreme pays you 50% of what THEY get from a publisher. Since they sell collections of games, you get a very small royalty percentage, several cents per copy sold if that.



We also provide this service with our Platinum (exclusive) publishing deals. We call it relicensing. We''ll publish each game ourselves and establish a good base of direct sales. Then we''ll also seek out relicensing opportunities. The developer gets 35% of the retail price on direct sales, and any licensing revenue we generate is split 50-50 with the developer.

For instance, we''ve been selling copies of Fitznik every day since October 2001 through our direct sales, and earlier this year we also relicensed it to another publisher, who has already launched their version. So this adds another stream to the developer''s monthly royalties.

This is a good situation for developers who just want to focus on developing games while letting us exploit their intellectual property as fully as we can, both by publishing it ourselves and relicensing it to other publishers. For developers who feel comfortable negotiating their own deals with multiple licensees, we offer Gold and Silver (nonexclusive) deals, and for those deals we don''t do any relicensing. Which option is best is entirely up to the developer.

If all we did was the relicensing, we wouldn''t be a publisher -- we''d be an agent. Typical agent fees are 8-15%. We used an agent from around 1996-1998 to help place our games with publishers, but we really weren''t happy with that approach because the agent''s agenda was in conflict with our long-term strategy.

When relicensing we tend to avoid the mega-bundling deals where 20 or more games are placed on a single CD. These generate so little money for each developer, and that isn''t consistent with our strategy. We do, however, get our free demo versions placed on many of these compilations, and this generates some decent sales of the full versions (for which the developers receive royalties). We''ve been getting our demos on these compilations since around 1995-96. I think Fitznik''s demo is on the 100 Windows XP Games compilation, and we''ve seen many sales from this.


Steve Pavlina
Dexterity Software
www.dexterity.com

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borngamer    204
Steve,

Thanks for your response. Like most other developers, I feel a little threatened by giving up my hard work to someone I haven''t developed a business relationship.

I read all of your articles at a previous time and found that you have indeed given out more information than other developers. At this time I have passed no judgement on you or your company and indend on approaching you with my next game when it''s ready.

As mentioned in my previous post, I am merely monitoring your site to see what games are being published and am waiting to read any feedback on this and other sites from your happy developers.

Good luck.

borngamer

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