Is it a good idea to use a publisher?

A few publishers have contacted me asking me if I want them to publish my game.

Is it a good idea to?

Anyone has any experiences, recommendations for publishers, general advice?

If it turns out good I might make more, but I’m worried about issues like not getting paid, etc.

If my game is a clone of another old game, should I tell the publisher about this?


If they are contacting you, they are probably not real publishers. Unless you have a known game that wasn’t published yet?

You’ll get emails from publishers as a soon as your game hits Google Play. They have scripts which sift through all the new games and apps and then they’ll start spamming you. For the most part they’re just people looking to make a buck off your hard work. There is no guarantee that they will be successful in increasing your visibility. But there is definitely a guarantee they’ll take a cut of your profits. Or maybe they’ll just steal your game outright.

well, I Googled them and they are real.
The woman who emailed me has a company email address.

are you saying publishers never contact devs? It only seems natural to me, it’s win-win after all, but I don’t know in practice.

What I meant was that they are probably not a large, established publisher that can do a lot of marketing and promotion for you. What was that company? Check their other apps, their history, look for opinions about them from other developers and be careful. People got ripped off even by large publishers.

hmm, something to consider. but it just didn’t seem like a bulk email.

I should make them sign a contract perhaps?

you mean not get paid or paid lesser than supposed to?

I mean this:

What he’s saying is that we all get these emails, I get a couple week. They know your name, they know your game, they might have mention a few details about it.

I haven’t seen a single person come on these boards with a success story about publishers. Unless they are a publisher.

ok. but I’m just not sure why they would contact anyone if their intention was to just clone games themselves. why wait for a developer to reply and then check out his game and then clone it? They could just go through the apps in the stores and choose.

I’m not saying they are all good, but I’m honestly trying to understand how things work in a complicated industry.

Their intention isn’t necessary to steal your game, they want to publish it. So they spam the developers until they get a few nibbles.

Then once you send them your files they submit it under their name, not yours.

Isn’t that how even legit publishers do it anyway?

How would a legit publisher do things? This could help developers be wary when publishers stray away from this behavior.

As far as I know all publishers require that you submit your game to them. I doubt any of them actually play your game first. I had a publisher a few years ago email me a bunch of time. And at that point my game was getting almost no downloads so I really had nothing to lose. I finally responded and said sure, and then she asked for a link in GP to check it out. So she hadn’t even seen my game yet, after a half dozen emails trying to sell me on their publisher service. She tried the game, emailed me back an hour later and said, “Sorry, not for us.” I was like, thanks lady, for wasting my time.

Lol. Thanks for the information!

But again, apart from the small waste of time and hindrance like it happened with you, what actual “harm” can a publisher do you?

The only think I can think of is not getting recognition once they submit the game, but you should still get paid.

I would be willing to bet they are NOT real either. Be super careful there.

Why would you still get paid? What’s stopping them from publishing your APK under their name and cutting you out altogether? They’re probably gonna want it unsigned so they can add a splash screen. So you don’t even have that to protect you. You could try suing, but good luck getting a trial date in China or Russia, or wherever they’ve set up shop.

I’m not saying this will be the case, but it certainly can be. It’s happened before…

yes it is definitely a good idea if you have a high quality game and you do not have an advertising budget or an existing user base to cross promote it.

It is pretty much necessary nowadays unless you want to spend money on advertising. Market is really competitive now.