First official details of YoYo Games Publishing Process

Following the release of SkyDiver II on iOS YoYo Games will shortly make available a ‘Base Line Spec’ detailing the requirements of Game Maker games for them to publish in the iTunes store and elsewhere.

In a wiki article Sandy provided an outline of the publishing process and revealed the revenue share model.  We will have to wait until the Spec is released to see which features YoYo Games have been able to implement in the runners they have developed for different platforms.  When complying with the Spec the conversion from the PC format will be able to be done “without too much work”.

YoYo Games Publishing revenue share for portable devices

Every game YoYo Games publish will be polished by an in-house production team consisting of developers, artists, musicians and games testers.  YoYo have set themselves an ambitious target of publishing a game every working day and hope the move will encourage more professional developers.

Sandy also provided some clarification on the YoYo Game Store writing that it is “BOTH a portal to other sites (such as iTunes) AND a store where we will sell Windows and Mac versions of the games directly to end-users”.

What do you think?

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  1. The percentage cut sucks; YoYo Games may as well make their own games and submit them, than use Game Maker games and recode them.

    Being a game-making service is really a bad idea when the amount of income can be so small.

    Just leave the game creation to the end users.

  2. At the end of the day this is an opportunity, and it’s not going to fit all commercialisation ambitions that people are going to have. As people have said, the terms and conditions are out there for everyone to see, it might suit you it might not. I’m optimistic that this is going to be a genuine step forward for the company and the community.

    HOWEVER, a few points do bother me. Number one has got to be this so called mini competition for an ipod and all that jazz. Offering incentives for positive reviews is pretty underhanded (regardless of how many companies do it). Considering the general stigma the concept of “publishing” already carries, I think the company’s image is amazingly important at this early stage, and cheap money-grubbing schemes like this don’t inspire much confidence.

    Additionally, I think the lofty goal of a game ported a day isn’t good for their image either. For me, that certainly doesn’t portray a purveyor of well constructed, thoroughly tested software. Even a short game should have more than a day of testing, let alone development?

    So yes, I am optimistic that the service will prove successful, but the company conduct so far doesn’t really make me feel too confident about trying to make a game for them myself.

    Hopefully we hear more about the process soon!

  3. I’m pretty happy with the conditions, although I would hope that the professional developers would be in contact with the original developer so that the original developer’s ideas are taken into account.

  4. My only concern is the release/development of the PC C++ runner. I really really want the C++ runner for improved speed in the PC games I develop, but I’m not sure what yoyo intends to do with it. The right thing would be to release it in GM9, which is what I pray they do…

  5. This is OK, except for a few things (if I understand the document correctly.)

    1. We can’t publish our own games, Yoyo picks the best of the best to be on the iPhone. Seriously? Here’s something contradicting that, “We want to make sure that Game Maker is seen as a tool for EVERYONE from Beginners to Professionals.”. Really, now? And also, “That means it is our plan to sell ONLY THE VERY THE BEST GAMES. Really. But, didn’t you say that we want game maker to be a tool for beginners too? And don’t beginners (usually) make worse games than professionals?? Hmmm…

    2. We can’t see our own games until they are published. Games envisioned for devices may not work as the creator envisions it. But, there is NOTHING whatsoever that the creator can do about it (or it would be very hard to do so, since yoyogames will be busy playing through the billions of n00b submissions they recieve.)!

    3. “I don’t believe in any of this, how do I complain? Basically, don’t bother. ”
    Okay. This is the really sad part. Most of the people that don’t believe in any of this are the loyal game maker users, who have been using game maker for a while. But now, yoyo is not willing to listen to us at all. We can complain, but they won’t listen. Remember this- Things go better when Yoyo listens. But yet again, they go off and do their own things, in a manner that could be improved. Anyone noticing a pattern here of things yoyo does?

    Now, I did just skim over the document but I am pretty sure I understood it well..

    I was beginning to be excited, thinking I could make my own iPhone and PSP games. But now, I’ll just have to wait until some person figures out how to convert your games to iPhone and PSP format without yoyo (Or someone steals their c++ runner.).

    This is pretty frustrating. At this point, I’m not wasting my time with Yoyo’s business ventures. Just wait, a week later they’ll reveal even more restrictions. Classic Yoyogames. Do something, but then restrict it in some way.

    Now, I am fine with the money. It makes sense that Yoyo gets some of the money because it costs 99$ to put a game on the app store in the first place. But those issues above frustrate me!

  6. If you don’t agree with the developer revenue, you can go make you games with some programming language, purchase the licenses for the platforms and publish them yourselves.

    Seriously. YYG needs to make money too, and quite honestly 35 cents per purchase isn’t bad at all considering how most of the Game Maker users currently get 0 cents per play.

    YoYo is doing the porting to the other platforms. They’re the ones that bought licenses from Sony and Apple, so I think that half of the revenue is reasonable. You don’t have to agree with their terms, and you don’t have to get your game ported on a handheld either (assuming the game is even good enough to be ported).

    This comment might not be as relevant here as it could be somewhere else, but I felt the need to say it.

