3 Important Things Game Publishers Should Invest In

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An almost limitless number of audiences, an abundance of game genres, and the growing availability of digital technologies for the world’s population – all these factors are actively attracting investors to the video game industry.

The video game market is expanding rapidly and leaves few people indifferent. If the game becomes popular, this popularity quickly steps over the borders of states, forming around itself an extensive fan community of people of different ages and social statuses.

Many of us gamers don’t realize how much the world of game development has changed since Mario was at the peak of the tech world.

We chose 3 investment instruments, thanks to which top game publishers were able to achieve not only high performance in the market but also the help of which they presented us with the gameplay of the future.

top game publishers

1. Outsourcing and Concept Art Character Design Services

It was not in vain that we mentioned Mario in the previous paragraph. You already understand what we mean, but do not rush to conclusions. Character design is one of the main mechanisms for the development of the entire ecosystem of the game.

Thanks to the work of artists and writers, we all know that Mario is an Italian-American plumber; he has a brother Luigi, and he lives in the mushroom kingdom without even playing the game itself (if there are still those who have not played any of the games from the Mario series).

This is all the result of artists’ work and the world’s visual development.
In turn, the technical requirements that gamers impose on developers force them to concentrate their main forces on the appropriate component rather than paying due attention to the design of characters and the game world.

concept art character design services

But if the game is graphically 10/10, then the plot and visuals will be boring, right? Yes, it is, but only if the company puts the technical aspect above or does not delegate part of the tasks to outsource studios. By the way, concept art character design services and design development are the main components of any AAA project at this moment for sure.

The reason for this is the correct distribution of resources for the highest quality product. In addition, this impeded the development of outsourcing as a full-fledged field and not just a freelance platform.

Moreover, investments in studio outsourcing do not significantly change the average video game development costs (for AAA projects especially). You’d be surprised how many beloved characters were drawn by outsourced artists but not studio staff. Among these, you could see the RetroStyleGames character’s concept art, especially if you are a fan of mobile gaming.

Outsourcing is one of the main trends and the basis for top gaming publishers’ budget formation, so that we could end this article with concept art services, but there are still 2 diamonds left to explore.

2. Workbenches and Tools

Technology has long gone beyond its capabilities, and all this is mostly the merit of the game publishers themselves. In addition to the fact that modern projects dictate new standards for the performance of PCs, consoles, or even mobile devices, the studios’ tools also require regular updates.

Not Windows updates, but full-fledged purchases of new processors, tablets, monitors with good Hz, and other programs for creating masterpieces. Of course, such tools are not a pickaxe in Minecraft, the quality of which can be monitored, but various embarrassments happen even with the most expensive equipment or components.

Remember the RTX 4090 video cards that burned and melted at the “hottest” moment? During the development of games, such moments happen very often.

Have you ever wondered why the AAA game development cost is so high?

The answer is simple – the studio always wants to create quality games and use only high-quality tools, the price of which is higher than the usual video cards, 144 Hz monitors, or processors.

But this is the price of modern game development. Occasionally, projects made by several people on medium PCs succeed because large studios are happy investing in technologies that develop in parallel with them.

3. Create, Advertise, and Sell

The console and PC video game markets, were very different between the late eighties and the late nineties. At the consoles, everything was simple. If a new game comes out, buy a cartridge, and when you insert it, there will be no problems.

For this reason, publishers have invested heavily in advertising. But advertising for PC games was distributed in a “gamer to gamer” way.

 video game development costs

They spent very little on advertising because they were afraid of failure and not recouping the video game development costs. New projects received publicity only in gaming magazines. But the amount, several hundred thousand dollars, was spent on development, which at that time was a considerable amount.

At the same time, no one could guarantee the game’s success because gamers’ tastes changed like the winds in the sea.
However, what worked great was word of mouth, which worked better than marketing. The funny thing is that then the financial success of the game is 10-15 thousand copies sold. Today, this figure is simply ridiculous.

Today you’re watching TV, and there Netflix is playing a series based on your favorite game Castlevania, interrupted by an AC Odyssey ad from an Amazon smart speaker stylized as Alexios. I turned it off, went outside for a walk, and there were banners with art from the new game on buildings and public transport.

Advertising is an art, so you have to pay for it, and top gaming publishers know about it and invest a lot. If going to the cinema costs $10-20, the game costs $50-60 for the average person.

By investing a lot of money, the publisher wants an excess profit of 3-5 times more. The $60 includes:
⦁ development,
⦁ taxes
⦁ equipment rent
⦁ outsourcing game concept art services,
⦁ production and delivery of discs,
⦁ advertising,
⦁ servers (for online RPG or MOBA, for example),
⦁ seller’s margin

Remove all this, and the game will cost 10-15 dollars, like a movie ticket. With an average cost to make a video game of $100,000, the advertising budget may be different, but the goal is the same – to sell the product.

The benefits of this investment have long been known to everyone, but you should be aware of the aggressive advertising, as was the case with the Samsung ad on the Barcelona Cathedral.

Final Thought

Outsourcing, technical aspects, and advertising are the “Three Horsemen” of quality games in the gaming world today.

In recent years, the gaming industry has been increasingly forced to develop mobile games that anyone with a smartphone can afford, the emergence of new PS 5 and Xbox Series X/S game consoles, and projects from top game publishers.

The industry was also pushed by the COVID-19 pandemic when due to self-isolation, many people found games both the best way to relieve psychological stress and the opportunity to spend more time with friends online.

Despite external problems and difficulties, the game industry remains the most balanced among others, is a stable investment field in many aspects, and accumulates other areas of activity, keeping game development in a constant active state. Therefore, this is good news for us, and we will be happy to watch the industry’s growth.

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Luqman Khan

Luqman is the founder of cliffyB.com and an obsessed gamer! Overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He is also the founder of a Computer Gaming Lounge. He has been into gaming and PC Building since 2009. He is also obsessed with DOTA 2 and Rainbow Six Siege.