Look I’m new to the gaming space. Besides my time in college as a customer service rep for Nintendo, I have only been working in this space for about 2 years. I might not be the guy you go to for balance advice or to discuss in-depth the best techniques to integrate battle pass into a game. No, I’m a marketer, a technology architect, and a business person. So why am I managing a video game publisher?
It’s because of two things. First, it’s because no matter what I have done, a print ad, a website, or a social media program, I have always strived to grow communities through entertainment, and gaming is the ultimate expression of that. Second, it’s because I believe the indie’s in this space have been horribly disenfranchised. They have been taken advantage of by many publishers in the space and the system is a bit rigged against them, and it’s time to change that.
Indie’s today have three choices on how to develop a game and bring it to market.
- They can go it alone, and hope their game hits. This way could bring the largest returns but is also the riskiest. To bring a game to market today you need to be able to have extra time or money to make it, understand enough to run the business properly, get the basics of marketing and PR, and ideally have some connections with some of the distribution channels like Apple, Sony, and Google.
- Scrape together enough of a game to show a publisher and hope they like it and invest and “partner” with you. By doing so you may be giving up around 50% of your proceeds and if your game at any time it looks like the game might not make money, the publisher is more than likely going to cut bait and run. All while keeping all their knowledge, contacts, and data private and leaving you in the dark.
- The last way is to find investors or ideally VC’s to fund their efforts. This is almost unheard of, but it’s cool to see what https://makersfund.com/ is doing to solve this problem. But VC’s don’t support directly with the support the studios need in marketing, monetization, etc. They are going to want to turn every studio into a publisher and grow the services outside of doing what studios do best, making games.
I know there is a better way. A way to support indie developers with the services they need to grow. To teach and train them the tips and tricks of the industry, and to support not just their game, but their entire studio to ensure not just one successful launch, but to support their long-term growth.
We’re calling this approach the Creator Partner model, and that is what we have developed at Screenzilla Entertainment. As a Creator Partner we are entirely focused on ensuring our partners have what they need to grow a large fan base that stays around year after year, game after game. It’s not about one game, that months metrics, or even short-term revenue. We know that if we place our focus on long-term player satisfaction everything else will take care of itself.
To do this it takes a team of people to accomplish. That is why as Game Partners we bring industry experts in design, analytics, marketing and customer service to support the studios with THEIR games. And yes though we might only partner in one game, we are looking for long-term partners. Like a VC we pick partners first based on the people and second based on the game ideas they have. We aren’t here to tell indie’s how to make their game. We are just here as a third party sounding board. Consider us a group of consultants working for our partners to help them achieve their goals, not ours.
Look the way I see it, it’s the studios that are the client of the publisher, not the other way around. With Screenzilla our focus is on support, not direction.
But what do I know, I’m just a marketer, one with a relentless dedication of putting the consumer first in everything I do.
By Kevin Urie