The Wright Stuff: Who needs a publisher anyhow?

Chris Wright from Pocket Gamer writes:

"I was at the Edinburgh International Entertainment Festival this week, catching up with some friends from the industry and drinking beer. The iPhone was the topic of discussion – both by developers and publishers – and this state of affairs seemed to crystalise the issue of exactly what a publisher does.

Now I've been on both sides of the developer-publisher fence and I've always strongly believed a publisher isn't just there to fund development or because they control access to the deck or retailer. A publisher also provides quality control, as well as having a better idea of what an audience wants – in such ways it's a key part of building a great game.

But many developers I've worked with simply want to build games for themselves – making games that are neither massmarket nor enjoyable by anyone but a very niche audience. Anyone remember the old, failed, mission statement "By Gamers. For Gamers"?"

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