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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Larian Studios - The Marketing Budget

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January 24th, 2012, 14:53
Swen "Lar" Vincke continues his articles on publishers with a short one about why developers should be carefull in discussing the marketing budget with examples of how that budget is sometimes spent.
It’s extremely hard to argue whether or not marketing costs are allowed. So make sure that they are capped, that there is a detailed plan that’s updated continuously (which requires your approval) and work with continuous reports, preferably monthly. If it sounds too much to ask, it’s not. It’s what publishers put in their contracts when dealing with one another, because they know how things work.
Otherwise you’ll encounter situations like - ”Sure I went to a casino, but it was with the editor in chief of magazine X. We want to be in magazine X, right ? And the guy indeed likes strippers. But you got the article right ? Nobody wanted to write about your game otherwise” might be one of the arguments you hear.
All I ever got was dinner and a sandwich (not at the same time)…
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January 24th, 2012, 14:53
Wow, he wrote this entire blog post in response to my comment last week? (Signed up as Guest867 on the Larian studios site.)

This was interesting reading and the photos were a nice touch.

I'm not as familiar with the gaming industry; however, I have some work experience on the marketing side for films, books and music. Regardless of whether we are talking about games, DVDs, CDs or books, I imagine there are some parallels among the sort of content acquisition deal involving large entertainment companies that must spend millions of dollars to bring a consumer home entertainment product to market.

Even in cases where you are negotiating a deal with a company that is seemingly in a much stronger bargaining position, it is not quite so difficult to get the publisher to agree to a cap on certain forms of marketing expenses. However, I imagine you have your work cut out for you if you hope to get some sort of right to approve the marketing expenses on a monthly basis.

Originally Posted by Myrthos View Post
All I ever got was dinner and a sandwich (not at the same time)…
Don't they realize you have the power to make or break their games? You are the Harry Knowles of RPGs, after all. They really ought to be bending over backwards to kiss up to you, Myrthos. Bring on the strippers!
Last edited by CountChocula; January 24th, 2012 at 17:55.
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January 24th, 2012, 17:46
Maybe I should send Myrthos some cookies or something when it's time to get some Frayed Knights 2 coverage or something…
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January 24th, 2012, 18:05
Myrthos is Dutch. You could legally try to bribe him hash and hookers.
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January 24th, 2012, 18:10
I was too late to offer some special cookies that would make him very happy and guarantee Frayed Knights 2 as a front page announcement for a month.
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January 24th, 2012, 18:24
As my wife checks out these forums as well and she likes cookies that would be possible. I think the hookers and hash bit is out of the question

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January 24th, 2012, 21:13
I have enjoyed reading Lars' blog since I discovered it from a topic and link on this site recently. I am not a developer, but I still find it interesting to see the view from another perspective. I enjoy Coyote's blog for the same reason.

I think agreeing on caps on costs are important to any negotiation, no matter what the industry. I wouldn't sign a blank check in any of my negotiations.
Last edited by Xian; January 24th, 2012 at 23:11.
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January 25th, 2012, 01:10
Larian Studios are the only folks in the RPG world that still have their heads screwed on straight. Keep up the good work, gents.
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January 25th, 2012, 01:15
Originally Posted by Myrthos View Post
As my wife checks out these forums as well and she likes cookies that would be possible. I think the hookers and hash bit is out of the question
A wife that likes cookies; that's cool on many levels.
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January 25th, 2012, 12:17
I think that Lar is going to become known within the gaming business - simply because he writes down what everyone knows but doesn't dare to write down.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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January 26th, 2012, 09:59
Originally Posted by Sir Markus View Post
A wife that likes cookies; that's cool on many levels.
Are there any that don't? And chocolate?
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