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The Times They Are a Changin’

Having been around this site for many years I have noticed a fairly recent change in the forum posts. We still get a wide variety of questions about designing the games engine but we are getting an ever increasing number of questions about self-publishing.

Questions like

Where can I get cheap Cards, Boards, Tiles made? Or How do I get my game distributed?

It seems that there are allot of designers interested in taking the plunge. The reason for this might be three fold.

1. The number of publishers that take open submissions has decreased significantly so for some this may be the best option to get published.
2. PoD or similar services are making it much easier to produce games in small quantities.
3. Direct sales through the internet allow publishers to work with thinner margins.

It seems every time I turn around there is a new publisher popping up, and they are mostly self publishers. Like any business most of them will not last. Either they will run out of money or out of steam if purely driven by passion. I personally get by on a combination of luck, inertia and a shoe string budget.

Is this good for the industry or the consumer?

The obvious up side is there are a greater variety of games to choose from. Is there a downside? I have talked with some publishers about this and the one thing that pops up is not a worry of competition but the worry that inexperienced publishers will produce inferior quality games. Why would they care? Well the game industry is entertainment business that competes for you money with other entertainment businesses. If every potential new customer buys a game they dislike they may not come back for another bite. A sale lost to a competitor can be made up as long as there are customers to sell to. Once gaming has the perception of being an inferior entertainment it’s hard to change that persons mind.

Are self publishers to blame?

The perception that games are for kids or just boring is already prevalent in the US. This has not come for self publishers for the most part but big corporate game mills that rarely produce anything interesting. For good or for bad self publishers tend to reach a very small portion of the population therefore having a small impact on public perception.

Ok already do you have a point?

The point is if you are going to self publish do it right. Take your time developing the game and make it the best it can be both in materials and writing. Also make it a business so if you do it right you’ll have enough money to do it right again.

Good luck to all the hordes of publishers to be.

Comments

Amen brother!

I have no comment other than "Amen, brother!"

On the other hand:

I saw "Vantage Point."

I still watch movies.

:)

I have nothing more to say...

I'm a Newbie here but I agree what you said...

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blog | by Dr. Radut