Skip to Content

How do publishers operate regarding manufacteuring?

2 replies [Last post]
Joined: 06/08/2009


I have designed my first board game and in the midst of getting a proto-type made.

Please could someone advise me of any costs that I might have to pay a publisher to manufacteur my game, or do the publishers normally pay for all manu costs?


ilta's picture
Joined: 12/05/2008
Hi there! Welcome to the

Hi there! Welcome to the wonerdful world of game design!

Remember that the real work of the designer is not in the idea but in the playtesting and refining, turning that idea into a workable, balanced, fun game. This is a project that takes months, if not years -- unless you're Mozart, writing out perfect symphonies longhand, expect to spend most of your time on revision. Keep that in mind as you get your prototype made.

As to your question:

If a publisher thinks your game is worth printing, it is because they expect to make money off of it through sales. This will pay for their manufacturing costs. Never, ever, EVER let a publisher tell you to pay for their manufacturing costs. If you do that, you might as well self-publish and keep all the profits.

The Game Crafter
The Game Crafter's picture
Joined: 06/09/2009

I agree with ilta, don't pay for the costs yourself unless you're self publishing. If a publisher decides to pick up your game, which is a very difficult thing to get them to do, then they'll pay all manufacturing costs. Some pay may a very tiny royalty, some may pay you a small amount up front, some may pay you nothing. Regardless, the reason for this is that the publisher is taking all the risk. They're the ones putting out the money to get the game made, and that's why you're not going to make much in royalties on your game. Don't be discouraged though, those of us who do this, do it mainly for love, and not for just for money.

That said, there are a few things you can do to make some money.

1) Take your prototype to a distributor rather than a publisher. See if they'd be willing to pick it up if you self published, and how many copies they'd be interested in.

2) If you did #1, and were successful, then take the game to a publisher or six, and use the data you got from the distributor to convince them to pick up the game.

3) If #2 fails, you can always self-publish using the data you got from #1 to figure out how many copies you should get made.

3.1) Instead of self publishing you could do Print on Demand publishing. There are three ways to do this.

a) Go the Cheap Ass Games route and print things inexpensively at your local copy shop.

b) Get the components through a good POD printer like Guild of Blades.

c) Use my services. The Game Crafter site ( will be going online in a couple of weeks. We're doing end-to-end print on demand publishing. You upload your files, and we print your components, cut them, package them along with the other parts you may need (pawns, dice, etc), put the finished game for sale in our online store, and ship the game to your paying customers. You just sit back and collect royalty checks. No up front costs. No inventory to house.

Syndicate content

forum | by Dr. Radut