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Margaret Wallace

re: Working with Smaller Distributors (#5)

While it's a good idea to get your games out to as many online channels as possible, and that means working with smaller distributors, Game Developers have to make sure that these smaller distributors are keeping good accounting and payment practices before signing up with these guys.

Sometimes a developer will lose money working with a smaller distributor who, for example, needs to be constantly reminded to send royalty reports and payments. The potential attorney fees you accumulate and time you waste directly on collecting late payments, etc., should compel developers to really investigate smaller distributors before giving them your games.

Otherwise, you may find yourself in a situation in which your revenues are being under-reported, or not reported at all -- and somebody else is pocketing profit that belongs to you.

Developers should also have final approval over any channel distributors take their games to.

Distributors should be able to furnish Developers with a list of channels in which their games are being distributed without any hesitation.

Smaller distributors can run the gamut from great business partners to a bit on the flaky side. Choose your distributors wisely lest you end up losing out on money owed to you for your IP.

Kayvaan

Sean,

Spot on. It's all about *Bargaining Power*. There is no set of "rules" for how deals are structured. It is *always* about who has more leverage, or bargaining power.

If you don't like the deal, figure out a way to INCREASE your bargaining power. It pretty much boils down to trying to increase demand (better content, better marketing) and increasing your channel power in various ways (deals, partnerships, etc.).

Great post!

Romain Nouzareth

I can’t agree more with Margaret when she says that developers need to be careful when choosing who to work with (but they need to choose Boonty off course ;-)

However, I disagree on the “distribution channels final approval” sometimes requested by game publishers/developers. I think developers needs to focus on creating great games and company like mine will focus on selling those games. To talk only about Boonty, we have more than 150 distribution channels around the world and are signing new channels every week; we also have relationship with more than 100 game publishers/developers. Do the math, if I need to ask approval for my entire existing and future partners, this is a nightmare and cost will be higher. Same thing with developers. They deal with different companies and I’m sure it’s not easy to track all the rights.
My advice: No restriction, just make sure that you will get the money on time!

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