Sony: Publishing Models Must Change

Sony: Publishing Models Must Change

image

At a Casual Connect panel, Sony explained that digital publishing requires "constant communication between developers and publishers."

The massive growth of digital distribution brought two facts into sharp focus: The way we access games has completely changed, and it's absolutely terrifying to traditional publishers and retailers. When a game developer can self-publish their game online, keep their intellectual property, and take a larger cut of game sales, it forces the question of whether publishers are relevant at all. This question was front and center at a Casual Connect panel last week, where various publishers, including casual newcomer Sony, were giving suggestions on how developers could approach them to greenlight projects. During the Q&A, Finish industry veteran Jussi Laakkonen angrily took the microphone to state that the panelists weren't doing enough to represent developers and games in today's gaming marketplace.

"This is going to be a very long question, so you guys take a deep breath," Laakkonen said. "All you're describing here is how someone comes in and asks you to open your wallet. That does not happen anymore. That is the reality we are all living. A game is an idea. It is data driven. It needs a partnership that goes well beyond a publication date. This panel should be telling me about the new world of publishing ... My question to you is: What is publishing 2.0, and how do you make it happen?"

To its credit, the panel acknowledged that the industry has undergone a huge change that will require everyone to adapt in turn. Sony vice president of developer relations Adam Boyes noted that publishers are still figuring out the details, but traditional publishing models are falling behind. "This requires constant communication between developers and publishers," Boyes said. "You're absolutely right. The world is changing. If you don't change, you'll get left behind."

The current trend for publishers is to align themselves with mobile games, possibly because they are similar to consoles thanks to their platform-specific natures. Both Activision and Ngmoco have both expressed interest in publishing mobile games, while Zynga has stated that it would like to use its resources to publish third-party games digitally, but for obvious reasons this prospect is less lucrative than it was a week ago.

It seems to me that publishers aren't facing their extinction as much as they are increased competition from new digital markets. Most retailers are still doing surprisingly well given the circumstances, but it's incredibly easy for developers to take on the dual role of publisher these days. If publishers wish to attract a new generation of developers, the onus is on them to forge a positive working relationship with them that avoids the pitfalls of the previous generation. Simply putting Angry Birds on consoles may not be enough.

Source: VentureBeat

Permalink

Here's some communication for you.

Dear Publishers,

We don't need you anymore

Sincerely
Developers

I wonder what the industry would be like if there were no publishers. All developers publishing games themselves, choosing their own prices and receiving all the profits.

Scrustle:
I wonder what the industry would be like if there were no publishers. All developers publishing games themselves, choosing their own prices and receiving all the profits.

Developers would have lots of creative freedom, but they would also be at much greater risk if the project failed. Also, depending on the studio, they might not have the same kind of resources to make the AAA games we see today.

the publishersd to do something and fast by the way their stock prices are starting to hit rock bottom

Am I the only one who's eyes glazed over and zoned out when "publishing 2.0" was mentioned. "2.0" is just bollocks that consultants place after a common word when they want to make themselves sound edgy without actually explaining anything.

I think I've just developed Ennui 2.0!

When Valve forced steam on me in order to play half life 2, I hated it. Laughed in their faces.

A few years later, I wanted to play it again-- the disks were all scratched or missing. So I loaded up steam, logged in, and viola-- brand new working copy of HL2 installed in no time flat.

From that moment on, I knew that the future would look a lot more like Steam, and a lot less like Best Buy.

You know the biggest sign for me that the new model is better? You know whats back? Space empire style games. Endless space, legends of pegasus, and a dozen more coming out from indie developers who might ally themselves with one of the mid to low level publishers. We went through a drought in this genre where the publishing giants all said "NO ONE PLAYS THOSE ANYMORE, WE WON'T EVEN SELL 3 MILLION UNITS. MAKE ANOTHER RTS OR SOMETHING."

Throw in the crowdsourcing and now communities can work together to actually make things that that community wants. Its a good time to be a gamer. And a bad time to work in finance at THQ. The biggest reason you need publishers is that they take investor dollars and give them to devs, with tons of strings attached. Sure, devs lose those investor dollars, but maybe we'll see some of the innovation come back, and less of the crunch time.

"It seems to me that publishers aren't facing their extinction as much as they are increased competition from new digital markets. Most retailers are still doing surprisingly well given the circumstances,"

Physical isnt going anywhere

thiosk:
When Valve forced steam on me in order to play half life 2, I hated it. Laughed in their faces.

A few years later, I wanted to play it again-- the disks were all scratched or missing. So I loaded up steam, logged in, and viola-- brand new working copy of HL2 installed in no time flat.

From that moment on, I knew that the future would look a lot more like Steam, and a lot less like Best Buy.

You know the biggest sign for me that the new model is better? You know whats back? Space empire style games. Endless space, legends of pegasus, and a dozen more coming out from indie developers who might ally themselves with one of the mid to low level publishers. We went through a drought in this genre where the publishing giants all said "NO ONE PLAYS THOSE ANYMORE, WE WON'T EVEN SELL 3 MILLION UNITS. MAKE ANOTHER RTS OR SOMETHING."

Throw in the crowdsourcing and now communities can work together to actually make things that that community wants. Its a good time to be a gamer. And a bad time to work in finance at THQ. The biggest reason you need publishers is that they take investor dollars and give them to devs, with tons of strings attached. Sure, devs lose those investor dollars, but maybe we'll see some of the innovation come back, and less of the crunch time.

Retail isnt going anywhere. Dont kid yourself

Crowdsourcing is the biggest scam going today.

