Should I stay or should I ho-ho-ho now
I’m so sorry for that pun but I needed some sort of headline! Something timely and in spirit with the season, but it’s late and it’s been *a year* and well – this will just have to do. Any and all complaints can be thrown at Twitter dot com.
Now, let’s get to talking about developer resources and why we are sharing our publishing agreement for all to read.
As part of this year’s Rawcember effort, we’ve compiled a bunch of trustworthy and well-used templates from different disciplines and areas within Raw Fury on our newly minted DevResources page. What might you find there? From templates for financial projections to pitch decks to outsourcing agreements and more! And also, our entire publishing agreement.
Our publishing agreement is officially (and legally) executed in English. However, we want to make sure developers who don’t have English as their native tongue also have access to a reference document to compare the English contract with. So we’ve had our publishing agreement translated into Spanish, Brazilian-Portuguese, Russian, French, Japanese, simplified Chinese, and Croatian to use as a reference, hopefully combating some of the language barriers in place and allowing for more people to read and get an understanding of what a contract can look like within the games industry. It’s possible that we could look into translating it into further languages in the future as well.
If you want to learn more about how the contract came to be (spoiler- we worked closely with the first dev team we ever partnered with to create it), and what Raw Fury offers as a publisher, you can read more about that on the DevResources page.
The goal for the rest of this post is to go through a little bit of why we have decided to do this.
It’s what we would have wanted if we were in a developer’s shoes.
A lot of the humans working at Raw Fury have at some point been a developer, working for some of the most recognized AAA game studios to fledgling indie outfits. Learning which sorts of deals were out there was tough, if not impossible, unless you knew the right people who could then share that information (broadly) with you. We believe having publisher contracts out in the open helps level the playing field, and allows devs to have a more intimate understanding of the machinations of different deals when they start looking for partnerships. We hope sharing this knowledge can help combat shady practices where predatory people and companies fleece devs by virtue of this knowledge being so scarce, trapping developers in bad deals through the obscurity of legal jargon. When you’ve been in the industry for a while you start hearing the horror stories, and while this is not going to end all of that – it is a step in the right direction.
By publishing our agreement, we also want to invite other publishers to do the same and increase the transparency within this part of our industry. Publishing contracts shouldn’t be treated as a business secret.
By putting our publishing agreement out there, we hope to lower the barrier of entry to the industry. We are particularly looking to support regions where devs with the experience of managing these sorts of deals might be few and far between when compared to other parts of our industry – basically, where knowing someone who has this knowledge is rarer, perhaps based on language, geographical or other barriers to access. As a step to mitigate some of these barriers, we’ve translated the agreement into a few different languages for reference. Another way we try to help make dealings with Raw Fury more inclusive is by giving any developer who is in contract talks with us a $500 USD budget to cover some of their legal expenses, such as hiring a lawyer of their choosing to go through the contract, no strings attached.
Publishers should be a force for increased knowledge in the industry
The importance of knowledge sharing and paying it forward can not be understated. Just as developers freely give their time to build and share talks, threads, and a multitude of resources online, it seems odd that publishers aren’t doing this to the same extent. Especially not in areas that developers generally aren’t privy to share information about, like contracts. Figuring out how to raise the tide for all ships by adding the knowledge we have to the ocean of good work being done by dev teams should be an imperative for all publishers, particularly in areas where we might have a unique perspective/ability to share.
It’s the fucking holidays
And we sure don’t want to be put on Santa’s shit list this year! It’s been a rough one as is, and we hope sharing some of our battle-tested resources and our publishing agreement can be at least a little help on the way towards whatever dreams you are currently building.
Stay safe, hydrate, put on your seat belts and eat your veggies folks – here’s a toast for a better, safer, and more magical future.
Johan and the rest of Raw Fury
Other good resources:
Liam Twose – Global Games Industry Guide
Chris Zukowski – How To Market A Game
Lizzie Killian – VgPR Newsletter
Alan Dang – Alan’s DevResources Sheet
Lars Doucet – GameDataCrunch
Simon Carless – GameDiscoverCo Newsletter
Amanda Farough/Mike Futter – Virtual Economy Podcast / F-Squared LLC