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Self publishing lessons learned from Chris Swan of Blitz Games Studios

By on July 8, 2010
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Welcome to the seventh in a series of 12 posts from games developers who have taken the brave step into self-publishing. They have all contributed to How to Publish a Game, and you can get the first two chapters absolutely free here.

Chris Swan is the business development director at Blitz 1Up. The Blitz 1UP programme was set up by Blitz as a way to help fellow developers get their games to market. Blitz helps their partners with elements such as routes to market, QA & compatibility, art & audio support, and PR & marketing.

They have released games including KrissX, Droplitz and Encleverment Experiment.

What’s been the best thing about self-publishing your game?

Being in control! It’s great having full control over your game’s destiny, especially being able to decide which features go into the game, how and where we are going to market it, and tracking the direct sales in return for our efforts.

What’s been the worst thing?

Being in control! It can be very scary when you have no-one to blame but yourselves for any changes in direction, lack of distribution partners, or unexpected troughs in sales when you are doing your own PR and marketing.

What would you do differently if you did it again?

  • Set up a definitive vision holder to prevent our own feature-creeping.
  • Start the marketing right upstream to build a strong groundswell.
  • Have all of the major distribution partners set up beforehand, so that the title can launch almost simultaneously in the popular marketplaces

What advice would you give someone thinking about self-publishing for the first time?

Don’t just concentrate on the game! How are you going to market this brand? How many distributors are you lined up with? How are you going to get the game localised and compatibility tested?

For more information on Blitz 1Up, visit www.Blitz1Up.com

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: thecurveonline.com