xenomorph856

Game distribution strategy for new studio

Recommended Posts

Greetings everyone!

 

First of all, I'd like to note that I noticed a warning to take note of banned topics list, but I couldn't find it. If this is among them, I do apologize, and it can be removed.

 

With that out of the way, I'd like to run my distribution strategy by you. My requirements for distribution were First is profit maximization. Secondly is publisher relations, I want us both to mutually benefit from the deal (non-ex licensing), and to nurture a lasting relationship for future publishing. Thirdly I'd like the game to get exposure to as many players as possible around the world.

 

To achieve these goals, my plan is to sell licenses ($500-$600) to several portals that have limited reach. Then distribute the game through a channel like BoosterMedia, who has a much broader array of distribution portals, with ad revenue share. I then combine this with self-distribution through native wrappers, and published to various mobile stores (iOS, Android, etc) with in-game ads.

 

My initial problem with this strategy is the ethics, I'm not entirely sure how the various distributors operate, so I'm not sure if this will be unfair to them.

 

Can I sell licenses to smaller portals, and then give ad share to a larger one? Will the larger portal cut into smaller portal profits?

My second issue is how effective this will be, and if it's worth the time.

So should this make money? Or is the ad revenue & self-publication not viable?

EDIT: One other question: do most portals, including BoosterMedia, distribute on app stores? As I'd want to avoid conflict in that area as well.

 

To give a short description of our first licensed game: It has really good vector art, scales on most (or all, haven't thoroughly tested) devices, and will be localized in a few popular languages when I get to it. App store distro will be wrapped by Intel XDK/Crosswalk.

 

I know this is a lot to ask, so I hope it's not reaching, and I hope my strategy isn't totally stupid from an outside/experienced view ;-)

 

Thank you very much.

 

P.S. if anyone has firsthand experience, I'm also curious how you personally translate your games to other languages. Obviously there's not much to translate in a typical game, so is Google translate/Babel sufficient?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1- if you sell your game license non-exclusive it should be ok to sell game to smaller companies and revenue share with larger ones.

2- check http://www.truevalhalla.com -> blog -> income reports

3-I dont know answer of your last question but when you reach 10 posts in this forum another subforum will be unlocked for you named sponcers and portals which can be helpful for you.

post-13445-0-85805200-1433338321_thumb.j

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the reply, I'm sorry it took so long to get back, we've been very busy working on our first game.

 

I'm curious if anyone's aware of whether or not sponsors publish to app stores, or if they're purely interested in portals only. If that's the case, what are peoples opinion on 'hybrid-publishing', so to speak, by licensing/rev sharing to sponsors for web, and self-publishing to app stores for ad revenue?

 

-Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would not recommend taking True Valhalla's income reports into consideration, since his success is not representative of the current overall HTML5 landscape.

 

Speaking in broad strokes, you'll sell non-exclusive licenses only to handful of portals - that's what left in business after the Big Consolidation. Wrapping into native and slapping ads will not make you a decent living either, unless you get lucky and your game becomes a local or global hit - check out blogs of average mobile game devs who make only a few $100's per month per game, and that's still considered quite good.

 

There is no direct relationships between game quality / innovative and addictive gameplay and its performance in the market. Without dedicated marketing you're just taking your chance in the lottery.

 

Also, check out this Rami Ismail's blog post:

http://ramiismail.com/2015/02/everything-is-not-fine-and-thats-fine/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

his success is not representative of the current overall HTML5 landscape.

 

Is it not possible to make a living on HTML5 games? I believe Rich makes good money in it as well. I'm not sure we'll be as successful as TV right away, but that's certainly the long-term goal. Our short term goal is to release quality games. Hopefully the sponsors will see their quality, and be willing to support some humble HTML5 devs ;-)

 

Wrapping into native and slapping ads will not make you a decent living either, unless you get lucky and your game becomes a local or global hit

 

You're right. That's why we're investing part of licensing money into ads (Facebook primarily) for our mobile games. Putting in around $50 here and there to test the waters, get feedback, and hopefully grow a fan base.

 

There is no direct relationships between game quality / innovative and addictive gameplay and its performance in the market.

 

That's debatable I think. Sure it's not guaranteed, there's many great quality games without many downloads. But there's even fewer crappy games that have many. So while quality/game play isn't the driving factor, it's certainly a factor non the less. Especially with respect to sponsorship interest.

 

Do you agree?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it not possible to make a living on HTML5 games? I believe Rich makes good money in it as well. I'm not sure we'll be as successful as TV right away, but that's certainly the long-term goal. Our short term goal is to release quality games. Hopefully the sponsors will see their quality, and be willing to support some humble HTML5 devs ;-)

 

It's possible if you're living in a 3rd world country and working fast and smart enough to cut corners and reuse stuff. Guys like TV happened to get in the right place and the right time.

 

Not sure about long term prospects at all. Portal HTML5 is definitely saturated already, but technology itself will probably get the second chance in upcoming years.

 

Games are very saturated market today. Everybody wants everything for free, customers are lazy and stupid, supply of entertainment greatly exceeds the demand, everyone is doing some clone gimmick just to make a quick buck. I decided to quit it this year, so I'm currently in transition to the new skillset and occupation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's possible if you're living in a 3rd world country and working fast and smart enough to cut corners and reuse stuff. Guys like TV happened to get in the right place and the right time.

