While there is an emphasis on self-publishing your indie game, there’s no reason you should count out finding a publisher to publish your indie game (we’ll talk more about how to actually find one in a future post). For now, we’ll work backwards and assume you have actually found a publisher.
But what should you do whenever you have a meeting with that first potential publisher? The quick answer is to make an awesome first impression, but how do you do this? Keep reading to find out.
How do you want to be seen?
Just like I worked backwards by telling you how to make an awesome impression with a potential publisher before learning how to find an impression, so too must you work backwards by knowing how you want to be perceived before you meet with that potential publisher (see what I did there?). It’s the same logic behind creating a plan of action before actually developing your indie game. If you don’t plan how the publisher will see you, they’ll see you in a way that ultimately won’t help your cause.
Vanessa Van Edwards (CEO of Science of People) says it best:
“As you get ready, think about what kind of people you want to meet and what kind of interactions you want to have. This can be an incredibly grounding experience and works very well to focus on what kind of energy you want to have.”
Be valuable to them
You need to prove that your indie game has the potential to be valuable to the publisher. Publishers are great in that they can do all of the heavy-duty marketing for your indie game and pay for a lot of the expenses associated with the game in general, but they will only do this if they think they can earn a profit from it.
If you can’t prove to them how that could happen (i.e. prove to them that your indie game will be sought after by many if the right publisher is behind it), they’re going to pass. Show you can add value to them, and you’ll have their attention.
Be an open book/be flexible
There may be a few indie games the publisher is considering backing, and all of them may seem promising. If they are only going to back one, the decision may come down to whether the indie developer is worth partnering with. In other words: is the indie developer/studio pleasant to work with?
This is why it’s so vital for you to be open about everything. Are you willing to discuss every facet of the development process? Willing to discuss how to change certain parts of your indie game? If you want to be backed by a publisher, you need to at least consider it.
If you meet all of the requirements above, keep a professional aura about you, and your indie game is something the publisher is looking for? Then you may have a chance of having your indie game backed by a publisher! A publisher isn’t for everyone, but if you don’t want to have to worry about marketing your indie game and want to try your luck at going the traditional method of getting a game released, it’s worth considering.