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What do board game publishers do? What are the difference between them?

I'm satisfied, from the discussion in the comments, that this question is off-topic.

It seems like a perfectly answerable question, and would invite a broader scope of questions around board game design and publishing.

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  • That question isn't closed because it's off topic. It's closed because it's overly broad and (related) not clear what specifically they're asking for. – murgatroid99 Apr 21 '16 at 23:55
  • @murgatroid99 But it's not overly broad. It's a generally broad question that can be given a specific and comprehensive answer. – dwjohnston Apr 22 '16 at 0:58
  • I have edited the question to ask some more specific questions, and give an idea of what kind of answer I'm looking for. – dwjohnston Apr 22 '16 at 1:07
  • The problem now is that your question is very very broad. Each of those questions should probably be their own question, and not all rolled into one. – diego Apr 22 '16 at 1:58
  • @diego I'm happy to ask them as separate questions, but I imagine that other people won't be. – dwjohnston Apr 22 '16 at 2:28
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    I would also recommend asking separate questions. "Do publishers do manufacturing?" and "Do publishers design games?" can be asked and and answered independently, and we prefer to separate independent questions whenever possible. – murgatroid99 Apr 22 '16 at 2:40
  • If separated, I would still vote to close "What do board game publishers do?" as too broad, and "What is the difference between board game publishers?" as unclear. "What is the difference between apples?" is also an unclear question. "What is the difference between granny smith apples and red delicious apples?" is a clear, answerable question. – Rainbolt Apr 22 '16 at 13:45
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    @Rainbolt I was mostly talking about spinning off the bulleted questions, and any other similar ones they have. I agree the "What do board game publishers do?" and "What is the difference between board game publishers?" are both not good questions. – diego Apr 22 '16 at 14:30
  • @diego That's a great suggestion (I was responding to another comment, not yours). If each of the bulleted questions were supplemented with some amount of initial research, I think they would all make good questions. – Rainbolt Apr 22 '16 at 15:07
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Too Broad

Your question is vague and doesn't state a specific problem. Questions that ask for general knowledge (could be reframed as "I'd like to know XXX") are often too broad and can be closed for that reason. If it takes a book to properly answer, this isn't the place.

No Research

The question also demonstrates very little investigation on your part. A brief googling gave me tons of information. Most of the boardgames I've backed on Kickstarter contain updates with a lot of information from the designers & publishers. You may have some of this knowledge, but your question doesn't convey that.

If you demonstrate that you've done some initial research and focus your question on clarifying something that still confuses you, your odds of getting a good answer go up.

The XY Problem

It's also possible that you have a distinct problem in mind and believe that knowing more about game publishers is the missing piece you need to solve it. It's better to lead with the actual problem you are facing, we can then focus on helping you directly instead of trying to answer vague questions that probably won't give you the full answers you seek.

Some examples:

  • How can I get my game published?
  • How can I get a job with Asmodee or a similar game publisher?
  • How much do game publishers pay?
  • Is this typical? I sent my game to three publishers, two returned it unopened and the third offered me only a 3% royalty.
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I don't necessarily see the problem with your question. It's only a broad question if you go into every detail, which is not necessary to provide you with a useful answer.

The sad part about the answer is that a lot of the differences between publishers are based entirely on choice.
In the end, a publisher is just a brand that puts a name on a line of products so they have more leverage in the market. Whether or not they make or buy their pieces, make or buy their game concepts, and which terms and conditions they use for their partners, all depend on the choices they make.

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