 

I can't believe there's no room for any quality HTML5 games and developers to do well financially. It's not surprising that the market is saturated, and part of the problem (imo) is a lack of QA and moderation at gaming portals and other app distributors.

 

I'm wondering if this is just the inevitable experience of some devs (such as yourself), or the true reality of the situation for the entire community. I hold out hope that my studio will be recognized, and we'll make decent enough money. After all, if devs like TV can find treasure in the muck, so can others :-)

 

I'd love to hear from more people on this topic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not different than working in any part of the game industry.   You're going to work longer hours for less pay...  But you're going to be doing something that you can show the world, and working with people who also want to show the world their work.

 

Depending on your personality it's worth, especially if you don't want to make "yet another reporting system" for marketing that's only used by one company internally.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not different than working in any part of the game industry. You're going to work longer hours for less pay...  

 

That's what I was thinking. I just want to make enough money to sustain myself while doing it (around $1k - $1.5k a month).

 

"yet another reporting system" for marketing that's only used by one company internally.

 

I'm wondering if you could elaborate that for me, it kind of jumped over my head at the moment ;-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't believe there's no room for any quality HTML5 games and developers to do well financially. 

 

I agree. I'm sure there is space but like most things, it will take a lot of effort and failure before you get there. It isn't going to just be make a game or two and try to sell them to a sponsor/portal and now you are self-sustaining. It will probably take a while and a lot of games and failed attempts. You will spend time making something that flops and sells nothing. But with each experiences I'm sure you learn a lot along the way. 

 

Honestly I don't think most people are willing to stick it out through the many failures. It probably seems daunting when you are just starting out but with each step you take the more you learn and the closer you would get. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Xenom, first of all sorry for my bad english. :D
I have a good experience with HTML5 games distribution, I made 5/6 games, I tested many distribution strategies and I'm making good money with my games.
I'll try to explain you the two main strategies that for me was the bests:
 
Strategy one: start selling the not exclusive license of your games to gaming websites, after some months distribute them with many distributors (Booster, Gamepix, Softgames). (I suggest this strategy with smaller games because you'll maximize your revenues also if the game is not top but a lot of effert is necessary)
 
Strategy two: give your game to a distributor in exclusivity asking for revenue share with minimum revenues guaranteed OR anticipation on the revenues. If the game will be successful you'll make much more money than with licensing but probably you'll need more time (I suggest this strategy with bigger games where you worked more on them and you believe in their quality)
 
In my experience I worked with a couple of publishers and distributor but the best for me is Gamepix, they are very friendly and they really helped me also before that the game was ready (I showed them just some raw concepts) and with them I reached a lots of users making good money.  :)
This is only my experience but I suggest you to talk with them all because I think that every gamedev have is own perfect publisher. 

About the native stores, untill now I self published my games but no good money from there.  :(
 
At RandomDevs we are still a small indie team and now we are going to release a bigger game also thanks to the money that we made with smaller games. I'll announce it in the showcase in just a few days. :)
 
I hope my experience will help you.  B)  B)  B)  ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/9/2015 at 11:00 PM, xenomorph856 said:

Is it not possible to make a living on HTML5 games? 

It's totally possible and much easier than any other game platform/market. This doesn't mean it's not bloody hard though. 

On 6/9/2015 at 11:00 PM, xenomorph856 said:

You're right. That's why we're investing part of licensing money into ads (Facebook primarily) for our mobile games. 

Don't. You are supposed to earn money on showing the ads, not spend money on ads:)

On 6/9/2015 at 11:00 PM, xenomorph856 said:

Sure it's not guaranteed, there's many great quality games without many downloads. But there's even fewer crappy games that have many. So while quality/game play isn't the driving factor, it's certainly a factor non the less. Especially with respect to sponsorship interest.

on the Apple Store / Google Play it's a lottery. Playing a lottery is not a valid business strategy. Treat publishing games on appstores as lottery tickets. You can hit the jackpot or you (most probably) will fail. 

As for your idea for selling non-exclusive licenses to portals and than moving to general distribution - pushing your games through companies that would distribute it everywhere is similar to publishing on the appstores - it's a lottery ticket. 

Licensing is the base, everything else could be a nice bonus. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/06/2015 at 5:52 AM, Red Spark said:

 

It's possible if you're living in a 3rd world country and working fast and smart enough to cut corners and reuse stuff. Guys like TV happened to get in the right place and the right time.

 

Not sure about long term prospects at all. Portal HTML5 is definitely saturated already, but technology itself will probably get the second chance in upcoming years.

 

Games are very saturated market today. Everybody wants everything for free, customers are lazy and stupid, supply of entertainment greatly exceeds the demand, everyone is doing some clone gimmick just to make a quick buck. I decided to quit it this year, so I'm currently in transition to the new skillset and occupation.

The market is saturated for incompetent games or games that are too easy to copy, it's always like this. You are right though for technology is getting the second chance because new ideas and new ways of playing browser game emerge these years. I think those who build the top-notch games can still have opportunities and thrive. A lot of serious efforts need to be put into the game before it becomes viral. I agree that this is not an easy route. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.