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Indie devs explore the benefits of working with a publisher

Indie devs explore the benefits of working with a publisher

November 29, 2017 | By Alissa McAloon

"Indie dev is a minefield now. To have a chance at a good level of success, you basically have to nail everything. That's a really tall order, so devs are simply looking to stack the odds in their favor."

- Paul Kilduff-Taylor, co-founder of indie dev turned indie publisher Mode 7 Games

PC Gamer sat down with a number of indie devs and some indie publishers to gather stories and tips on forging publishing partnerships. The comments shared focus mostly on the positive effects of working with indie publishers from the perspective of developers like Cardboard Computer, the creator of Uurnog Uurnlimited, and indie dev turned publisher Mode 7.

For example, Uurnog Uurnlimited creator Nicklas Nygren says that knowing how to sell and market a game can be difficult from his experience, backing up a sentiment shared by Raw Fury's sales and distribution head Andreea Chifu.

"It's scary and weird," said Nygren. "I only really like creating new games, and since I do so many things because I work on music and code and design, it's very good if someone can help me, someone who I can offload marketing stuff and getting devkits to. I don't know how all that works and I don't have time to." 

Strictly from a needs perspective, there are a number of factors developers should consider on an individual basis before signing on a publisher's dotted line. As Devolver Digital's confounder Nigel Lowrie explains, those range from what that individual publisher has to offer to if that partnership will, all in all, help the dev make a better game.

PC Gamer points out that different developers in different situations have different needs, ranging from pure monitory assistance to management support. Different partnerships likewise have varying agreements on IP rights, revenue share, and all around budgeting that need to be considered before establishing a deal as well.

More insights from both indie developers and publishers on the benefits and important information relating to indie publishing deals can be found in the full PC Gamer rundown

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