How to sell your game to large publishers

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Tutorial written by ben0Originally published on 11th, July 2012 - 5 revisions

Hi guys! You might not know this, but there are many game publishers out there looking to pay good money to license HTML5 games. A typical HTML5 game sells for a few hundred dollars, and good ones fetch thousands.

Why do publishers want my game?

Simple. Because they have massive fan bases, and need to serve their fans with fresh new games. A large company like SPIL Games, or Vodafone has millions of users who are always hungry for new games.

If you aren't convinced, think of this analogy : in the book publishing industry, authors write great novels, and search for publishers that will print and market their novels. You are the author. Without the publisher, you might sell a few books, but you won't have access to a larger audience.

About me

My name is Ben, i'm a HTML5 game developer myself. My team created a marketJS, a website where you can easily pitch your game to large publishers, and eventually sell it to them. It's free to use, no fees whatsoever.

The big picture

a) Sign up at marketJS
b) Upload your Construct2 game
c) Interested publishers will contact you

Once you're done, your game will look something like this


The publishers (and developers) on marketJS will get to play your game, comment, check the stats, and send you private messages if they're interested. Neat right?

Sign up

Create a free account


Tip: Remember to enable email notifications, because you'll want to know the second a publisher contacts you.

Upload your game

Note: Please skip this section if you're confident. Most people don't even need to read this, because the system is really easy to use. We've had developers submit 5 games within 6 minutes.

This mini-tutorial assumes that you have created an account with marketJS

Step 1

From your dashboard, click on "Pitch". You are practically pitching to game publishers from the comfort of your home. There's no need for fancy suits and ties :D


Step 2a

Fill in the details of your pitch. Under platforms, remember to select "Web (HTML5)". If your game also runs on the mobile web (like iPhone web browsers), remember to check the "Mobile Web (HTML5)" box.


For license type, it's really up to you. If you'd like to sell to one publisher only, choose "exclusive license". If you'd prefer more buyers, choose "non-exclusive". Choose "custom" if you're unsure. Do not fret, the decision is not final, because everything rests upon what you negotiate with the publisher later on. The pitch is just a rough framework to get both parties focused on what's at the table.

Step 2b

Since you have a completed Construct2 game, you should demo it to publishers! Make sure you check the "web demo" box.


Step 2c

Fill in the web demo section with a URL to your game, width and height


If you don't know the URL, width and height, fear not! You probably already have a game on Scirra arcade. You can easily grab the details from the embed codes:


Step 2d

Complete the remaining details of your game, under General Info


Once you're done, click on "Save pitch and proceed"

Step 3

You're seconds way from submitting your game pitch! Make some final changes, preview to see if game runs nicely, and when you're confident, click on Submit!


Celebrate

Have a chocolate. Your game is now live to all the publishers in marketJS. Rest assured, if your game is good, you'll get emails from them within 24 hours.

In the meantime, here are some fun HTML5 games currently on marketJS
marketjs.com/game/xtype
marketjs.com/game/onslaught-defense
marketjs.com/game/voodoofriends

What next?

I'll be writing another tutorial on how to effectively communicate with publishers, and seal the deal. A lot of it is being helpful, listening to requirements and negotiating a fair price. Stay tuned!

Ben Chong
marketJS

Congratulations on finishing this tutorial!

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Comments

6
Wink 9,465 rep

Thanks for sharing this with us Ben. I will defiantly be giving marketJS a try in the near future. I'm also looking forward to your next tutorial on how to seal the deal :D

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 4:34:01 AM
2
felixsg 7,843 rep

Great web waiting for next guide/tutorial

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 3:33:23 PM
2
Astro 5,657 rep

This is quite interesting. But one question though. Might there be an easier way on your main page to display target or ideal platforms for which each game is meant for. Or are the potential platforms just for publishing on websites.

Showing the the ideal platforms for which the game is meant would draw more publishers and help for easy game spotting once the database gets huge.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 4:45:11 PM
2
ben0 3,007 rep

@Astro we just implemented a filter system where you can view games by platform (web HTML5, mobile HTML5, iOS, Android, etc )

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 5:17:04 PM
2
ben0 3,007 rep

you can actually upload all your current games to marketJS, because chances are the publishers have never seen it. Not many publishers know about Scirra's games, and we hope to change that

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 5:24:45 PM
2
Astro 5,657 rep

That's great, thanks for that. Your site is just too hard to ignore as an HTML5 game developer. Really can't wait to see what it brings in the future.

I'm officially hyped now.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 7:06:41 PM
2
Joannesalfa 15.0k rep

Great post! I would like to start making my games to sell on this site.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 8:58:50 PM
0
jogosgratispro 6,170 rep

@ben0 One major problem of HTML5 is code protection.
Does your website offer any kind of protection for games uploaded there?

Friday, July 13, 2012 at 12:31:28 AM
0
railslave 4,476 rep

my game is uploaded but its missing some of the screen despite changing the layout size?

Friday, July 13, 2012 at 1:24:35 AM
0
Animate 8,340 rep

@ben, in accordance with @jogosgratispro, what type of security does your platform provide when publishing the full games?

Friday, July 13, 2012 at 10:01:09 PM
1
ArcadEd 13.6k rep

I submitted my first game today. :). Not expecting much, but it's kind of exciting if someone wants it.

I'm curious, how many potentials buyers are on the site? Have any games been sold from the site yet?

Lastly, this is really cool :)

Friday, July 13, 2012 at 10:29:10 PM
0
ben0 3,007 rep

@Animate @jogosgratispro the reality of all HTML5 games on the Internet is that code is readable on the client side. Best thing we can do as game developers is to minify and obfuscate the code. Construct2's engine, and the Scirra Arcade does this quite well i've noticed.

another foolproof way is to upload a game demo, instead of the full version. Let publishers play a level or two, get them hooked.

throughout my career as a HTML5 game developer, i've had tons of discussions on general HTML5 game security on multiple game developer forums, and the answer has always been the same : minify/obfuscate. Nobody really wants to steal from you unless you're Zynga.

Saturday, July 14, 2012 at 1:32:44 AM
1
ben0 3,007 rep

@ArcadEd thx for uploading, your game rocks

Saturday, July 14, 2012 at 1:36:26 AM
1
ArcadEd 13.6k rep

Cool, thanks man :).

Saturday, July 14, 2012 at 1:41:24 AM
0
Nicklene 1,993 rep

Wow! Very Good! Thank you very much

Friday, October 12, 2012 at 3:28:52 AM

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