We continue the mini-series of interviews in the framework of the WN Dev Contest. In them, the jury of the competition shares tips on working in the games market. This time we talked with Rebecca Owen, Business Development Manager at DDM Agency.Rebecca Owen
App2Top.ru Q: What mistakes do developers make when communicating with the publisher?
Rebecca: Many developers don’t realize that a standard draft contract is just a starting point for negotiations. This is only the basis, and specific conditions are specified already in the course of communication with the publisher. Developers need to prioritize. Decide what exactly they need from the contract, and what would be “nice to get” from the partnership/contract. First of all, it is necessary to focus negotiations on these priorities and key conditions, and then switch to secondary issues. If developers enter into a partnership with a publisher, they should both be interested in the success of the project.
App2Top.ru : Do the parties agree during the negotiations on a specific marketing budget that the publisher undertakes to spend on promotion? If it is impossible to name even approximate figures, then what should be the relationship between the marketing and production budget?
Rebecca: During negotiations and in the contracts themselves, minimum and maximum marketing costs or sales thresholds may be specified. However, it is difficult to determine the exact marketing budget before the launch — flexibility and the ability to adapt the strategy in the process are necessary here. In addition, it depends on the platform and business model of the project in question. As experience shows, in the case of a small premium PC game, about 30% of the game budget goes to marketing (for example, if the game budget is $ 100 thousand, then marketing will cost an additional $ 30 thousand).
App2Top.ru Q: What mistakes do novice developers make when working on a game (regarding single-player games for PC and consoles)?
Rebecca: In order for the game to be commercially successful, developers must have a list of similar titles, as well as some idea of the sales of these projects. It is important to think of the project they are creating as a game that is in the library of an existing player.
App2Top.ru: There is a widespread opinion that the publisher not only looks at the game, but also evaluates the team behind it. What is a good development team for you, and how do you determine if they meet the necessary criteria?
Rebecca: I prefer teams in which at least one of the managers has real experience. Or at least let the team have at least a few employees who have already released games in the past.. It’s great when the studio has fresh ideas and employees, but only if it is backed up by some production experience. I think publishers are showing a lot of interest in teams that have leads that have previously released a popular and well-known game. It definitely adds prestige.
App2Top.ru Q: What game are you looking for in the competition?
Rebecca: I’m looking for games with a pronounced visual identity and creative vision. I’m also interested in projects with accessible but deep systems, and games that tell unusual stories.