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Do Game Developers Still Need Publishers in 2020?

  • Published on Nov 25, 2022 veröffentlicht

Comments • 114

  • Thomas Brush
    Thomas Brush  Year ago +3

    Get 10% off Squarespace w/ promo code THOMASBRUSH: www.squarespace.com/thomasbrush

  • Joseph Whitehead
    Joseph Whitehead 2 years ago +16

    Surely this debate massively depends on the publisher in question and the game. For example, if a company like New Bloods or Devolver wants to publish your game, its a no brainier. They have large die hard audiences who will buy anything they publish, a solid track record of publishing great games and everyone they're worked with has great things to say about the support they offer to their devs (especially New Bloods). On the other hand, a no name publisher who've published a few games nobodys heard about or that have awful reviews, its probably not worth giving them a cut, since they're clearly not going to give your game as much as they gain from it being successful. If the game fails, they don't care since they didn't lose much, but if its successful they gain lots (money and respect) without putting in much effort.

  • Terry The 2D Maniac
    Terry The 2D Maniac 2 years ago +11

    My question is, what if your little idea for your first commercial game just gradually got better and more complicated than you've anticipated in the planning phase, do you still soldier on as a solo dev or do you seek the help and support of a publisher like Serinity Forge or Armor Games?

  • Santos Media Studios
    Santos Media Studios Year ago +13

    Really enjoy your advices, Thomas. I'm starting to think on looking for a publisher deal, I've been working on my first game for the past 8 months only on my Free time while working a full time job and while I really do it as an hobby and really enjoy doing it, but lately I'm starting to feel really tired because my day job drains most of my energy... My dream is to be a full time Game developer so if that kind of deal alows me to do that I'll be up to it.
    Thanks for sharing your experience!

    • Not K¡nt@ N@om¡
      Not K¡nt@ N@om¡ 2 months ago +1

      @Santos Media Studios I feel that. I overhauled the concept of the game I'm working on. Idk if I'll ever finish it, as I barely touched Unity thus far, bit it'll be awesome if I can! (And easier than the original game)

    • Santos Media Studios
      Santos Media Studios 2 months ago +1

      @Not K¡nt@ N@om¡ Not yet, I had to lower my ambitions a lot and change the concept some times to be in a possible to finish ambition. I expect it to be finish at midle of next year. No publisher deal yet but I will try again when the game is at a more finished state

    • Santos Media Studios
      Santos Media Studios 2 months ago +1

      @Stefan Constantin Dumitrache The game is at a very different state, concept wise but no publisher deal. I still have to prioritise my full time job. Also had some personal problems but I'm building the game to be more rogue like so It focused mainly on combat. I expect to release it by the midle of next year. I'm trying to get a good balance between stylish and flashy combat and Souls tactical combat with some unique features. I hope I have achieved that so the game has its own identity

    • Not K¡nt@ N@om¡
      Not K¡nt@ N@om¡ 2 months ago

      Were you able to finish it?

    • Stefan Constantin Dumitrache
      Stefan Constantin Dumitrache 3 months ago +2

      How did it go since last year?

  • NewHopeGames
    NewHopeGames 2 years ago +1

    It's also a matter of getting a publisher who's interested in actually publishing your game. If an indiedev can get a good known publisher that is interested then I say ABSOLUTELY go for it! Not only up front funding but also they can market your game in more advanced and bigger ways. In the end whatever the publisher makes you will get back on the increased sales just from having that publisher.

  • Duke Magus
    Duke Magus 2 years ago +5

    Advertising and headhunting for specific tasks is something some publishers can really help with. Not every dev is as good with PR as Thomas, and sometimes you need some programmer reeeally good as procedural room generation or reeeally good at optimizing unity code, or porting the game to a console without needing all the bureaucracy to get a switch devkit, for example. If you want to "just make games" and nothing more,abandon the indie way and pitch your vertical slice to publishers

  • Chaotic_Germ
    Chaotic_Germ 2 years ago +1

    I agree more with David. He achieved equal amount of sucess without a publisher and got to remain a full time hobbyist indie dev. That's the dream. Do what you love and never work a day in your life. That changes with a publisher and I don't want that.

