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Publisher ( English to publish "to publish" or "to publish") is the English term for publisher or publisher . While the term can be used for any form of publishing, it is often used as a foreign word in German, especially for companies that publish and sell computer games or computer programs .

Fields of activity

Similar to the tasks of a book publisher , the publisher takes on the production of data carriers , the marketing and distribution of a computer game or program. The framework conditions are defined by means of a publishing contract with the developer . In return, the developer grants the publisher the right to publish the title in one or more countries.

Similar to record labels or, in the case of book publishers, using imprints , some publishers structure their offer by publishing under several labels . Take 2 Interactive, for example, maintains the Rockstar Games and 2K Games labels , the latter with the sub-labels “2K Sports” and “2K Play”.

For large companies in the video game industry, software publishing is just one of the different lines of business. Hardware manufacturers such as Nintendo , Microsoft , Sony and THQ also act as publishers. Companies like Electronic Arts , Ubisoft and Activision Blizzard have their own development studios. Many of the smaller publishers, on the other hand, do not have their own development resources.

Economic factor

The computer game industry has become an important economic factor. In 2007 it expects sales of around 34 billion euros . Activision Blizzard , currently the world's largest computer game publisher in terms of sales , was created in 2008 through the merger of Vivendi Games , a subsidiary of the French media group Vivendi , with the American company Activision . This transaction cost $ 18.9 billion. For the development of a sophisticated and technically up-to-date computer game, development costs now run into the three-digit million range.


Great publishers

The following are the largest publishers are after their sales in billions of dollars listed.

2018 Publisher Sales in $ billion
1 China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China Tencent 19.74
2 JapanJapan Sony Interactive Entertainment 14.28
3 United StatesUnited States Microsoft Studios 9.75
4th United StatesUnited States Apple 9.45
5 United StatesUnited States Activision Blizzard 6.89
6th United StatesUnited States Google 6.49
7th China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China NetEase 6.18
8th United StatesUnited States Electronic Arts 5.29
9 JapanJapan Nintendo 4.29
10 JapanJapan Bandai Namco Games 2.74

Medium-sized publishers

Below are the top medium-sized video game publishers, determined by Metacritic in February 2017 based on game quality by ratings compared to last year.

Position 2015 Publisher Position 2016
7th SwedenSweden Paradox Interactive 1
* JapanJapan Sega 2
4th United StatesUnited States Microsoft Studios 3
6th United StatesUnited States Take-Two Interactive 4th
8th United StatesUnited States Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment 5
1 United StatesUnited States Bethesda Softworks 6th
20th United KingdomUnited Kingdom Team17 7th
* JapanJapan Degica 8th
* United StatesUnited States Devolver Digital 9
17th GermanyGermany Daedalic Entertainment 10
11 United KingdomUnited Kingdom Curve digital 11
* United StatesUnited States tinyBuild Games 12
22nd JapanJapan NIS America 13
12 United StatesUnited States Aksys Games 14th
* ItalyItaly 505 games 15th
* NetherlandsNetherlands Gambitious Digital Ent. 16
16 FranceFrance Focus Home Interactive 17th
* PolandPoland Artifex Mundi 18th
15th JapanJapan Koei Tecmo 19th
* FinlandFinland 10tons entertainment 20th
19th JapanJapan Idea Factory 21st
14th GermanyGermany Deep Silver 22nd
* United StatesUnited States Digerati distribution 23
- * (new in the list)

Games publisher in German-speaking countries

Video game publishers have also existed in German-speaking countries since the mid- 1980s . One of the first German companies of this kind was Rainbow Arts , through which games such as Turrican , The Great Giana Sisters and Katakis were published. Compared to the international market leaders, however, German companies are of relatively minor importance in this sector.

Well-known active publishers in German-speaking countries include:

Well-known video game publishers from German-speaking countries that are no longer active today are Ariolasoft , Blue Byte , cdv Software Entertainment , JoWood , Rushware , Rainbow Arts , Softgold , Sunflowers , 10tacle Studios , Software 2000 , Starbyte and dtp entertainment . Many of these former companies were both publishers and developers.

Software publisher in German-speaking countries

Often started as an IT specialist publisher with an extensive range of EDP and IT books, independent software departments were set up to publish computer programs. The principle is similar to the production and marketing of books. The distribution channels were still identical at the beginning of the 1980s, as many booksellers had an extensive range of software. Instead of a book author , a software developer is contracted to develop a computer program for the publisher . In most cases, the publisher takes on the further processing or refinement of the product by commissioning manual authors to create an introduction and documentation for the use of the software. The publisher also takes on the linguistic editing, testing and packaging design. The most important task of the software publisher is the marketing and distribution of the product. The software publisher acts as a refiner and aggregator in order to offer the software developer the broadest possible sales platform.

The pioneers in the industry include Data Becker , SYBEX-Verlag , BHV (Verlag) , Markt + Technik Verlag , who built up their software departments before 1985. Later, Franzis-Verlag , G Data CyberDefense , SAD , tewi , United Soft Media and Systhema were added.

Due to the Internet and the download options for software, the distribution channels via trade channels such as bookstores or electronics stores have lost their importance. This means that the software publisher's aggregation function has also become less important for software developers. Software developers can advertise their products on their own website and offer them for download.

Individual evidence

  1. "World of Warcraft" meets "Call of Duty" . NZZ online
  2. Starcraft 2: Summer Weather vs. $ 100 million budget .