Signing a publishing contract lets a game developer focus on completing new projects and improving existing games. A good publisher will use their established relationships to help promote the game via strategic placements within targeted markets.
A brief review of standard publishing terms:
Obligations: self evident. Forget past conversations because this lays out exactly what each side must do. Familiarize yourself.
Term: a lot goes into a successful publishing effort. The publisher will want a chance to earn a profit. However, you may be able to negotiate an early out if sales are extremely poor.
Net revenue: your piece of the pie is determined by this formula. Taxes, fees and returns are definitely subtracted before your share is calculated. Marketing costs? Maybe.
Warranties: guarantees that you have the right to enter the agreement and rights to ip.
Indemnification: promise to take financial responsibility if the publisher faces a claim for your mistake.
Payment: should state acceptable payment methods and the timing.
Accounting: statement requirements and procedures for audits, including notice, timing and cost responsibility.
Confidentiality: you can’t share info you learned from the other side unless you also learned that info from a legitimate independent source.
Material Breach: an agreement violation that can terminate the contract. There could be penalties.
Disputes: you DO NOT want to go to court. EVER. Opt for arbitration in a city with a fair amount of game / ip business. This could be publisher’s home turf. Don’t worry about that.
Contact us for help with your publishing contracts.
Submit to mobile game publishers:
- Mobile Game Publishing Gamasutra published Jovan Johnson’s article on the legal implications of mobile publishing.
- Pitching to Publishers Cameron Davis provides insight on moving forward with your game project.
Also of interest: