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Self publishing lessons learned from Charles Cecil of Revolution Software

By on June 3, 2010

Welcome to the second 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.

Charles Cecil founded Revolution Software in 1990 and is probably best known for the Broken Sword series of adventure games.

An outspoken advocate for developers taking control of their own destiny, Charles has recently released Broken Sword on iPhone, selling 100,000 copies in six weeks.

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

The best thing is the ability to control all aspects of the publishing – from the marketing plan at the start, through PR and determining the price, to the launch event and maintaining post-launch momentum. Having this in the hands of a small team allows a focused and consistent approach.

What’s been the worst thing?

The worst thing is having to control all aspects of publishing – publishers have infrastructures that deal with all these elements very efficiently. Without such an infrastructure, is easy to find oneself overwhelmed.

What would you do differently if you did it again?

Our publishing efforts have been far from perfect – but I am not quite sure how we could have done them better.

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

Write a marketing plan which outlines the ‘story’ which will interest fans and publications/websites, and use this to make the launch an ‘event’. Without a substantial budget, you will rely absolutely on the excitement that you create, which then needs to spread virally. This strategy needs to be carefully planned in advance.

You can find out more about Revolution at

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: