How long to get a game on a Portal?

So how long does it take to get your first game on a portal? Well that’s not easy to answer as it largely depends on the portal. I can only speak from my experience but I’ve also heard similar things from other people. Oh yeah, this assumes that your game is actually good enough (i.e. complete, playable, polished, bug-free etc) and is the right subject matter (e.g. flowers/gems/cakes etc ;-))

So here’s a list of the actions that need to be taken with approximate timescales:

1) Email the portals – this can take 1 week to months before they even reply! Honest.
2) Exchanging and faxing/posting contracts etc. This is just boring admin that will take a few hours on your part (per portal) and a few more emails if you have any questions (thus more delays).
3) Packaging the game for portals and preparing docs and extra files. Again several hours per portal depending on your experience level. I picked the most complex portal requirements and made the supporting material for them first and then I was able to give the other portals subsets of that stuff.
4) Send the game to the portals and get acknowledgement that they have got it. Depends on how quickly they answer emails. Could be a week or more and you may need to chase them as well.
5) Portal does QA. Can take weeks. They may come back with Vista issues or Ctrl+Alt+Del issues or screensaver issues etc. Then you need to do the technical research to fix that (could take you an hour or two or *much* longer) and then resubmit for another QA = lengthy process.
6) Finally, they’ll make a slot for launching the game and will let you know when it’s coming out (hopefully – they don’t always tell you!). This could be a couple of weeks OR months depending on the portal and the time of year.

I don’t know what all that adds up to but in the best case it’s around a month and worst case … well … Sorry if that list sounds a bit negative. It is if you take it at face value, but remember that you are doing this to get your game out there to hundreds of thousands of people who would have never seen it (and had a chance to buy it) otherwise – this makes it a lot more positive and easy to stomach in my opinion 🙂

2 Responses to “How long to get a game on a Portal?”

  1. Tex Pine Says:

    Well, that sucks, and I think it could take 2 to 3 months. But once you have done it for the first game, I believe the process is much faster for the second. Am I wrong?

  2. Grey Alien Games Says:

    Yep, faster for the second because all contracts are in place, you know who to email, they know who you are, you know what sort of game related docs and other media they want, and you know to send them a finished/polished game so you don’t waste their time.