Sanuk Games established itself as a prominent console game developers and digital publisher since its founding in 2003. Founder and Managing Director Yan Marchal shared his motivation for the studio and advice on video game publishing.
When everybody was getting a family computer in the 1980s, Marchal’s parents first opted against it, leaving him with no option but to start writing programs in his mind and imagining how they would run. That’s how he became obsessive about making games. He polished his skills at Ubisoft before founding Sanuk Games. “I would love to say that I started my own studio to innovate and bring some grand visions to life, but the truth is I was just willing to escape boredom: at that time, neither my job nor my life in Paris was particularly exciting,” said Marchal. “Relocating in Asia where I could find both a lower cost of operation to start a business and a better quality of life seemed like the right thing to do!”
After a tedious start, Sanuk Games managed to find its pace and released over 40 titles to date.
Publishing a game is no simple task. There is a myriad of tasks and decisions involved, which means more chances for mistakes. Marchal provided a small list of mistakes that can occur:
- “There are wrong choices of platforms, whether they are declining, saturated, or unfit for the game’s audience and genre.”
- “There are wrong choices of names, or brand licenses.”
- “There are misdirected or inefficient PR efforts, such as advertising when the cost of user acquisition cannot be covered by the sales value.”
“The list could go on and on…” he added.
Still, Marchal feels the worst thing that can happen is a game failing to get noticed by the public even though its concept, positioning and quality of execution are right. “While we have to accept that luck plays a big role, there are stupid mistakes you must be wary of, such as failure to make an initial push, unattractive icon and screenshots, lack of a prompt to rate the game, etc.” he said.
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