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Self-publishing lessons learned from Patrick O’Luanaigh of nDreams

By on June 17, 2010

Welcome to the fourth 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.

Patrick O’Luanaigh is CEO of nDreams, an independent developer making innovative games in such as Xi in PlayStation Home, Spirit of Adventure on Facebook and Secret Lewis, an alternate reality game starring Lewis Hamilton and made for Reebok.

He was previously Creative Director at SCi and Eidos and has 14 number one games under his belt.

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

Having a direct relationship with our customers; being able to talk to them immediately and directly and find out what they liked and didn’t like, then make changes accordingly.

What’s been the worst thing?

The up-front costs and cash-flow between paying your staff to create the content, then finally getting the money back in your bank account.

What would you do differently if you did it again?

We’re learning huge amounts every time we publish something, so we have no regrets. We have gained a respect for just how important marketing and PR are, though!

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

Go for it – as long as you’ve done your research, thought it through, and understand the importance of making something with a genuine ‘hook’/USP, then give it a go. Just don’t assume that making a great game is enough to generate huge success. There is much more to it than just the game creation aspect!

You can find out more about nDreams at

(Full disclosure: I’m a non-executive director at nDreams)

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: