Publishers Speak! What It Really Takes to Get a Publishing Deal Dan Lee Rogers Game Developer’s Conference 2000
Know The Questions Publishers Will Ask… • Qualitative. • Deal with business issues. • Quantitative. • Deal with innovation and creativity, motivation and desire.
Session Preparation Interviewed new business development managers: • David Etheredge – Hasbro Interactive. • Frank Pape – Electronic Arts.
How We’ll Spend Our Time? • Section I – getting noticed. • Section II – the deal. • Section III – the next project.
Getting Noticed • The issue isn’t how to find a publisher, but finding the right one. • The new business development manager is key. • Show them: • Hot technology. • An experienced team. • An innovative idea.
To Find The Right Publisher • Do your homework. • Present information that stands out. • Get referrals. • Use email.
What Do Publishers Need To See? • A working prototype. • A design document. • An understanding of the market.
How Can An Agent Help? • Contacting publishers you don’t know personally. • Negotiating your deal. • Keeping the information flowing.
Super salesman syndrome. Knows less about the market than you. Plays the numbers game. The Difference Between A Good Agent And A Bad One. Bad Good • Knows the interactive business intimately. • Has a great reputation with the right people. • Compliments your group.
Your First Presentation • Technology component is most important. • Know the market and the publisher. • Present a solid, well-rounded company. • Show them the vision!
Your Working Prototype • Complexity depends on the genre: • Racing, fighting, RTS – bleeding edge technology required. • Family and casual – solid technology and tool set. • Show the important aspects of the game: • Two fighters fighting. • Action – ½ a level.
Your Working Prototype • Show the menu system. • Demonstrate your tool set if it makes development faster.
How Much Is Enough? Experience Low Technology State High High Low
The Importance Of The Technology Demo Genre Racing/Sports Fighting RTS Technology State Family Games High Low
Your Team • Established programmers are key. • With game expertise. • With platform expertise. • Lead artist. • With game expertise. • Business expertise.
The Deal • Publishers interested in funding development…only. • Typically delivered as an advance against royalties. • Against milestones.
A Typical Deal (PC) Simplified Advanced Royalty 1M Game Gross Receipts – 4M (177K units at $22.5) Less COG – 4M(442.5K @ $2.5) Less Marketing and Sales 240K (6% of Gross Receipts) Less Bad Debt Reserve – 60K (1.5% of Gross Receipts) Less Other Royalty Fees – 200K (5-10% of Gross Receipts) Net Receipts 3.05M
Don’t Forget The Advance! Net Receipts 3.05M X 15% = $458,625 Less 1M Advanced Royalty - 541K
What Do Publishers Earn? Net Receipts 3.05M Less Balance of your advance -541K Less Real Marketing and Sales –360K (600K- 240K = 360K 15%) Less Internal Production -75K Less Quality Assurance -50K Less Administration –195K (6.4%) 1.8M
The Contract Process Yes Like Idea Yes Yes Contract Negotiation Internal Approval No No No 4-8 Weeks 4-8 Weeks
Who Makes The Decision? • New Business Development Manager • Development VP • Business Unit Marketing • Sales – All Territories • Company President
The Next Deal • On-time, on-budget, quality product. • Run your business with maturity and integrity. • Build for the future.
What Publishers Dislike • Don’t know the market or competition. • Not original. • Complain about other developers or publishers. • Want instant results.
What Publishers Love • Energy and passion. • Thinking out of the box. • Building for the market.
Contact Information Dan Rogers 50683 Falcon View Coarsegold, CA 93614 Dan@sierranet.net 559-642-2490