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Are Game Publishers a Necessary Evil, Or Just Necessary? 173

Posted by Soulskill
from the everybody-loves-ea-right dept.
An editorial at GameSetWatch examines whether game publishers really deserve all the flak they get from gamers and developers alike. While some questionable decisions can certainly be laid at their feet, they're also responsible for making a lot of good game projects happen. Quoting: "The trouble comes when the money and the creativity appear to be at odds. ... Developers and publishers often have a curious relationship. The best analogy I can think of is that of parent and child. The publisher or parent thinks it knows best, because it's been there before (shipped more games), and because 'it's my money, so you'll live by my rules.' The developer — or child — is rebellious, and thinks it has all the answers. In many ways, it does know more than the parent, and is closer to what's innovative, but maybe hasn't figured out how to hone that energy yet."
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Are Game Publishers a Necessary Evil, Or Just Necessary?

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  • Re:Publishers (Score:5, Informative)

    by Benjo (644811) on Friday October 23, 2009 @07:37AM (#29844357)
    My sister in law is a sculpter, believe me she knows all about deadlines. Most of her work is commissioned by either wealthy people or companies like hotels. It takes a while to make a large sculpture but they definitely want it on time.
  • Re:Terrible analogy (Score:2, Informative)

    by danbeck (5706) on Friday October 23, 2009 @08:52AM (#29844899)

    A publisher is usually the funding behind a development project. Without a publisher, most development teams could never afford to up front the cash. The cut that the publisher makes has to cover marketing, admin costs, the cost of games that never sell or never make it to market and also they have to make a profit.

    We all love to hate publishers and some may deserve the hate, but without a publisher, many games that we've played would have never made it to market.

    It's disturbing that it's so easy for people to hate any large company or corporation, yet they have so very little education about how the real world works. Publishers are necessary because development teams don't have enough money to pay themselves to spend 5 years making a game.

    Do the math. Two parties are involved and without one, the other can't make a game. The dev needs money and the money needs dev. The way I see it, 50/50 sounds about right for a dev team without a big name like Valve, id, etc.

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