Darren Jobling, director of business development at Eutechnyx, has advised developers against selling their companies, telling them to remain independent because conditions are on the cusp of improving.
Sell or Don't Sell The costs involved in developing a game from scratch these days is much higher then in the early days of the industry so finding funding is always a stretch especially for small developers. This leads to a situation in which the publisher has a significant (if not total) stake in the product you are developing because they supplied the funding. This allows you to develop a talent pool with experience but it really doesn't give you an "IP" of your own with which to work as your publisher is probably sole owner of what you just developed. If the product flops you of course are out of business with that publisher but can maybe just maybe convince another publisher to sign you. If it succeeds you need it to be big to get off the teat of mother publisher (and you need a good contract that rewards that) so that you can mayhap develop your own "IP" which builds value for the company directly rather than as a servant of another company. This can lead to the good situation where you are "2nd Party" - basically fully supported by your publisher but can also lead to (and this is far more common) an OFFER YOU CAN'T REFUSE (aka: EA). These offers give you as the owner a scary amount of money to dump and run(just as the former leaders of bioware) which in turn allows you to start a new company in which you have more creative control but leaves your experienced team with a bigger company. Thus a new cycle begins. Not selling out = good Selling out = better for creative control in long run but screws your experienced team and makes the big guys stronger and the independents weaker.
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