How to establish good business partnerships with publishers

I would like to share with you my observations and views on how to establish good business relationships between a developer and a publisher.
partnerships with publishers
How to establish the right communication between publishers and developers?

There is a problem that is frequently encountered in the game industry in Turkey and may create long-term problems for the industry. I would like to express this problem that I heard about from publishers. New studios are asking for money from publishers before they even start developing games. This situation may change the perspective of developers in Turkey in general and may harm the industry in the long run.

Business relationships start with trust. None of us want to do business in an unsafe environment. Cooperations where both sides trust each other are healthier and longer-term. In addition, business relationships where this environment of trust is provided can become more profitable.

What do publishers expect from hyper-casual developers?

Publishers want to see how you work, how fast you are, how you evaluate feedback, and how you improve. Due to the hyper-casual business model, I think it is wrong to skip these steps and talk about money directly. If you ask the publisher for money before they’ve yet correctly spelled out what they need to know about you, you’re likely not going to be able to reach an agreement.

As I mentioned, it is very important to create an environment of trust. If you don’t know where to start, I suggest you start by asking yourself: “Would I work with my own studio if I were a publisher?” It will be in your best interest to give honest answers to this question. I even heard that a clone game made in Unity was sent as a prototype in the industry, which reminded me once again how important mutual trust is.

It is necessary to look at the issue not only from the point of view of the publisher but also from the point of view of the developer. Likewise, you should test your publisher. How quickly does the publisher respond to you? Can they give you a new game idea? Can they follow trends well? Do they allocate enough money for testing? The answers to such questions will be a guide for you.

How to build a stronger business relationship

Strong relationships are an important part of longer-term and more profitable partnerships. So what can you do to strengthen your partnerships? After what I have mentioned above, I would like to make some recommendations.

  • Give each other time. If you don’t like the principles and operation of the publisher you are working with, then you will switch to another publisher.
  • Make sure the publisher has granted your rights on the way to a successful game.
  • Ask for feedback. Always strive to improve yourself.
  • Arrange meetings, it will be difficult for you to improve your relations just by correspondence.

Of course, at the end of the day, the goal is to make money. Focusing solely on making money can become harmful in the long run. The more important thing is to make money with a successful game. It is necessary not to deviate from the path by focusing on the trade of the business in the prototype-based payment model. Producing a prototype will also save you many explanations.

Hit games are pretty rare these days, and the number of developers entering the industry is increasing. Be different, let your difference earn. Make sure that you are making the right point and expressing yourself correctly while showing your difference.

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