Back in February Green Man Gaming was helping independent developers.
The online retailer was offering the studios a route to market, uploading their games to its store and promoting them to its PlayFire community.
But now Green Man Gaming is fully committing to publishing games, opening a dedicated digital-only arm Green Man Loaded, headed up by EVP of publishing Gary Rowe.
The firm aims to have its first game out around the end of this year. And it is even putting money behind developers to help them to get their concepts finished.
Green Man Loaded was born out of several years of [Green Man Gaming CEO and founder] Paul Sulyok being bombarded with developers asking for help in selling their games, if we could offer any advice,” Rowe tells MCV.
Then we started talking to developers and thought about creating a new label to help developers get to market. It's based around the things that developers are really interested in – keeping control of their IP, help with finishing finance and being paid quickly. And they want a modern marketing team that is really good at what they do. That's what Green Man Gaming has been doing for the last four years. We want to turn that power in favour of the developer.”
We've had conversations with quite a few developers
recently, and one common problem for them is they
reach a certain point in development and don't have the
final money to get the game across the finishing line.
That's quite a typical story that we've been hearing over
and over again. We are able to provide finishing
finance for developers."
Gary Rowe - EVP of Publishing, Green Man Gaming
That's all very well and good, but why has the firm decided to put money behind studios?
We've had conversations with quite a few developers recently, and one common problem for them is they reach a certain point in development and don't have the final money to get the game across the finishing line,” Rowe says. That's quite a typical story that we've been hearing over and over again. We are able to provide finishing finance for developers.
We did very well with publishing indie developers on our own channel and our own store, but actually some of the titles we are looking at are slightly larger in scope and scale and need the extra budget to give them that final QA and localisation polish.
It's really to help developers who have the right kind of title, to bring it to market.”
Green Man Gaming is a retailer by trade. And Rowe says that makes them an ideal partner for studios.
We're able to utilise the experience we have gathered over the last few years in selling games, which is great, and we offer a huge amount of discoverability in that way – which is a problem for a lot of developers,” he explains.
He insists that creators really are coming first in this arrangement: They're getting access to an award-winning team that has garnered a great business profile with lots of experience, who know how to sell games.
That's really compelling for developers. They're getting a new breed of partner who really likes games. We're also going to be paying developers as quickly as we can. The standard publisher model of payment quarterly isn't compatible with the cash flow situation. Where available, we'll pay developers on a fortnightly basis.”
One other benefit Green Man Loaded will offer developers is the ability to retain the rights to their own work.
One of the conversations developers have with publishers is the desire to own the IP,” says Rowe. We decided right from the off that we'd have a much simpler relationship with developers if they just kept the rights to the IP.
We'll help them exploit the game on other platforms, but our primary goal is to make sure that the PC title is the best. Bringing games to consoles is definitely a plan for later down the line. We want the developer to be fully invested. If developers are working on their own IP that's incredibly motivating for them.”
He concludes: We're looking to widen the net in terms of developers we can reach. If a developer is sat there with a game and can't figure out how to get to market, they should get in touch.”