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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
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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