On this week’s episode of IndieGameBusiness™ special guest Andrew Czarnietzki from Only By Midnight came on the podcast to discuss his own personal journey into the world of publishing. Self publishing can be a daunting task for an indie developer and as Andrew explains in the show there are a lot of factors that went into his studio’s decision to move away from self publishing and instead looking for a publisher. 

One of the main things Andrew discusses is the ways in which marketing in general for the indie game market works. He states that although when working with a publisher it is still the developer’s responsibility to supply the materials needed for marketing. The difference is the ways in which publishers simply just have the knowledge to get the resources provided to a larger audience. One of the things that Andrew touched on that really stuck out was that things like Screenshot Saturday and Wishlist Wednesday are not really effective marketing strategies to help your project get attention and support. He states these are great fun little things to do on the side but that you really should not be banking on these social media posts selling your game for you. 

Another important topic that Andrew covers about what publishers can do to help included localization and porting services. He flat out says that attempting to get your game on the market for the Playstation 5 is next to impossible without a publisher to help in the process of getting a development kit. He also talks about how publishers help streamline the porting process as many new bugs can pop up when porting, it isn’t as simple as copying and pasting to a new platform. 

Andrew mainly stressed that when getting a publisher you are essentially paying for someone with information. When self publishing for the first time there are just a lot of things you do not have experience with that can make it more difficult than it needs to be to find success. He stresses to just be clear and commutative with potential publishers so there is a clear understanding of what both sides expect that can lead to a mutually beneficial partnership. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Self publishing and attempting to market your own project is extremely hard to do and gain enough traction to generate a profit. 
  • Publishers can offer more services than simply marketing your game to a larger audience, they can be valuable tools for projects such as porting to other systems as well as localization for other languages.
  • Publishers are a valuable way to gather information about marketing and the industry as a whole for future projects. There is nothing wrong with seeking a publisher to make your first forego less bumpy of an experience and see what options you have for future projects.

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