Important Tips on How to Find (and Approach) the Right Publisher for Your Game

By Febrianto Nur Anwari

Why we should work with a publisher? How to approach them? And what are the criteria of a good publisher? Find the answer from Azizah (Lentera Nusantara) and Steve (Game5Mobile) in this article.

You’ve already finished your game, and you don’t have any marketing expert to release your game. Or, maybe you know that your game was a good game, but still, you don’t have any idea on how to market it or how to reach gamers as many as possible.

Working with a publisher may be a great choice for you if you ever been in that situation. But, there are many factors that you should consider before finding the right one, approach them, and then sign a publishing deal.

Do I need a publisher to publish my game? How to find it, and what are the criteria of a good publisher? What we should and should not do when working with a publisher?

Game Prime already talked with two Indonesian developers to find it out. First is Steve Lie, the CEO of Game5Mobile who has released hyper-casual games for mobile with a US-based game publisher, Lion Studios. Then the second is Azizah Assattari, the CEO of Lentera Nusantara who works with a US-based game publisher, Aksys Games, to publish their upcoming game, Ghost Parade.

Steve and Azizah shared their tips on how to find a right publisher for your game. Not only to find the right one but also how to approach them, negotiate, until you sign your publishing deal. Here are some tips from them.

find a right publisher for your game

Steve Lie (back, left) with his Game5Mobile Team

Do I need a publisher to publish your game?

First thing first, you should decide whether you need to work with a publisher or not to publish your game. “I think it’s based on what marketing strategy that you will use when the game finished,” said Steve. “If you feel the marketing benefit from the publisher will be worth with the potential revenue sharing, then go for it,” he continued.

But not all developers think that using publisher’s service will give them a better impact than do the self-publish. “If you think that you are ready to do all of the marketing strategies by yourself, moreover if you have a good knowledge and enough budget, then do the self publish,” he ended.

One thing, which is also the most important, is to see your vision and mission. “If you think that you have the same vision and mission with the publisher, then why not?” said Azizah. It’s also important to know the publisher’s target market and platform, whether it fits with your business or not.

Where can we search the right publisher for us?

After you decide whether you need to work with a publisher or not, the next step is to find the right publisher. There are some events, both local or international that you can visit to accomplish that mission.

“But you must be selective to decide what event that you will participate in. Make sure that event suit with your target market and topics that you want to achieve. Also, pay attention to the event’s region. If you want to try to approach Europe market, it will be better if you participate in a Europe event such as Gamescom,” said Azizah.

find a right publisher for your game

Lentera Nusantara with their publisher, Aksys

What should we prepare before approaching to a publisher?

After deciding what event that you should participate in, it’s time to prepare everything before you meet the publisher. “First thing first, surely, you should prepare your game. And second, you should know your company’s capability. If you don’t have any finished game, at least bring the concept or the playable prototype,” said Azizah.

“Make sure that you prepare your vision and mission, so you can match it with the publisher when you approach them,” she ended.

How to approach them?

Azizah said that we can’t use only one event to find and approach a right publisher, at least it couldn’t for Lentera Nusantara’s case. “The most difficult homework is to follow up by finishing some paperwork. We should discuss more with them about each vision and mission, what we want to achieve both in the short or long term, learn each background, and more,” she said.

“Sometimes you need multiple events to introduce your company’s image, moreover if you are a player in the gaming industry. Surely, a prospective publisher needs to learn about your consistency, work commitment, and how you keep your company’s performance. Consistency and the good concept is a must,” she ended.

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About Writer

Febrianto is the Senior Editor of Duniaku.net and the Lead Editor of Gameprime.org. He started his career in game industry as a game journalist since 2008, and was one of the initial members of Duniaku.net since 2011. His biggest interest is local game developer scene. Currently, his mission is to spread the news about Indonesia’s game industry to both local and international game and creative industry’s enthusiast.