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Is there a market for it?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Terrykirk, Apr 9, 2017.

  1. Terrykirk

    Terrykirk

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    I've had the idea to startup a company targeted at supporting indie developers.

    I'm looking to offer services like; end user support and troubleshooting shooting, web design and hosting, marketing, fund raising and publishing support, fund raising, and other services most indies can't really afford to do normally.
     
  2. cdarklock

    cdarklock

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    You mean a publisher?
     
  3. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    Yes. Any of the major game dev hubs will also have a bunch of support services that exist around them.

    Locally we have accountants, lawyers, HR, marketing, office space, web developers and publishers. These are mostly small outfits. But they have carved out a successful niche by becoming experts in the peculiar needs of the game development industry.
     
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  4. Terrykirk

    Terrykirk

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    I assumed a publisher did these things and took a lion's share of the earnings.
    I would offer these services separately and at a fixed cost.
     
  5. Terrykirk

    Terrykirk

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    I will look in to this, thanks.
     
  6. Teila

    Teila

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    Marketing would sure be a great thing. We are already wondering how we will manage an area where we have little knowledge and how we will be able to outsource that. However, you need to make a reputation for yourself first I think. I see a lot of folks come here with big plans to offer support and then disappear.

    It would be nice to have some one with marketing expertise active on the forums and available for consulting work. I think they might do well. :) I will admit, it is very scary to hire people off the forums or the internet in general.
     
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  7. Terrykirk

    Terrykirk

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    I can see that. I've just been speaking to a possible customer and i got that sentiment from them.
    It's hard to build trust on a platform that allows complete anonymity.
     
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  8. djweinbaum

    djweinbaum

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    Most indie publisher's do not take a lion's share of revenue. It depends on how much capital they front, but for a developer who's paying for most of their own development costs, its something like- publisher takes 100% until they recoup their own investment, and then 30% after that, developer keeps IP.
     
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  9. cdarklock

    cdarklock

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    I'd just like to wave a hand and say that "lion's share" generally means "more than 50%," and you just said "no, they only take ALL OF IT for a while."

    Remember, like albums, most indie games never recoup. The publisher pays for the marketing at cost, invoices for it at retail, then takes all the money forever.

    Now, if you are going to be successful - like absolutely 100% of developers think they are - then a flat fee makes sense because you can control it. And if you are not going to be successful, like an awful lot of those developers actually end up, you should get a traditional publisher. But literally nobody who doesn't recoup sat around and said "we should get the publisher to pay for this, because it will never sell."
     
  10. djweinbaum

    djweinbaum

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    Generally development is the largest expense, so when they take 100% to cover their own expenses it usually is not a lot compared to the total lifetime revenue. Most publishers call it an "advance on royalties". At any right I didn't feel "lion's share" is quite right to describe that. I wanted to fill people in on how indie publishers actually work. I was just offering some extra info.
     
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  11. Meltdown

    Meltdown

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    This for me was one of the main reasons I never went with a publisher. Why should a publisher get to recoup their marketing spend BEFORE I even recoup a cent of my development expenses?
     
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  12. Schneider21

    Schneider21

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    I think that marketing and funding related services will always be in demand, sure. But what makes you (or anyone) the one to provide that service? I've seen so many marketing / publishing "companies" around that have a small portfolio of games I've never heard of that they apparently helped market... With their 367 Twitter followers... Their generic blog articles about vague game development "information"... And nobody has a reason to care about what they say.

    Honestly, I feel the only successful indie marketers would be previously successful developers/publishers. If see a game promoted by the company behind "Flappy Gem Match 3: Crossy Clan Clash", I assume the game is shovelware like all the rest. But if I see a game being promoted by Lucas Pope, Derek Yu, or Zach Barth, I start off with an assumption of quality that puts me in the right purchasing mindset.

    Granted, I'm a developer, and many non-developers who enjoyed Papers Please, Spelunky, and Infinifactory wouldn't know the games' creators by name. But if they promoted the game through their company (as publisher) that people who've played those titles would at least recognize the logo from the startup screen, it's more of an impression than some random startup would make.
     
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  13. QFSW

    QFSW

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    By 'supporting' indie devs, what exactly do you propose that you would do to provide this support?
     
