Negotiating with Publishers
When a publisher reaches out, many indie game devs naturally feel excitement. It’s a validation of the dedication and passion they’ve put into their game. They have clearly created something of value, and now a publisher wants in on the action.
The problem is, most indie game publishers don’t do much for their games, and often demand some rather harsh ‘standard’ contract terms. There are exceptions–and if I didn’t believe in the possibility of good publishers adding value, I wouldn’t have founded Hooded Horse–but the best response to getting contacted by a publisher should be a careful and critical examination of everything: the publisher’s record of past games, the exact plans the publisher has for marketing your game, and the specific terms of the contract they are proposing.
Andrew at the Indie Game Movement podcast invited me to do an interview discussing what to watch out for in negotiating with publishers. If listening to an hour of me issuing dire warnings sounds like fun, head here: https://indiegamemovement.libsyn.com/ep-147-how-to-nail-publisher-negotiations-with-tim-bender
Evaluating and negotiating with publishers is one of the primary topics of this blog, so we’ll return to this frequently.