  7. There is already an App Designer for the Android OS via Google and that lets you export / save as Package files. Why can’t the user submit the game / project themselves ? I would want to know what needs changing to suit resolutions and speed control issues, from my own assumption in testing the game / project. If this happens, there would have to be close ties with YoYo games and the game / project developer. However, I am not sure if agreements would be mutual all the time ! The third each ratio seems fair enough, at least there would be a cut for each involved.

    • Well, they did fix a lot of GM7’s bugs with GM8, and introduced much better editors, and some refined functions. They also got the Mac release put together, and developed the instant play stuff.

      Obviously, their impact on actual Game Maker has been minimal so far, at least concerning users. But the platform has to evolve in some way, and this is a reasonable course for it to take.

  8. Since when has Yoyo Games listened to their users? Besides reverting from that god-awful new logo that should never have seen the light of day?

    Infact, I ask you – what has Yoyo Games done for Game Maker at all?

  9. I’m not entirely sure if I’m on board with this yet or not. A few things that bother me though:

    – The 50 / 50 cut is rough. I know YYG is doing a lot to make sure the games run on the platforms they sell it on, and that could be a lot of extra work, and means they deserve some of the money. But I 50 / 50 for just polishing a game and publishing it seems a bit high to me.

    – The fact that they will be polishing all the games they need to sell, which I assume means they could go far beyond merely fixing the controls to work with the given device, bothers me. Does that mean every game that passes through the YYG shop will be emblazoned with their logo and ridiculous branding, like Skydiver Mach II? I don’t think I’d want that on my games even for aesthetic purposes.

    – The bit at the end where Sandy says that they aren’t listening to complaints is just bone-headed. What intelligent operation doesn’t listen to the complaints of its users / clients?

  10. @Matthew – it’s a pretty massive aspect to miss. Game developers won’t be able to test how their game controls. At all. Nothing of what you develop for the PC/Mac in terms of control will be directly translated to a touchscreen only device like the iPhone.

    This is honestly going to be an unmitigated disaster.

  11. This sounds a bit ridiculous to me. Based on your graph YoYo will take an equal share of the revenue meaning the developer walks away with 35%. No thank you. GameSalad, which has a similar setup just takes $99 a year and you can publish as many games as you like and take the full 70% from Apple.

    If YoYo want to be taken seriously as a platform for developers beyond kids to use to get on iPhone, it needs to offer a similar service. Taking 35% is just ridiculous. At the very least an option not to have the game polishing stage carried out should be offered.

  12. Could do a lot worse?

    There’s nothing wrong with the model they’ve proposed. But it’s a false choice. Only YoyoGames can port your game to Android and iOS. To get any kind of market access with your game, you need to submit it through their store.

    Without being able to compile for iOS ourselves, they make the changes in terms of controls on that device. Seriously? What self respecting game developer is going to let a committee create all the controls for their game – or additional art/resources for it given they have a team of artists as well?

    The difference is, those folk will be working on a tight schedule and with a backlog of other games to get to polishing.

    This will be a miserable failure. I can see what YoyoGames was going for – but not allowing people to debug their own games on the device it’s actually going to be played on is at a level of absolute absurdity. The AppStore is not a gold-mine – YoyoGames will be pumping out low-quality games, at high cost to themselves, for little return.

    They should have opened the C++ runner up to all users – for a value add on top of the Game Maker package. Keep your cheap entry price to Game Maker for Windows/Mac. Wanna compile for iOS/Android? (ie serious business).. that’s $250.

    Logic. There is none of it in this announcement.

  13. Hmmm….

    Provide feedback on why it’s not suitable? I know NAL said they were bracing for the flood of games, but to play them, provide feedback and then accept/reject them sounds like a lot of effort.

    Props to Sandy on the ‘don’t complain’ front. These are fair terms, and people could do alot worse.


    • Props to Sandy? For the worst part of the whole announcement?

      As I stated below, I think it’s ridiculous and short-sighted for them to say “don’t complain”. People are always going to complain, regardless of whether or not you want them to, and it’s almost always better to at least appear to be receptive to complaints, rather than simply rejecting them from the start.

      I think it sets a bad tone for the whole thing, and was a sour note to end the announcement on.

  14. Why is everyone complaining? Seriously?

    If you don’t like it, don’t use it. They can’t even just take the game off YoYoGames and put it on, you need to explicitly request it.

    I’m not seeing the issue here, but I can see why Sandy isn’t listening to complaints. They’re totally ridiculous.

  15. Seems like a fair enough cut for both parties, given the fact YoYoGames have bought the licenses and developed the runners for multiple platforms. To distribute or build a game for so many potential devices is unfathomable for most developers so this presents a great opportunity.

    For those complaining, just think what the alternatives are before slating their chosen business model. For an entry price of £15 there is now the chance to have your game published on major gaming platforms if it is of sufficient quality and given that most games created with Game Maker currently make no money, I see this as a very good thing rather than something to criticise.

Community Links: Indie Kombat, YoYo t-shirt, SkyDiver II pre iOS4

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