  • Game Makers Academy
    Game Makers Academy 2 years ago +12

    I definitely agree with both of them. David is right about not needing a publisher when you are focused on building your first game. But like Thomas said, it's a great idea to consider a publisher if you feel like your game is getting bigger by the minute and your financial status blocks it from growing further.
    That being said, Thomas, have you considered building your own Dev team for Atmos and is there a reason that you still picked Serenity Forge over expanding Atmos team? Cheers guys ☺️

    • Fast King
      Fast King 8 months ago +1

      @Alek Vassinskiy when you have no money at all, you have to seek publishers

    • Alek Vassinskiy
      Alek Vassinskiy 2 years ago

      @GLassy Can Art can't you just pay for ads of it tho

    • GLassy Can Art
      GLassy Can Art 2 years ago +2

      We need publisher so our game doesn't get just 20 downloads

  • Dave B
    Dave B 2 years ago +4

    Very interesting... But I still feel too in the dark to be able to negotiate a proper deal- I'm terrified of money constraints, but I'm already unemployed due to covid..
    Wouldn't putting out my first game solo on steam be the negotiating piece I need to get a good deal- and without one- aren't I SoL? Just Thinking out loud but It's definitely my big issue! I love your videos btw and you make such beautiful games!

  • TheAlienpope
    TheAlienpope 2 years ago +3

    I love both of you and you're both such inspirations. Having more videos where both of you are present, giving both of your perspective on things, would be so amazing. Because this was just that.

  • ATCoutain
    ATCoutain 2 years ago +54

    Yeah... I haven't gotten to this part yet with my game. I'm glad your talking about this now.

  • Justin G
    Justin G 2 years ago +3

    Publishers definitely have their pros and cons. I'm earning a full time income from my games without the use of any publishers but to be fair Im not too bad on the marketing side of the business so depends on the individuals personal skill set and experience.

  • Konadu Akwasi AKuoko
    Konadu Akwasi AKuoko 2 years ago +4

    I love how Thomas and David come together. I love thier sessions

  • hi meow
    hi meow 2 years ago +17

    Somewhat unrelated to the video, but are you ever planning to make a video about figuring out what to set the Kickstarter goal of the game as, as well as budgeting in general? Sorry if you already have and I just didn't see it.

  • Simon Almirante
    Simon Almirante Year ago +1

    I'm planning to develop games on my own after graduation but I haven't thought about doing it full-time because I really want to invent stuff. I have really serious trust issues and that I don't even trust my long time close friends and my family members or even sometimes myself, that's why it's making me really anxious thinking what happens if I get a team to help me like publishing my game and managing a part of my game. I still don't know what triggered this serious trust issues but it always feels like the people will back stab me, steal from me or screw me over. Probably started during my early highschool life.

    • Basically Mango
      Basically Mango 5 months ago

      sounds awful I won't tell you how to solve that (I'm not a therapist) but to trust someone comes with time like if you were to trust me honestly if someone had a million dollars but I would be able to steal it and no one would even know it was me I still wouldn't do it, its just not in me to pull that type of action but you should (don't know your circumstance) trust your loved ones the most since you've known them since you were born. There are a lot of bad people in the world I have some insight on how they think and its a little weird but you have to be smarter than them its hard to catch them but being one step ahead of them works like an anticheat working with publishers if you really have that issue working by your self is probably your best bet just make sure to build hype around your game contacting youtubers, or making even your own youtube channel like check out @Pontypants this guy has made a youtube channel based around his game from the very start and now he quit his job and does not even have to complete his game because all his revenue comes from his game but the point is it brought attention to his game and other youtubers notice that. Hope this helps get that trust issue resolved but don't get comfortable around it because its not a guranteed, but do trust in your family they're your closest people.

  • vDarIK
    vDarIK 2 years ago +1

    you guys are the best really... thank you for sharing your experiences with us.

  • Shrestha Vatsyayan
    Shrestha Vatsyayan 2 years ago +1

    Thank you for making games for us 😊

  • David Rapp
    David Rapp 2 years ago +1

    I was in e-learning for over a decade. I'd love to beta test your course for you.

  • Arion Digital
    Arion Digital Year ago +1

    I tell you this with love, and in the most gentle way possible… If you think you will get the response from publishers these superstars have, you are in for a rude awakening.

  • Q QQ
    Q QQ 2 years ago +1

    THank you Thomas for this insightful information. Really appreciate u sharing all this for us.

