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Mr. Robot for platforms?
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Joined: 08 May 2008
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 6:34 pm    Post subject: Mr. Robot for platforms? Reply with quote

Is there any way the developers could develope this game for portable platforms such as the PSP and Nintendo DS? It would be awesome to be able to play it on my DS and be able to carry it around with me.
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Poo Bear
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Joined: 14 Oct 2002
Posts: 4121
Location: Sheffield, UK

PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A publisher was interested in MrRobot on DS and contacted a company that specialises in porting games to that platform. It was a while ago, but I think they wanted $200k. I think that was for 12months development work, can't remember how many programmers/artists, I think it was 4 in total.

The DS cartridges have to be bought in bulk and imported from Japan, my memory is hazy on this too, but I think a small run was about $60k.

The shops won't take a game unless the publisher gives them advertising money (a bribe) to put up a poster. This is all worked out behind closed doors, but budgets normally range from $100k to $500k. Sometimes you can get the budget smaller if you let them sell the game at a budget price.

So the bottom line was the publisher had to invest $360k to see the game on the shelf. Needless to say they weren't too eager. The shop then takes 30% of the sale price and the distributor takes 15% of what's left. Once the publisher has recovered his $360k and made a decent profit he will then give the original developer a royalty share.

This means we would get paid if the game was a major hit, if it wasn't we'd just have a small royalty advance and nothing else. Not that we'd mind, it would be cool to see the game on a DS.

Publishers (and investors in general) look to make decent returns on their investments i.e. 3 to 5 times their money back. With a completely unknown IP like MrRobot which uses a science fiction setting (scifi is not popular) it would be a total gamble whether they'd achieve that goal.

The reason publishers approach indies like us is because they are hoping we'll be in a position to port the game ourselves and are super enthusiastic (naively so) to see it done. That way they can give us a minimal royalty advance, say $50k to do all the work. Then they buy the minimum DS cart run from Japan $60k. Then they offer it to the supermarkets and let them sell for $9.99 so they can get a marketing budget of zero (or the price of a plane ticket to the see the walmart buyer with their fingers crossed). Now there investment is only $110k so it's much easier to make a decent return and take a gamble that it becomes a sleeper hit.
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