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Multiple publishers interested miracle and how to deal with it.

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Siege Tower
Siege Tower's picture
Joined: 08/31/2012

Lets say a certain game developer pitched a game to as many publishers as possibly and instead of getting nothing but rejections letters actually acquired the interest of multiple publishers. Is it possible/ethical to give multiple companies the rights to reproduce your game? How would one go about doing this with multiple companies or choose one without playing the companies off each other for better deals and gaining scorn from them all?

Evil ColSanders
Evil ColSanders's picture
Joined: 12/08/2010
Read over the contracts. Pick

Read over the contracts.
Pick the best one.
Go with them.
Write letter to others saying you've gone with someone else.

Awaclus's picture
Joined: 07/17/2012
You probably shouldn't pitch

You probably shouldn't pitch a game to more than one publisher at a time. It's not worth it to send your game to a publisher who currently isn't planning to publish a game like that, and if one publisher who currently is planning to publish a game like that rejects the game, every other publisher is going to reject it as well. Also, if more than one publisher actually wants to publish it, telling some of them that another publisher is going to publish it might hurt your future chances of getting your game published by those publishers.

truekid games
truekid games's picture
Joined: 10/29/2008
In the hobby market, it's

In the hobby market, it's assumed you are pitching to only one company at a time unless you specifically tell them otherwise at the time of the pitch. If that turns out not to be the case, you run the risk of burning a bridge in the future (they took the time to review/play your prototype, and then you tell them that you've wasted their time- why should they spend any similar time on you in the future?).

In the mass market, it's generally assumed you're pitching to multiple publishers, because their review process is often something along the lines of reading the title, tagline, intended market, and a 2 sentence description (because gameplay is not the most important thing, marketability is). If they like it, then they'll have you sign something saying they've got exclusive rights to look at it further.

You should NOT give multiple companies the right to produce your game in the same region. It is, however, ok to sell (for instance) english language rights to one company, french language to another, etc... Or North American distribution rights to one, European to another, etc. Just be very sure that's what the contract says, and that everyone's clear on it. Most of the contracts I've seen grant global rights, and then the publisher handles the licensing to other languages/countries after the fact.

If your game is the amazingest amazing ever, you can try to play companies off each other for a bigger cut. If it's not, you run the risk of burning ALL the bridges. On the basis that you didn't already know the above information, I would wager you shouldn't run that risk.

Joined: 07/08/2011
Besides looking at the

Besides looking at the contracts they are offering, you should also make you're decision with the future in mind. If you have a lot of faith that this game will be the first of many, then choose a publisher you're willing to stick with for some time. The reason for this is if you scratch their back (provide multiple and reliable games,) then they'll scratch yours (continue to publish your game.) If multiple companies are small, but one of them is big (say, Z-Man) then you have to decide, do you go with the bug guy? Or is one of the smaller company up and coming, and you'd like to throw in your lot with them so you can rise alongside them, then do that.

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