What are the roles of game developers and game publishers in the process of delivering a game? We know everything about it and more! Click here to read.
The world of video games has turned upside down since the early days of arcade games. This industry has undergone such drastic changes over a relatively short period of time. As for now, this sphere is not what it used to be before. There are new rules regulating this market. Old approaches are no longer effective and profitable, and therefore are not something of a hot button. The entire industry has expanded to an amazing extent. In simple terms, this industry is not about developing games only, though this is its main part, namely core. Now the video gaming industry consists of several crucial organizations. They are responsible for the development, production, and publishing of any game. They all are interconnected so excluding one from the process of game creation is completely impossible.
Once you start taking an interest in game development, you can see numerous unfamiliar words or terms that seem strange to you. Do not be afraid here - it’s not as difficult as it seems at first. Well, it’s a bit confusing, but we are here to help you out! In HitBerry Games, we know the industry inside and out. We will be happy to shed some light on how things work here.
So, have you already heard about game developers and publishers?
We bet you have! You may wonder how important their roles in the process of game creation are. As we have already mentioned, it is impossible to create and launch a game providing you tale some party away. This industry is a well-established system that works according to a scheme. It is like a card house - take one card away and it will go down.
Before we provide more details concerning the developers and publishers’ work, it is necessary to point out that they have a common goal - to deliver a high-quality end-product. Any game they deliver together must be enjoyable for users as well as profitable for its creators. To reach this goal, all the organizations involved in the process do their parts and collaborate. All the parties are equally responsible for the result. Just a friendly reminder - they are in the same boat.
Now, let’s take a closer look at each role separately.
Who are developers?
A development team brings together people who fundamentally build a game. There are programmers writing codes, designers managing visual aspects, testers checking a game for bugs, and more specialists which know how to turn a concept into reality. They build playable games from scratch and end up putting finishing touches on gameplay. For those who only start figuring out this field developers are some cool guys doing complicated things. Well, it is so to some extent.
As we continue talking about game developers, we would like you to know that there are several so-called types. Basically, game developers are categorized as follows: indie, large-scale, and third-party developers. Of course, there exist various exclusions which fall out of the three major categories, but let’s go through each type.
Indie developers make up organizations mainly focusing on small projects. Their teams are not so big. As a rule, indie teams consist of up to 100 employees. To be frank to the fullest, such companies face a lot of difficulties and have to overcome numerous obstacles. The market is extremely competitive these days. You need to work really hard to be able to compete with large studios.
Large-scale developers belong to gigantic studios which have thousands of employees all over the globe. A large-scale company may even focus on one game only, but a successful one (Gears of War, World of Warcraft, etc). Such studios sometimes manage to become hybrids developer/publisher therefore they can cover the majority of developing and publishing themselves.
Third-party developers tend to work on several different projects simultaneously. They record deals with publishers and contribute to game development according to the discussed terms. What is the best thing about being a third-party developer? You have the flexibility to contract with as many publishers as you want or can sustain.
There is also one more category - solo developers. Can one person develop a game? Yes, they can. However, it will take more time and effort. Actually, being a solo developer doesn’t mean you do everything on your own. You also need other specialists’ help, but you are the one covering the majority of tasks.
Who are publishers?
Now let’s move on to the publisher’s role in the process of game development.
Unfortunately, sometimes people, due to their lack of experience and knowledge, underestimate the work of publishers. They think that game production depends only on developers. That’s a wrong opinion. Apart from building a game, there are a lot of other important tasks. Some of them are completed by publishers. Get a better look at their responsibilities here.
The basic publisher’s objective is to deliver a game to the market and promote it to drive the profitability of the product. While developers put in efforts to create a game, publishers look for ways to monetize the game. That is a mutually beneficial relationship. Whatever your product is, promotional campaign matters indeed. Nothing will work out and bring profit unless you promote it. Publishers are people who know well how to sell a game. Needless to say that developers do not always have enough resources to launch and support a game on their own servers. That is why they need to cooperate with publishers. It is also fair to say that publishers hit the mark as the largest organizations in the whole gaming industry.
As the video gaming industry is gaining momentum, there are more and more cases of publishers expanding into development and developers expanding into publishing. The line between these two parties is blurring. What does this mean? Developers create a foundation for a future game, and publishers look at it in terms of marketability. They can provide pieces of advice about adding some features which will impact the end-product positively. Often it is up to a publisher to make a crucial for further success decision. These guys produce trailers, communicate with actors if needed, and cover numerous other marketable aspects.
Some publishing organizations have even in-house development teams or they can contract with independent developers.
What is the key difference between developers and publishers?
Developers build a product from scratch, while publishers work with the product in progress.
Who does take full control over the project?
This point must be in the contract. A contract is a must-have for differentiating and outlining everyone’s duties and responsibilities in the process of game creation.
We hope we’ve managed to make it a bit clearer how many people take part and put in efforts to bring a game to your fingertips. They all work hard to reach a common goal - to please users with an enjoyable video game.
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