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how to claim a publisher?

hello, i have published a game on steam using a publisher back in 2015, i got some bucks from the game until mid of 2016.

i have asked the publisher for the sales stats a lot of times but the publisher has never shown anything to me, i always received the same answer “the sales were bad” or “lots of refunds”.

two or three months a go i got a email from a marketing team, offering services to sell video games and they sent me the names of few games they has sold and they told me to check the sales stats on steamspy, i checked those games and also checked my game.

i got a big surprise, because my game has lots of more copies sold, i have put the error margin on steamspy on 30%, the discount of my game thought the months and also has covered the bundles sales, after thinking a lot on all of this i realized that the publisher didn’t pay me for all the copies he sold.

i tried to contact steam telling them the backstory for the problem and they told me that the publisher is the only one that can authorize steam to let me see my game sales stats; after that i asked again the publisher that i wanted to see my stats an the publisher told that steam can’t authorize to see the sales stats to third party’s; i told the publisher that steam told me that he can authorize me to see my stats but after that the publisher told me that he will try to authorize me on steam, but he never did it.

after all of this story, my question is very simple, what are my options to make a claim to the publisher?

thanks in advance for your time and all your help.

p.s.: the publisher is located in UK, but i’m not in the UK.

Sounds like you need to talk to a lawyer. Make sure to check all documents you have signed for the publisher agreement.

Who is the publisher? So we know who to look out for.

Yes please tell us.

the publisher name is “Back To Basic Gaming”, i found it using twiter back in 2015, when i was searching for a publisher, for a game that i was working on and i wanted the game to be published on the Google Play store.

I’m really sorry to hear about that. I hope you get it all figured out. Thanks for sharing.

Sometimes attorneys will work on contingency if they feel you have a strong case.

thank you for the information, i’m trying to find a lawyer that can help me with my case.

excuse me, but why would one want a publisher for digital downloads?

more sales, exposure, marketing.

i didn’t know how to market my game, i’m a programmer, i don’t know anything about marketing.

Wow bro so sorry you are going through this. Sad thing is there are a lot of people out there who will take advantage or are looking to take advantage of you. What I would do is search for a free consulting lawyer there is even legit ones you can find on the internet where you can call them. Speak to one of them and if they can not help you but know of someone who can they often refer you to someone. I would contact a lawyer no matter what that is the next step. I would not even let him know you are contacting one I would contact one then if you want you can let him know you contacted one so he can see you are serious. You deserve your money as it was your game. Did you real all fine print to make sure you signed over no rights?? like owner ship or etc.

I refused a publish offer from Adult Swim (the tv channel) because of this.
On the contract they had no obligation to give me access to the Steamworks company profile and sales reports; had they sold millions of copies me as developer would never know :slight_smile:

The fact that Steamspy don’t know what are free keys, 75% off event sales, and what are sales at full price also won’t help any bit to track this stuff.
A contract must explicitly tell the publisher will provide you, the developer(s), with extensive market performance reports… Otherwise stay away from “deals” like this unless the publisher at minimum funded 100% of development than you lose nothing more than your time making the game; in this case you at least’d already get paid for doing it anyway… But I guess you just gave your game to someone free of any costs attached, gj.

Do most publishers lock you out of the Steam account and sales reports? I assumed the dev would hold those and the publishers would then have you email them the sales so they can figure out how much you owe them.

Not long ago only relatively big companies would publish on Steam; if you’d have a game to publish, one of these companies would offer to publish for you… but then they take away 30% while Valve eat another 30%, at the end you pretty much paid to sell there rofl; I just “-no thanks!”

I can’t imagine any legitimate deal where they wouldn’t allow you to see the actual sales data, the only reason to keep that from you is so they can rip you off.