  14. Terrykirk

    Terrykirk

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    It doesn't seem fair but they are taking a gamble with
    Just what i mentioned in my original post.


    "I'm looking to offer services like; end user support and troubleshooting l, web design and hosting, marketing, fund raising and publishing support, fund raising, and other services most indies can't really afford to do normally."

    Just realised i listed some things more than once. I'll sort that later.
     
  15. QFSW

    QFSW

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    But I mean more specifically, for example, marketing how? Do you have a large following? Know people you can have promote it?
    It's not that I doubt your ability to deliver, but it's these kind of details id want to know before investing
     
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  16. AndreasU

    AndreasU

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    Step 1 could be to apply your fund raising talents to your own project: https://forum.unity3d.com/threads/experience-with-revenue-sharing.464699/

    Sorry to come off as a jerk, but *facepalm*.
     
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  17. AntoineDesbiens

    AntoineDesbiens

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  18. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    Only marginally different, the fundamentals are the same.

    The linked post shows a fundamental misunderstanding of how the game industry and the game market works. To the point that I would be reluctant to take any advice from the OP.
     
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  19. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    It will vary depending on publisher and arrangement. Typically, if they fronted you development funds prior to launch, that will come out first (or if it was a lot, there will be percentage/minimum that is taken out first). That is understandable. For marketing, it is also usual that "hard" costs are deducted from revenue. (ad buys, etc). They are risking the money, so it makes sense, as if they are taking out money already spent, they are breaking even at best. They revenue beyond that is where they and you make money.
     
  20. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    I think fixed cost/rate marketing/publishing would be a challenge. I haven't heard of it before, and it seems like it wouldn't be a great deal. Your publishing / marketing is your sales force. The best incentive for them perform is to have some skin in the game. The better the game does, the more they make. Fixed cost would incentivize them to do the minimum amount to satisfy the terms of the contract. They aren't going to make any more money if it does well, and for them to do well, they are going want to get as many contracts as possible. Meaning spending as little time on each as possible, maximizing they amount they can handle.
     
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  21. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    As a publisher and as a publishee, services that have also been part of the deal were community management, QA and often backend services. (web site stuff is kind of non-issue)
     
  22. Meltdown

    Meltdown

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    I spoke to a few publishers, and they all had the same policy of recovering marketing expenses first, in some cases even covering QA/project management fees etc.

    And no, recovering marketing costs first because it is a 'hard expense', still doesn't make any sense. I have a hard cost of more than $300 000 in development, which is money and time I also risked. If I put in $300k, and the publisher puts in $300k for marketing, our risk is shared, why should they get priority to get their investment back over mine?
     
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  23. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    Like I said it may vary. But a hard cost is an outlay of cash, like purchasing ad space. That won't (or shouldn't) include their costs for time and expenses creating that campaign, and other internal expenses. It is never an equal risk (on many levels), but usually their investment is prioritized because (usually) what a publisher brings to the table is capital, it is their priority. Like it or not, that is generally how it works. Alternately, you could cut that part out altogether and just take out a loan and hire staff to do marketing/QA/PM, then you can prioritize the capital/revenue.
     
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  24. Terrykirk

    Terrykirk

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    I don't think your being a jerk, i prefer honesty.
    I do think trying to raise funds and promote my own projects are a different ball game all together.
     
  25. QFSW

    QFSW

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    Why is that, if I may ask? I mean what makes having the money different if it's your own or someone elses project?
     
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  26. Terrykirk

    Terrykirk

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    I understand where you are coming from. I would be looking at employing someone with specific marketing knowledge as I've only worked with regular software.
     
  27. Terrykirk

    Terrykirk

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    I have no problem with you asking questions, it helps me in the long run.
    First of all, i was hoping to promote my own project solely through free methods but for customers there would be an actual budget.

    This is more of a research project at the moment, to see what the actual demand is.

    To start with i will be offering mostly customer service and technical support for end users until i can employ someone to do what i can't really.
     
  28. QFSW

    QFSW

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    So is it that you would be able to raise funds through other means of help which would then be able to use to fund those you help, or is it that you could fund your own projects but its not something you would want to do, or dont want to risk the investment on?

    If its the latter, that makes sense. If its the former, I reckon you have an issue there