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1370461 Posts in 64470 Topics- by 56532 Members - Latest Member: Aevv01

December 15, 2019, 06:51:20 PM

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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperBusinessPublishing deal
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ChrisShu
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« on: November 27, 2019, 01:57:21 AM »

Hi guys!

First, let me say hello to everybody and that it is awesome that forums like this exist.

I was wondering if you could help us Indie newbies a little bit. I’ll describe the situation as brief as possible: We are in contact with a publisher to market our first real game (besides a students project), which is a kind of endless runner with a nice twist. We do not want to spoil too much about the game as as everybody knows how active and fast „mostly eastern clone armies“ are today… ;-( Now, without breaking any NDA things here and without giving any names, I would like to know what you think of the following:

Roughly said:
We do not need any money for the development.
We will work together with the publisher to integrate some SDKs they want to have in there. This is not paid, but we are ok with it as it is only a little bit of work.
They will provide all the money for marketing. We do not need to pre-pay anything. They will do all marketing itself, press, create all creatives, playable ads, videos, etc. No work from our side. We only need to update the app if a technical problem shows up. We agreed to a min of 2 content updates per half year if the games reaches certain KPIs. That is ok for us as the KPIs are also in our favour.
Financially, it would be a revenue split. 50% of the revenue for us, 50% for them. Of the net revenue (which is defined, simply said as: what we get from Apple and Google minus their costs for the marketing)
So, : We do the game, they do the marketing. The net rev is split 50%, 50%.

So asking all Indie devs here. Please help out a newbie. Can you tell us roughly your deals? Are these terms ok? Or what would you say is ok? What are your terms and whom would you recommend (ok, forget the last one if you also have an NDA).
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nikkoguy
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« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2019, 11:30:06 AM »

From what I've read around the standard publisher cut is 30%.
Sometimes they'll do a larger cut temporarily to recoup any advances (which you're not taking any) and marketing budgets (depending on what it entails)


50% publisher cut seems a bit much unless you're feeling really confident about the visibility theyre capable of bringing in.
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TonyLi
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« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2019, 01:29:25 PM »

This is an informative article on working with publishers and distributors (since you may actually be making a distributor deal, not a publisher deal):

What Does A Healthy Publisher/Developer Relationship Looks Like (With Real Contract Details!)

The publisher/distributor cut seems high. Also, what's with the SDKs? If they're injecting their own ads with the SDK, make sure the deal includes the ad revenue.
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ChrisShu
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« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2019, 10:51:45 PM »

Hi guys!
Thanks for your help! I am really grateful for this.
It seems that I did miss out some details in my first post, sorry for this. Here they are:

We are talking about a mobile game. Sorry if this was unclear.

The publisher is a smaller one, but has a decent record. We would like to work with him because he is close (we are located in the EU (Germany) so this would be easier for us).

The publisher has contractually dedicated to a minimum spend. Which is a figure we could not afford easily. First a 5 digit number monthly for a certain period of time, then, if we hit certain KPIs, it will increase to a 6 digit number monthly. If we do not hit the KPIs, the deal is off (no harm done for anybody, no payback of the invested money from our side). It -seems- ok to me.

We have not got any money from the publisher during development, so yes, what we look for/what we get is more a distribution deal. Not a real publishing deal. And yes, of course we will try to get a second offer!

MOST IMPORTANT: Of course we will have this checked by a reputable lawyer who is competent in this field (he already is) BUT he does not or cannot help us with the most crucial question: Is the split ok?

I have posted this in several forums, and I got somewhat contradictory answers. Some said it is ok, some said it is bad. Please: Is there someone with actual real knowledge about a deal? A lot of the answers seem estimations or what people think would be fair. But is there someone with actual knowledge about an executed agreement?
Thanks again so much!
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TonyLi
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« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2019, 06:37:38 AM »

Publishers especially are usually tight-lipped about contracts because it reduces their negotiating power. That's why I included a link to a real contract in my previous reply. (70/30 split.) However, it's for a premium game.

The distributor's SDK would be a concern to me. I would want to know what it's doing before entering into any agreement.
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ChrisShu
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« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2019, 01:31:47 AM »

Thank you TonyLi! Your info is very much appreciated. Smiley
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