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How Award-Winning Indie Publisher Super.com Chooses a Studio

November 22, 2021

A publisher’s role is, on the surface, a simple one: support the development and launch of a video game. But with so many studios to choose from, especially in the indie sphere, narrowing this selection down is arguably the most vital part of the process. For a company like Super.com — an award-winning publisher of unique and progressive titles — funding, supporting, and publishing the right game is of paramount importance, and so is transparency. With that in mind, today we’ll break down the company’s selection process to highlight the how’s and why’s of choosing which titles to publish.

“In collaboration with indie studios, our producers do their best to solve any kind of problems that might arise during the game development. It’s important that we and our partners have the same goal — to launch a successful game — so that it requires us to mutually find the best way it can be handled,” said Timur Galyamov, Head of Production, Super.com Publishing.

Another essential skill Super.com brings to the table is adaptability. Being able to quickly pivot on ideas, work with studios to make changes, and remain flexible, is vital to a successful working relationship and ultimately, a successful game launch.

“We’ve only recently entered into the early stages of mass adoption. The gaming industry is a wild west where every company has their own ways of doing things and there is always no single right solution,” said Kirill Lapshin Producer, Super.com Publishing. “There is so much more to look forward to in this industry, I’m quite excited about it! The indie scene is still growing and will overtake the big corporations sooner or later, thanks to the ease of use of the tools for game development and ease of publishing the games.”

Where to begin though? On the surface, picking a studio or a title seems like a simple process. However, there are myriad complexities surrounding the decision, and narrowing down the overwhelming number of choices in a crowded marketplace requires a careful and comprehensive system. 

Let’s take a look at how Super.com gets this operation started:

The Genre

The video game industry has become diverse in content, to say the least. With such a varied assortment of genres upon subgenres, narrowing down the right mix of quality, quantity, popularity, and of course, sales potential, is quite the task. For Super.com, the ideal game types are action, sandbox, simulation, puzzler, and narrative. There are caveats and requirements specific to each, with the Action genre offering the highest risk vs. reward due to the enormous popularity of that style of game, and Narrative often requiring genre hybridization to carry a strong script, story, and characters.

The Basics and Pillars of Play

Despite the nearly endless variety of genres within the industry, there are some intrinsic values and qualities that define a game, and especially so with a quality title that has a high potential for success, both critically and financially. Using these pillars as a metric to gauge the value proposition and depth of a title is a simple but effective method to quickly assess whether or not a publishing and support role would be worthwhile.

  • Conflict: The basic concept of conflict can take on many forms, whether that be a more traditional route like a shooter or action title, but can also involve solving puzzles, successfully managing an in-game economy, or navigating difficult platforming sections. A player needs to feel like they’ve overcome a challenge in order to feel a sense of progression, and resolving a conflict is the most basic foundation to achieve this sensation.
  • Exploration: Like conflict, exploration is a polysemic term that carries several meanings. Navigating an open-world game and investigating different areas is one way to explore, but digging deep into rules and gameplay mechanics is another. As with conflict, a player will feel a sense of growth and progression that is integral to a satisfying gameplay experience.
  • Form: A deceptively simple facet of a video game, but without a doubt one of the most important. We are visual and aural creatures after all, and enjoy beautiful art, cutting-edge graphics, and audio. A stylish, original, and sincere art design can be incredibly engaging, as can the music, sound effects, and even in-game menus. If a game looks good, sounds good, and feels good, that’s a winner every time.
  • Substance: Substance is what’s left after a player has put down the game. The ideas within, the characters and their struggles, the pounding pulse that remains after the grand finale. Substance can be a vague and nebulous pillar on which to measure a game, but it’s something hardwired into the human experience that when it hits, hits the hardest.

Super.com’s mission at the end of the day is a simple one: to eliminate borders, create great games, help game developers flourish, and create an immersive and inclusive environment for gamers. But a simple mission requires delicate and thorough processes, and what the company has shown here today only scratches the surface of its meticulous system that leads to critically acclaimed games from studios that deserve recognition and success — Super.com is here to help with that process and guide these studios in the right direction.

An international video game publisher, technology, and investment fund, Super.com strives to maintain innovative vision and technology, and show the world (publish and finance) the bold experiments of daring creators. The company and its partners are united by a desire to grow the industry and change it for the better. Its mission is to eliminate borders, create great games, help game developers flourish, and create an immersive and inclusive environment for gamers.

Moe FitzgeraldPR MANAGER
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