Rounding off the Show Me The Money track at Pocket Gamer Connects London 2016 was a discussion amongst a panel of publishing experts, led by Strike Gamelabs' Commercial Director Ella Romanos.
The panel consisted of:
- Jeffrey Hilbert, Founder, Digital Development Management
- Phil Elliott, Project Lead for Creative, Head of Community, Square Enix Europe
- Simon Byron, Publishing Director, Curve Digital
- Travis Winstanley, Co-Founder, Kuju Startups and
- Jeff Matsushita, Production Executive, WG Cells
Byron said that the role of a publisher is "all of the boring stuff" that developers don't want to think about when making their games, be that porting to other consoles or helping to market the game.
Winstanley added that they look to make developers the "superstar", making sure they make it to the right conferences and in front of the right people.
In response to a question about how to approach publishers, Matsushita said that "there is a level of evidence we need to have" to make sure that the game will earn its investment back, in particular a prototype, but also experience in the industry.
Byron also suggested that, for those starting it, it's more important to look into networking with other developers and getting feedback on your game before even thinking about approaching a publisher.
In response to a question focused on whether a developer should approach a publisher if they already have backing, to which Matsushita said that unless you're looking for networking, "there's really no need to come to us."
Hilbert added "if you're just looking to meet people, you're in the right place", and suggested networking at events such as PG Connects London.
Finally, on the topic of how funding will change over the next 5 years, Byron said that "curation is going to be the watch word for the next few years", with funding going toward user acquisition and getting user's attention.
But Winstanley points out that won't change is that "you still need to make a high quality product", as no one's going to publish or fund a game if it isn't worth playing.