Alan Mail:

thiosk:
When Valve forced steam on me in order to play half life 2, I hated it. Laughed in their faces.

A few years later, I wanted to play it again-- the disks were all scratched or missing. So I loaded up steam, logged in, and viola-- brand new working copy of HL2 installed in no time flat.

From that moment on, I knew that the future would look a lot more like Steam, and a lot less like Best Buy.

You know the biggest sign for me that the new model is better? You know whats back? Space empire style games. Endless space, legends of pegasus, and a dozen more coming out from indie developers who might ally themselves with one of the mid to low level publishers. We went through a drought in this genre where the publishing giants all said "NO ONE PLAYS THOSE ANYMORE, WE WON'T EVEN SELL 3 MILLION UNITS. MAKE ANOTHER RTS OR SOMETHING."

Throw in the crowdsourcing and now communities can work together to actually make things that that community wants. Its a good time to be a gamer. And a bad time to work in finance at THQ. The biggest reason you need publishers is that they take investor dollars and give them to devs, with tons of strings attached. Sure, devs lose those investor dollars, but maybe we'll see some of the innovation come back, and less of the crunch time.

Retail isnt going anywhere. Dont kid yourself

Crowdsourcing is the biggest scam going today.

I hope it is, it is very unneeded. Physical copy can get lost, stolen and easily scratched. Also it requires a 20 dollar disk drive. Digital distribution is the way to go. I already see places like Best Buy have a lot less PC games and so digital distribution is practically required if the game wants to sell well on PC.

Well, regardless of how big self-publishing gets, we can be certain that publishers will continue being needed as financers for more expensive projects.

And if a developer builds up enough capital to be able to fund such projects on their own... what are the odds of them eventually becoming publishers of other developers' games?

*shrugs*

Self-publishing is awesome, anyway. And so is developers being able to hold onto their intellectual properties.

I think other than the first-party publishers and Valve, there isn't much relevance left in this part of the industry.

Fanghawk:

Scrustle:
I wonder what the industry would be like if there were no publishers. All developers publishing games themselves, choosing their own prices and receiving all the profits.

Developers would have lots of creative freedom, but they would also be at much greater risk if the project failed. Also, depending on the studio, they might not have the same kind of resources to make the AAA games we see today.

That might not be a bad thing (if you ask Yahtzee and certain others it might be a good thing).

JediMB:
Self-publishing is awesome, anyway. And so is developers being able to hold onto their intellectual properties.

That's a good point, if self-publishing had been common 15 or so years ago Rare would still have Banjo and Conker, Naughty Dog would still have Crash Bandicoot, and Bungie would still have Halo, among other things.

Scrustle:
I wonder what the industry would be like if there were no publishers. All developers publishing games themselves, choosing their own prices and receiving all the profits.

You would have a new studio closing down every single month due to a single project failing. The benefit of publishers is that they are big enough to publish multiple games so that their successful projects help counter those that fail. Small developers just dont have enough money so as soon as they have one or two bad games they close down.

General Vagueness:

That's a good point, if self-publishing had been common 15 or so years ago Rare would still have Banjo and Conker, Naughty Dog would still have Crash Bandicoot, and Bungie would still have Halo, among other things.

They also would not have had the money to create those games so they never would have existed.

dragonnewby:

Alan Mail:

thiosk:
When Valve forced steam on me in order to play half life 2, I hated it. Laughed in their faces.

A few years later, I wanted to play it again-- the disks were all scratched or missing. So I loaded up steam, logged in, and viola-- brand new working copy of HL2 installed in no time flat.

From that moment on, I knew that the future would look a lot more like Steam, and a lot less like Best Buy.

You know the biggest sign for me that the new model is better? You know whats back? Space empire style games. Endless space, legends of pegasus, and a dozen more coming out from indie developers who might ally themselves with one of the mid to low level publishers. We went through a drought in this genre where the publishing giants all said "NO ONE PLAYS THOSE ANYMORE, WE WON'T EVEN SELL 3 MILLION UNITS. MAKE ANOTHER RTS OR SOMETHING."

Throw in the crowdsourcing and now communities can work together to actually make things that that community wants. Its a good time to be a gamer. And a bad time to work in finance at THQ. The biggest reason you need publishers is that they take investor dollars and give them to devs, with tons of strings attached. Sure, devs lose those investor dollars, but maybe we'll see some of the innovation come back, and less of the crunch time.

Retail isnt going anywhere. Dont kid yourself

Crowdsourcing is the biggest scam going today.

I hope it is, it is very unneeded. Physical copy can get lost, stolen and easily scratched. Also it requires a 20 dollar disk drive. Digital distribution is the way to go. I already see places like Best Buy have a lot less PC games and so digital distribution is practically required if the game wants to sell well on PC.

Very much needed. The digital distributions method works and I like having that extra choice. I also live in a rural area that has very slow Download and upload speeds. If I converted to nothing but downloads I would be waiting for days to just download a 10+ gig game. If I have the option for a box retail copy I will spring for it.

I also fancy myself as a collector for the boxed games.

In before a bunch of idiots with an utterly simplistic viewpoint saying "publiushers make things worse"

Whoops, too late.

Scrustle:
I wonder what the industry would be like if there were no publishers. All developers publishing games themselves, choosing their own prices and receiving all the profits.

Studios unable to gain capital for a first project. No protection from economic hardship. No advertising.

Oh, and if developers could choose their own prices, they'd choose up.

 

Reply to Thread

Posting on this forum is disabled.