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What is a Game Producer?

The last four years I’ve worked as a publishing producer for Degica Games. During that period I published several small indie titles and also promoted Japanese titles, mostly arcade ports, to a Western audience.

Most people don’t know what a game producer actually does. I worked at a mobile game company for 3 years, and I thought the producer was just there to make my life miserable. Turns out the producer does more than just keep the development team from going off the rails!

WHAT IS A GAME PRODUCER?

A game producer plays many roles. Internally my role was to manage tasks, scheduling, and meetings. Many of the teams I worked with had jobs or were students, so it was important to meet regularly and adjust milestones as needed.

I was not involved with the actual development of the titles, but I would playtest the different iterations of the game and offer feedback. I would hire freelancers when needed to assist with art and programming. I also managed a Q&A team that would test the beta build before sending the game out to press.

Externally I served as both the publisher and PR manager for the game. I setup the Steam store page and presskit that would go out to publications. I also submitted games to conventions and festivals, and even demoed the titles at a few. I managed the prelaunch campaigns, getting press builds out to journalists and content creators, and the actual publishing of the title itself. Post-release, I managed community relationships and customer support. To give a sports analogy, I was the team coach, manager, and cheerleader all wrapped up into one!

WRAP-UP

My role as a publishing producer was never the same. For some titles I was directly involved with the developers, and others I had no contact at all. I worked on a couple of dozen titles, some that went on to be mega successes and others that were commercial flops. I’ve seen the Steam market transition from curated to algorithmic, from Greenlight to Steam Direct.

In my next blog post, I’ll explore the differences I observed between the successes and the failures.

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