Olga Voronina, Head of the Ravenage Business Development Department, told about the process of searching for games in publishing houses engaged in launching PC projects.

Olga Voronina

The first task of any publisher is to collect as many projects as possible from all available sources. But there are really a lot of them. For example, the Ravenage bizdev team looks at an average of 1000-1300 new projects per month.

The publisher regularly filters all this diversity according to internal criteria, then gets in touch with all the teams that interested him, finds out their conditions, makes a sales forecast and, if it is a match, grabs it with both hands.

In this column, I want to focus on where publishers get projects from, how they are searched for. I should immediately note that, despite the large volumes, the conversion of projects into offers is quite small.

About the cost and quality of leads

Video game publishing is primarily a business in which it is important and necessary to evaluate the cost and quality of the lead. Here it is important to focus on what is meant by the cost and quality of the lead (that is, a potential partner).

The publisher should always calculate how much it costs him to get a suitable lead. This is necessary in order to intelligently distribute the budget within the department engaged in the search for games (participation in paid events) and prioritize work through certain sources of new projects. Accordingly, the cost of each lead is calculated from the total effort spent on its search (in other words, the entire budget and time for searching, evaluating and communicating with potential leads are also invested here).

As for the quality of the lead, by this we mean its compliance with at least one of the following two criteria:

  • the developers are ready to cooperate with us;
  • availability of ready-made pitch materials.

Now let’s go back to how the search takes place. The algorithm for searching for projects is similar for all publishers. They use approximately the same channels to search:

  • b2b conferences;
  • social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and others);
  • forms on their websites;
  • agencies;
  • own network;
  • Steam.

Let’s discuss the specifics of searching through each channel.

b2b conferences

Gaming events take place almost every month. Large ones, of course, are rarer. The peculiarity of the conferences is that publishers can personally get acquainted with the teams, communicate and immediately play the project.

From a large event, the publisher usually expects to take away from 10 to 50 high-quality, but expensive ones, taking into account the costs of flights and accommodation of the bizdev team, leads.

However, the situation has changed a little over the past two or three years. After the pandemic, online formats have been widely developed at conferences. Accordingly, projects from them can now be accessed remotely.

Recommendations for developers:

  • first, use the appointment system as a tool for working with publishers (almost all b2b conferences have such systems);
  • secondly, attach a pitch, a video and/or a link to the test build to your profile in the system in advance.

It is important for all parties to remember here: the payback of the conference directly depends on the number of contacts collected.

Social platforms

Many developers today share the first information about their project in thematic communities/groups, in relevant threads or with the mention of a specific hashtag in various social networks.

Accordingly, the publisher’s task is to constantly monitor groups and feeds where developers communicate.

The advantage of working with social platforms for a publisher is that there is always a chance to be the first to find a cool project and a cool team.

But there are also enough minuses here. Working with social networks involves processing an endless stream of information, passing through a huge amount of low-quality content, as well as the need to systematize and build processes around this search, which includes:

  • collecting channels, groups, communities, hashtags;
  • weekly drawing on all selected channels;
  • project selection;
  • their preliminary screening;
  • etc.

But when you contact a developer through social networks, there is always a high probability that he is not ready to cooperate with the publisher. The reasons may be completely different: he is interested in publishing his project himself, the development is at too early a stage. Plus, we are always talking about a pet project, respectively, the studio often lacks business processes and has to connect internal and external resources to build them.

Recommendations for developers:

  • if you want to attract the attention of not only players or readers of your blog, but also publishers and investors, then leave contacts in the profile caps and on the sites.
  • don’t use the same hashtags every week to attract publishers’ attention, it’s better to write to them yourself.

Forms on the website

Of course, it is most convenient for the publisher that the developers write to him themselves (on the form or by mail).

Actually, the working day of publishing house employees often begins with checking all incoming projects.

Recommendations for developers:

  • use the forms on the publishers’ website and send letters more often!


Here we need to start by clarifying which agencies we are talking about.

Agencies are business organizations with a good network (often local), which themselves are looking for developers without experience in communicating with publishers and/or doing business, but with high potential.

Their task is just to help the game teams find a partner. Therefore, they undertake: creating a pitch, searching for a publisher, searching for an investor, searching for employees, registering a company, legal support, concluding contracts, and so on. For support, they take a percentage of the concluded transaction and / or a percentage of the profit from the project.

Here are a few agencies we know: RocketRide Games, DDM, Seat7 Entertainment, GYLD.

The advantages for publishers to work with them are a high level of communication, quick access to a deal.

The disadvantage is that agencies will not be able to provide a large list of games. They can only take on so many projects as mentors, their resources are limited.

Recommendations for developers:

  • pay attention to the terms of the deal with gaming agencies;
  • it is not necessary to include the agency’s fee in the budget of the project, which should be funded by the publisher.

Own network

Of course, any publisher, when searching for projects, also uses its own connections. Always someone from acquaintances, former colleagues, friends in the industry can suggest that such a talented developer has assembled a team and is now looking for partners.

It is not possible to formalize such a channel, but it can bring projects about which there is no information on any other site.

Recommendation for developers:

  • write networking into your work calendar: the more you communicate, have friends in the industry, publish in the media, just write a lot about the case on social networks, the easier it is for you to find partners.

If a publisher finds a project through their own network, then a pitch from you is more likely to be considered as a priority, besides, you will have a certain credit of trust.

Steam Search

An important search tool for any PC publisher is Steam itself. That’s just about 500 new games appear in it every week, so it can be very difficult to find the right project in this variety.

Recommendation for the developer:

  • if you start a project page on Steam, you always pull up a link to at least Discord there. It will be easier to build a community with it, and it will be easier to reach you as a publisher.


We have discussed the main channels through which publishers collect information about games. If you have any questions, be sure to write them in the comments.