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Soedesco is a very versatile company. They develop, publish and distribute video games. This small European venture managed to work with a number of big and small studios, assisting in the release games such as: Teslagrad, Awesomenauts, Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams and The Last Tinker. Specializing in smaller independent products, Soedesco amassed incredible experience and is willing to share it with the community. We’ve talked with company’s marketing manager Imre Shouten and discussed the modern indie game market and the way developers can get their games in a box.
Physical Distribution of Indie Games
Basically we are doing two things. As a publisher we do what you’d call “normal publishing” (helping with the marketing, releasing and other problems) but also we help to publish games physically. So we release the game physically and put it in a shop. This is one of the biggest features – not a lot of smaller publishers do that. Bigger publishers don’t do that as well, and if they do, they want the full control of the product, which is not something indie developers want. We’re publishing the games worldwide.
Originally we came from the distribution business. We were distributing hardware and hardware accessories. And because of that we have a very big distribution network. So we started to think how we can enrich our business and we saw that it’s pretty easy to become a game publisher these days, like compared to 20 years ago. So we started talking with indie developers and get some contracts.
But the thing is when the game is almost finished; developers don’t need that much from a publisher. They just didn’t want anything. Then we proposed to put their game in a box and send it to retailers.
This is a very cool way of selling games for modern indie studios. They would never be able to do something like this themselves. From there we released two games Awesomenauts and Teslagrad. And a couple of month later we did a couple of other games, like Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams and The Last Tinker.
Slowly we started looking for our own projects, where we can do both physical and digital distribution. So this year we actually have 6 games, where we act as a full publisher.
The cool thing about Soedesco is that we’re doing digital distribution of indie games on consoles. We got direct contact with Microsoft and we don’t just work through indie program (like most smaller publishers do).
Success in Retail
Indie games have all the possibilities to become successful. It’s all about knowing your market. We are a relatively small company, so we do not try to operate in huge numbers. We do not sell 100k units to a single country. We usually ask our partners to take whatever they thing they can sell to their clients. For every country we have our own distribution partners. It’s also important to figure out the right price point for the game, because with physical games you tend to have a little higher price point. You can sell a physical game for 10 euro, but then there’s no margin for profit.
We don’t have to make millions to keep going. We try to keep our costs low and stay realistic. We always thing how much do we need to sell and if it’s 5 thousand for the whole year – it’s easy to do. You shouldn’t think of physical release as the last straw. No, it’s a nice source of steady income. You always have some cash flow and we are not dependent on day 1 sales.
Sometimes we can enrich the physical release with some additional information. It all depends on the publisher really. For our release of Tower of Guns we added a special DLC that is exclusive to this retail version.
Looking For the Right Games
When we’re working with the games we don’t pick them judging by the genre. Usually we just want to work with a good game. Sometimes even if the game isn’t that great, we look for ways we can improve it quickly, by elimination bugs or by testing the project. If it’s a good game, we will always consider it. We also invest in projects if it’s necessary. Sometimes we can by the IP, like it happened with Adam’s Venture game.
We find our games by going to a lot of conferences. Last year we went to The Paris Games’ Week, a very small convention in Vienna, which was basically held in a university, we went to GDC and a small meet-up in France. We actually also have a lot of games being developed in Holland. We have games from Italy, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Philippines.