  • aus_urf
    aus_urf 2 years ago +8

    Thomas: "If you wanna learn how I made those games for everyone and every platform on the planet..."
    People In 3000: What is a planet

  • Nedra Paul
    Nedra Paul 2 years ago

    Can you talk about your experience developing for consoles and how does it compare to PCs.
    For instance, what were challenges the advantages or drawbacks on both platforms?
    I think it's a good video as well.

  • KOEX Studio
    KOEX Studio 2 years ago +57

    Realistically speaking, most of indies won't get publishers because publishers are only look for the great games and/or developers with already huge followers. It is delusional to think you can get a publisher easily like one of these guys.
    Updated: After gaining more experience, I take back my statement of saying indies cant get publishers because they are looking for big games or huge followers but it is definitely not a easy thing still. Average Indies can go for the mid size publishers to have a better chances. I found my success after emailing over a 100 publishers and it also depends on whether you game fits the publishers' portfolio.

    • KOEX Studio
      KOEX Studio Year ago

      @CodingBmartin You will need a polish and bug-free demo to impress publishers and people. Cant answer your crowdfunding question since i never done one. But there are a few publishers that can help with crowdfunding.

    • CodingBmartin
      CodingBmartin Year ago

      Can you give any tips to get a publishing deal and what if i do a kickstarter before I do a publishing deal?

    • juno XII
      juno XII Year ago

      Publisher also want to do business. I can understand if they need to filter among 10 000 games or more. Audience want to see uniqueness and great game

    • Adam Harte
      Adam Harte 2 years ago +5

      There are different types and levels of publishers, just like there are different types and levels of game devs.

    • Froggy
      Froggy 2 years ago +5

      Not true, can tell you that first hand

  • DannyBOY120394
    DannyBOY120394 2 years ago +1

    Daniel from Greenville here. Thanks for this, I needed it! I'm almost at the stage where I want to reach out to publishers for my VR stealth game. Making trailers right now.

  • Talisman Skulls
    Talisman Skulls 6 months ago +1

    The answer is NO. They need to talk to the only people that matter. Their audience. If you don't know your audience and make a game suited to a different audience, its already a fail. Your audience is your PR which then draws the attention of a publisher. If you listen to your audience they are the players and the payers. All a publish happens to have is an established wider reach, but they use a non-specific sawed off shot gun measure. Publishers are not about the devs or the audiences. They are there to make their investors money, not happy and too many devs think "well they got all the money" but they got all that money from the audience.

  • 2 Pac
    2 Pac 2 years ago

    David is one of the most coolest person in this industry

  • Cristian Popa
    Cristian Popa Year ago

    Its a lot better to go without publisher but its a bit harder and you need some experience.

  • Arion Digital
    Arion Digital Year ago +1

    Most publishers will not want your game, or even respond to you. If you have a huge flowing like the gentlemen here, they will want you.

  • MikeRoeGames
    MikeRoeGames 2 years ago +1

    An interesting conversation. Personally so think I would prefer to remain distant from publishers myself. Time will tell.

  • OXMOND Tutorials
    OXMOND Tutorials 2 years ago +1

    It all depends on the actual deal 🤓👍

  • Amelia PC
    Amelia PC 2 years ago

    Want to go fluffy and cute? Serenity Forge. Want to go full gore and blood? Devolver Digital. Don't forget to look at their game library before submitting your game to a publisher. Like any publisher in any medium, you have to fit in with the game publisher trend/brand/mojo. (Or you'll end up trying to sell a unicorn for a trash metal store)

    J GAMES Year ago +1

    Love Publishers, They Are Awesome!

  • Josh Bishop
    Josh Bishop 2 years ago +11

    Thomas in earlier videos: Hey guys, I'm Thomas Brush...
    Thomas in recent videos: Hey! Wow! Hi! How's it goin'!...
    I like these changes so far lol

  • 🍄Life Symbiont🍄
    🍄Life Symbiont🍄 4 months ago

    Indie Publishers don't exist, as these concepts contradict each other. To be indie is to be independent, to don't have a publisher. To be bound to a publisher means that you are not independent. You can not have both. An "independent publisher" does not make sense. Always be indie and never go to a publisher, don't let money hungry monsters tell you, the artist, how to make your own art.

  • Tẃant Lavish
    Tẃant Lavish 6 months ago

    Thank you guys for sharing this.

