A game publisher is a company that publishes games that they have either developed internally or had it developed externally (by partnering with another company or outsourcing). As with publishers of other mediums such as: books, comics, mangas, etc, game publishers are responsible for their product’s manufacturing and marketing. They usually finance the development, sometimes paying a game developer, game design team or game company. Some publishers have their own internal staff to create games which they later publish.
There are a lot of functions which the publishers will do, with some of them being: deciding on and paying for any license that the game may utilize, layout, printing and sometimes the writing of the user manual and the creation of graphic design elements such as the box design.
The upside of a developer company having their game published, distrubuted and marketed by a publisher is that the studio will get funds for creating the game and publishers (especially big ones) have great connections to help your game get distributed better and make more sales. The downside is that usually publishers will force you to give them the IP rights for your game and also tend to tell you what you can or can’t put into the game. Basically, you get to bring your idea to life at the cost of the publisher deciding which direction it takes.
There are a lot of independent developers which do all the publisher’s work on their own. If you wish to read more about how they do this, our Indie Marketing page might be of interest!
List of game publishers:
- 2K Games has done games such as Borderlands 1 and 2, Bioshock Series, Duke Nukem Forever, Civilization V, The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles and many others.
- Activision is known for the Call of Duty games, Tony Hawk games and the Prototype games.
- Blizzard - famous for developing the Diablo series, World of Warcraft, Starcraft series, Warcraft series. You can see some of their older games here.
- Capcom is known for developing and publishing many fighting and action games, such as: the Street Fighter series, MegaMan games, Resident Evil series, Devil May Cry series and many others.
- Electronic Arts (EA) has developed and published a huge amount of games. They’re famous for doing many sports game series, such as: FIFA, Need For Speed, Madden NFL, NHL, Tiger Woods PGA Tour, NBA and others. They’ve also done a lot of games in the action, shooter, horror, strategy and rpg genres. Some of them are: Dead Space franchise, Crysis franchise, Battlefield games, Command & Conquer games and the Dragon Age franchise.
- LucasArts - They’re responsible for most of the Star Wars games. Here’s a list of their games.
- NC Soft focuses on RPG games. They have published Aion, Blade & Soul, Guild Wars 1 and 2, Lineage II and WildStar.
- Square Enix published games such as Final Fantasy IV, Hitman HD Trilogy, Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Dead Island.
- Ubisoft published many games including: Assassin’s Creed series, Far Cry series, Splinter Cell series, Might & Magic: Duel of Champions, Rayman Legends and Just Dance 4.
- Valve has developed a publishing platform, Steam. There’s over 2000 games published on Steam.
List of game portals:
- Steam is an online game store. Games are available for download in Windows and MAC platforms.
- Kongregate is an online game portal. Games can be played for free in web browsers. Developers earn money through a share in the advertisement revenue generated by the game.
- For targeting specifically Google Chrome users, there’s the Chrome Web Store. w3schools has some statistics on Google Chrome and on browser usage.
- Newgrounds is another online game portal. They’re mostly known for having flash games.
Here’s a list of Indie Game Publishers:
- indiePub is an independent video game publisher and web site dedicated to promoting indie games and indie game development.
Know a good game publisher? Please send us a message!