Why publishers get 70% of royalties?
It is easy question to ask why game publishers take 70% of the royalties from sold games – they even’t do anything for developing the game! But they do a massive job after the initial development…
But you must understand than if you complete a game… nobody will automatically come and buy it. There must be somebody to tell people to come and purchase the game. That somebody can be the publisher. The other fact to consider is that most publishers have already created a customer base of maybe tens of thousands of players. Players who have purchased other games by the publisher. It will take years to build large customer base.
Then there are some other things you must notice. Press releases for example are not coming out of nowhere. Somebody needs to write them. Advertising the game is not going to happen without effort. Submitting the software to hundreds of game sites will take time – and might actually cost money in some places. Somebody must also take care the customer service. Hundreds of weekly emails can’t be just left unanswered – somebody has to do that.
And then there are the website costs. Space and bandwidth is never free. Usually the publisher is paying that. Last but not least the eCommerce provider might take about 10% out of the profits – publisher might be paying that cut.
Some indie developers say they use 50% of their time for developing the game and 50% for marketing it. Publishing takes resources. If you cannot make your game sell… would you be happy taking 30% of something rather than 100% of nothing by presenting your game to potential publishers?