  • Guilherme Martins
    Guilherme Martins 2 years ago +1

    Cool when you come to dust in 6 min 😂
    Thanks by the video! This clarify what the publisher can do for me.

  • Amir Moadad
    Amir Moadad 2 years ago +1

    is there a way to reach publishers ?
    how can we reach them or get in contact with them

  • Justin Bishop
    Justin Bishop 2 years ago +1

    this helped me understand so much thank you !

  • Green&Blue Productions
    Green&Blue Productions 7 months ago

    Do you own the rights to your published games though? In vast majority of cases people who publish lose rights to their IP I mean look at Kojima the only IP he owns is Death Stranding dispite being the lead and father of Metal Gear Solid... Like the biggest one of the few creators to retain their IP is Goerga Lucas and Star wars and we all know what happened when he sold it. Like I get if it's a one of game whoes IP you don't care about like Mincecraft with Notch but if it's your baby never sell or you'll regret it one day... Or be Mr. Miyamoto Sensai who just has great relations with his publisher.

  • Lu The Gamecat
    Lu The Gamecat 2 years ago +11

    Look no further than Star Citizen to see why you need a publisher for bigger games

    • Chaotic_Germ
      Chaotic_Germ 2 years ago

      But not everyone is making Star Citizen. Most indie devs are making 2D pixel games or have a big enough experienced team to tackle bigger projects and still not need a publisher. I have to agree more with David, I want game design to be entirely up to me and my inner circle and keep it a hobby, not turn it into a drooling job because of a publisher.

    • Orin Anthony
      Orin Anthony 2 years ago +5

      Star Citizen's lead is actually blacklisted, and has been for a while. He's an infamous wheel spinner and basically all their projects have gone way over budget, time, etc.

  • Fredo Knows Best
    Fredo Knows Best Year ago

    I'm about to release a mobile game and I'm up in the air about publishers

  • TomTom
    TomTom 2 years ago +1

    This is great and super insightful! This side of games development I don't know about, great advise from both sides, which would help me for my future career! :)

  • Green&Blue Productions
    Green&Blue Productions 7 months ago

    So the only time I find you should publish is if truly you don't care about what happens to the IP/maser copy of the game's files and Want help or cash easily and know you can finish the game and can't bulild a team on your own and don't care about complete control over the product. If you are not that person doesn't do it you will regret it. Edit: And I'm saying that even though I have worked with a few A, AA and 1 AAA publisher... I like all of them I just won't publish with them. As I seen too many horror stories of bad things happening to beloved IPs and this was before Disney owned everything.

  • petroleum engineer
    petroleum engineer 2 years ago

    Which is better to make games laptop or desktop??
    And what are the good specifications for begginers

    • LT Slugg
      LT Slugg 2 years ago

      Desktop, look up Unity specs or Godot depends on your engine and what kind of game youre making

  • Eddy Krueger
    Eddy Krueger 2 years ago +1

    Can game developers remake games like say you make your own dragonball z game?

  • Hank
    Hank 2 years ago +2

    I love how there advertising a site with the main attraction that "you don't have to know how to code", on a video for fucking game devs

  • Arokhantos
    Arokhantos 2 years ago

    Honestly feel we do not need publishers at all with the existance of steam gog etc

  • Mohit Arora
    Mohit Arora 2 years ago +1

    Hey, I have a doubt that can i make a game on any movie like harry potter, lords of the ring by just downloading free assets from unity assets store and make environment and using background music of that movie because i have a game idea to work on and i want to upload for free now on online platforms

  • Kay Schuster
    Kay Schuster 2 years ago +1

    @Thomas Brush, when is the best time to search for a publisher? At the beginning, middle or nearly end of development the game?

    • Abraham
      Abraham Year ago

      When u have a vertical slice of the project

  • Jagadish Gospat
    Jagadish Gospat 2 years ago +1

    Yo we got your back man you will go to newer heights.

  • Viacheslav Chernousov
    Viacheslav Chernousov 2 years ago

    Thanks, keep going!;)

  • Squally
    Squally 2 years ago +4

    First comment! Awesome video Thomas and congratulations on Neversongs release and the FTGD course!

  • Rikrish Shrestha
    Rikrish Shrestha 2 years ago

    Fantastic Collab !!

