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18. Re: Lorne Lanning on Micro-Publishing Oct 2, 2012, 14:32 Beamer
 
I don't really understand why publishers want to buy studios. Why they start studios, sure. But I still maintain that they should be looking to breed talent. The talent path should be something as follows:
1) Publishers own their own studios, like Black Box or Rockstar North or whatever. These are the studios they can tightly control, but there's less creativity at these studios. They're working more on the big, safe hits like the next Madden, the next Need for Speed or the next big shooter
2) Small independent studios. These guys do contract work sometimes, but are looking to become able to do their own. These are real areas of innovation, and publishers will finance them. Risky, possibly, but smaller games. They're not looking to make the next $100MM shooter, instead looking to make the next Deus Ex HR (which I believe as a cheaper shooter.) They likely give up their IP at first, and they're typically started by someone in the publisher owned studio that's looking to get out on his own and spread his creative wings. If the publisher ran the first studio well this employee would come out with a great relationship and be willing to let the publisher invest a bit in exchange for some rights to the work in the first few years
3) Large independents. These guys started as a small independent but, after some successes, are doing well enough that they can finance themselves well enough to keep their IP. Publishers still invest some money, in exchange for revenues, but not for IP and not for any control.


I get that a lot of studios crash and burn, but I don't get why publishers want to acquire them. Yes, in some cases it makes sense - Infinity Ward was obviously a steal, as was Bungie. But they're not only rare successes, they also had fairly unhappy endings.

 
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