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Subject: Is crowd funding slowing down submissions to publishers? rss

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Dan Ridge
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Martinez
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It seems that a large portion of the "big" publishers continue to publish games from known established designers while the large majority of new designers turn to the various crowd funding sites for self publishing. Do you think many new designers are not bothering to submit designs to publishers at this point? It's interesting to see this kind of turn around, it used to be massive footwork to get a design in front of a pubs eyes and even then that was no insurance. There are certainly too many games being produced at this point though.. too many!
 
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Alexandre Santos
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I don't think it's a zero-sum game. It's actually probable that designers with a successful crowd funding campaign under the belly start producing games for established publishers, so that in the end publishers have a larger pool of recognized designers to work with.

Also, there are probably way too many candidates for publishing than publishers can accommodate (see GMT p500), so that crowd funding is not an issue.

Still, it would be interesting to have some feedback from publishers
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Gabriel Cohn
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I, and several other designers I've met, continue to go the traditional route of working with publishers. I have no interest in being a businessman. I just want to make good games. From what I've seen, there's still plenty of people doing it that way...but Kickstarter games are just a growing part of the industry (so established publishers are a shrinking, but definitely still huge, portion). Hope that makes sense.

(Note: above is based on having just met with a dozen+ publishers at GenCon and seeing how busy their schedules were with other designers...)
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Isaac Shalev
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In my experience, publishers are like venture capitalists. They have 20 minutes to meet with anyone who has a game to pitch. Over the last three years I have found it remarkable how open and welcoming publishers have been to making meetings and taking a look at games. Not every publisher is open, and there are definitely closed shops or companies that primarily work with a small stable of designers, but the bar for getting a game published is making a good game, not being an established star.

I can't tell you anything statistically about new designers and kickstarter, but I can tell you that publishers go to shows and see dozens of games, and the pace has only accelerated.
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Christopher Wionzek
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ender7 wrote:
In my experience, publishers are like venture capitalists. They have 20 minutes to meet with anyone who has a game to pitch. Over the last three years I have found it remarkable how open and welcoming publishers have been to making meetings and taking a look at games. Not every publisher is open, and there are definitely closed shops or companies that primarily work with a small stable of designers, but the bar for getting a game published is making a good game, not being an established star.


And the way board games work, if they like your pitch they can go "Hey send us a prototype copy" and you just can. Not like video games where if they like your pitch they may see something functional a year later and several million dollars down the road.

No wonder they're a little more open to things.

I know FFG in particular does a lot of "in-house tinkering" with designs. Like the recent Android: Mainframe game is just Bauhaus, but with a lot of thematics bolted-on (and a lovely board).
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Greg
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I've only had designs go through Kickstarter, but usually I'm hired by the company that wants to do the Kickstarter to design their game for them. I haven't run my own yet, but I think I'm learning enough that I'll have the opportunity to down the line if I should choose to.

I've not pitched anything to a traditional publisher, but perhaps I should. I've got some pretty high quality prototypes that are going down well in playtesting that I don't really have a plan for.
 
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I know of at least one new Kickstarter company I backed that got signed on with another, larger company after the KS ended. I'm not sure how that happened behind the scenes though.
 
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