  • ghostX
    ghostX 5 months ago

    Thanks you are best Thomas brush❤

  • GLassy Can Art
    GLassy Can Art 2 years ago +1

    Damn right Thomas we got your back

  • Ramiel -
    Ramiel - 2 years ago +1


  • tumultuous force
    tumultuous force 2 years ago +7

    Thomas: Hey, I see you there!
    Me @3am in bed on my phone: Bro dont lie

  • It's NEO!!!
    It's NEO!!! 2 years ago +1

    You should ask the developer

  • Cem Basoglu
    Cem Basoglu 2 years ago +32

    I would love to hear what David has to say... you are constantly interrupting his thoughts

  • Seeker of Truth
    Seeker of Truth 2 years ago +3

    He's a cool guy and I like his Clip-Share videos, but his games suck.

  • Joel shen
    Joel shen 2 years ago +1

    Nice T-shirt man. The color fits you :D

    ITS GAMING MOONLIGHT 2 years ago +4

    I agree with @DEVIN RAYTV

  • TetraTheThief
    TetraTheThief 2 years ago +1

    Is it me or is the framerate on the webcam... wrong

  • Isaiah Wilson
    Isaiah Wilson 2 years ago +1

    This is good 👍👌

  • Teya Aelita Hopper

    Oh shit, Armor Games is still around?

  • Green&Blue Productions
    Green&Blue Productions 7 months ago

    Which about books just like games you can veary easly self publish these days in fact I find it easy then Clip-Share let alone a game even on Itch.10.

  • b152349
    b152349 Year ago

    Clip-Share: "Next up: GDC - You don't need a fucking publisher"

  • Neat Elf
    Neat Elf Year ago

    These both look like Lex Luthor (with hair, of course) and Clark Kent from Smallville show in a parallel universe

  • Portal Rifter
    Portal Rifter 2 years ago +1

    I am trying to make a game on ps4 Dreams. And now I’m not sure I’m a good game designer...is that normal?

    • Portal Rifter
      Portal Rifter 2 years ago

      LT Slugg thanks

    • LT Slugg
      LT Slugg 2 years ago

      Hey man, it’s normal. No one is ever good at anything they do right away. It takes practice!! If you think youre the best youre on the wrong path to success

  • Apollo Vishwas
    Apollo Vishwas 2 years ago +1

    Bro when is your course is gonna go live?

  • v
    v 2 years ago +1

    Like button has been bro tickled

  • Bonon
    Bonon Year ago


  • Titaen
    Titaen 2 years ago +1

    can game dev be a good job for me ? '(18 years old)

    • David Njihia
      David Njihia 2 years ago

      Depends. I'm 18 years old. If you are up to artistic stuff-- learning new programming languages, drawing, making music, etc.
      It'll be difficult, but if you have the pure determination (don't think of money), it'll be a job about passion.

  • M Shaheer Haider
    M Shaheer Haider 2 years ago +1

    Please change navbar of atmosgame website. It is really bad.

  • Yvonne Manel
    Yvonne Manel 2 years ago +1

    Don't take parts of your old video and make them another video

  • Scalebit
    Scalebit 2 years ago +2

    I think yes.

  • NecroDrake
    NecroDrake 2 years ago +1

    Self publishy is possible but difficult

    • NecroDrake
      NecroDrake 2 years ago

      @Kubold but as Mr brush said, great publishers will help u make the game

    • Kubold
      Kubold 2 years ago

      Is it more difficult than making a game though? It's just a lot of formalities, paperwork and making your game polished enough to pass the certification (which you must do anyway, publisher or not).

  • Luana Santos
    Luana Santos Year ago

    Does David has a channel?

  • popcorn_king 143
    popcorn_king 143 Year ago

    I want to play your games
    Please provide me play store link 🔗

  • Lifetime Education
    Lifetime Education 2 years ago +1

    Love from India

  • Ozi Thunder
    Ozi Thunder Year ago

    Whaoh! you see me? S#!t - better put some pants on...

  • Jeremy Ward
    Jeremy Ward 2 years ago +1

    soooo did your insta handle change ?

  • Alexa bliss fan
    Alexa bliss fan 2 months ago

    This isn’t book worm adventure

    TYNEPUNK 2 years ago +1

    serenity forge wont even answer me.

    • Sohun Mi
      Sohun Mi 2 years ago +1

      Well, there might be hundred developer approach them ? Busy men i guess?