I'm an independent game developer considering working with a publisher. This question is very informative however I have more questions. Please give feedback on the following issues... I think this can be helpful to many indie devs in the same situation.
Source code: is it common for developers to give the publisher the source code?
Code quality: does this matter when working with a publisher any more so than when just working on your own (or in a small team)? Just wondering if developers working for the publisher might scoff at the code quality and perhaps influence the relationship between developer and publisher.
- Unique game concepts: are publishers generally biased towards new/novel game concepts?
- Intellectual property: if I send a playable demo to a publisher what's to stop them from just reproducing the new/novel game mechanic? I think the answer is basically nothing... but I'm wondering if this is a realistic concern.
Revenue sharing: how does it work? what's a common ratio? 70/30? 30/70?
Flaky publishers: how common is it for a publisher to "string along" developers for a while then just drop them? Can this be reconciled with a contract of some kind?
And any other issues you've encountered or heard of.