Game Developers vs Game Publishers: What’s the difference?

Here’s a good article that I read in regards to the difference between game developers and game publishers. I just want to share this to give a little bit of insight.

“a video game publisher will contract a third party video game company to work on a game. While the third party developer is the one building the world, the publisher determines the game’s goals, and creative control is never fully given to the developer. Those goals might be individual steps within the initial development phase or down-the-road sales on opening day and thereafter.”

“publishers lay out the foundation and then contract dedicated third-party game developers to take the reins from there. In this contract, the publisher still provides input to the game as it is developed.”

Source: Game Developers Vs Game Publishers Whats The Difference | HP® Tech Takes.

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Publisher has the money power and basically owns the developer it’s that simple.

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That’s one of the simplified aspect of it. The article may be long but it’s an interesting read!

SG should just pull a Bungie and Go solo in the west. Idk why they needed a publisher to begin with, they have the capital to publish themselves in the west.

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your quote is weird.

AGS did not contract SG to build a game, the game is already built.

did you purposely take that out of context or did you just not know?

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The game is already developed. This publisher and developer relationship does not work the same as the article you are referencing to. It’s been stated multiple times that the developers who work on our game are from SG, so that means it’s not from a 3rd party already making that whole quote meaningless in the developer and publisher relationship between SG and AGS. That article in general doesn’t work for what’s happening between AGS/SG. Article is pretty much stating that it’s a publisher hiring a development team to work and make a product compared to a publisher obtaining a license to simply distribute and monetize the product in another region. The latter is what is happening in Lost Ark.


Hi OnlyFans. Build doesnt necessarily mean making the game from the scratch if that’s what you’re referring to. Every version/patch is a build too. :grinning: i get your point but you have to see the bigger picture. Unless you’re nearsighted.

Edit: Here, this CM also used the term “build”.

You should be happy to have a western company as publisher, or the game will just be there to milk us even more, like on any other Korean MMO that doesn’t have a western publisher. Yes, AGS is by far not the best, but you have to live with it.

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haven’t read the whole article but what you’ve posted is very inaccurate to the point it’s misleading.

What “you” have described is yet another role called “producer”. The one who pays and who pays decides. A producer however can be same as a developer or it may be the same as publisher. And even all three roles can be done by the same company.

It’s possible - and before Steam it was much more common - that the developers have found investors, or made it out of their own pocket - most of famous games started like that - and then they’ve found a publisher who’s role is solely in distributing and selling the product. Making manuals, doing the printing part, or translations, dealing with taxes, shops and such. They don’t need any voice or rights in the decision making. It depends slly on specific contract.

But since making a thing is the easier part, while selling it is the hard part, puslishers effectivelly may decide what they will publish and they can drive the stream as a whole. And eventually, since they are close to marketing, they may (but don’t have to) start producing their own products under their terms.

So in general, it’s always defined by specific contract. There is no generalization of what “developer” or “publisher” does. Who pays the development usually decides. May be the sole investor, who doesn’t develop, doesn’t publish, doesn’t sell, just gives money under defined terms.

You may think twice who truly says what is a bread you eat made of. Is it the baker, or is it the supermarket allowing them to be sold. It’s usually a fragile balance where all sides tries to get upper hand.

But unless you have the contract between AGS and SG and have insides into their relationship, you can not really say who decides what. Do you know who made Freelancer we know? :slight_smile:


Good read, thanks for sharing your thoughts :slightly_smiling_face:

Yes and no. Typically that’s the framework but publishing to a different region tends to have a different framework. AGS didn’t contract a developer to create lost ark or work on the builds, AGS entered into a partnership to publish lost ark to the west, they have say in what happens and how the builds come out but waaaaay less leverage than a traditional publisher because smilegate doesn’t need AGS.


Yup. This is why i support SG and not AGS

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You do not know the decisisons you dislike about the game were made solely of AGS, In fact, I’d gamble on the opposite. People hating AGS while SG (Gold river announced it in a interview before the game even launched) wanted class releases schedule like the one just announced is quite ironic.

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Great answer tbh.

Just keep in mind, at the end of the day SG has all the rights to the IP themselves. Basically, they have all the legal power.

Some people have this notion that AGS can simply make changes to LAO themselves… like AGS is the only bad guy.

I doubt this is the case. They’re the publisher and they work with SG to port and host the game. They make suggestions to SG and SG likely has to agree to changes etc. SG still controls what the patch looks like, all they’ve done is considered AGS’s feedback.

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yes, sure they have :slight_smile: but the real control is not always that clear.

“He who can destroy a thing has the real control of it,” Paul said. “We can destroy the spice.”

Did you make this? Cause thats probably going to be used somewhere, as a banner for some RMT site :laughing:

Well, control is already established based on rights, and we know SG is a privately owned company. There are no shareholders etc. it’s fully owned by the billionaire in KR.

So essentially, AGS has a license to use, run, host, etc. LAO and SG will always reserve all the rights legally.

Given the scenario, where AGS somehow get the rights to further develop the game? AGS would have its own developers making or changing content. SG could always say ‘we don’t like that it hurts our brand’ and they reserve the right to do this. They’re protected under KR copyright laws.

So control is clear, AGS may have a lot of influence as the publisher over SG’s decisions in the west though etc. is a more likely scenario.

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