They’re Here to Make Money
That’s right, no matter how deep you sink your head into video games and try to embrace the sub culture, the publisher’s are just like every other leech trying to rip money from your pockets and stuff it into their fat bank accounts.
This means they’re not above cashing in on a fad even if the game turns out to be a stinker, which is why you see a video game released for every corny comic book movie that is released along with any other movie that might translate good into a video game. Thus far there are under a ten video games based on movies that have turned out to be decent.
Sadly, this also means that exceptional titles may go unnoticed due to a lack of advertising outside of the diehard gaming community. Due to the mainstreaming of the culture, consumers have to be aware of what games they buy, as buying loads of crap sends a direct signal to developers that they need to put more crap on the market for us to buy.
They’re Not the Same as Developers
Many fans directly contribute characters to a certain publisher because they are made by in-house developers. Nintendo’s extremely popular Pokemon series is developed by Gamefreak which is a second-party developer for Nintendo.
The Metroid Prime series is developed by Retro Studios which works beneath Nintendo which acts as their parent. Nintendo EAD, which develops Mario, Zelda and other titles, is an example of an in-house developer.
Developers can also be extremely small studios with less than 30 employees that work around the clock. These are known as third-party developers and usually are hit or miss with their games, with some receiving cult or legendary status in the gaming community.
They Do Take Risks
With the release of just about everything, the video game publisher is taking on the burden of assuming a game will sell well. Selling bad leads to numerous misfortunes, such as the closing as in-house developers or otherwise. Besides having to pay royalties on games that might not sell well (an oddity in the industry) games development has become a more expensive process.
Large releases such as Halo, Metal Gear Solid and other flagship series have all have the potential of costing over $20 million, rivaling some small movies. While most of these titles are guaranteed to sell well based on their name along there is also the risk that the game might just flop, leaving the publisher to pick up the pieces afterwards.