118 Things to Know About Running a Game Development Company 3 · Console manufacturers usually must give their approval of the concept for a game. · A manufacturer may choose to cancel a game at the QA stage, after significant development. · They can also cancel the game in its final form (though this is rare), or tell the publisher to go back and change it. · They actually manufacture the game. All of these approvals and processes take time, and a publisher has to factor those delays into its scheduling. #3 What they Have to do to Get Onto a Shelf In addition to other roles, the publisher provides the service of marketing and distributing the actual packaged product. Packaged product is usually sold to retailers directly or through a distributor (sort of like a catalog where the retailers shop). A retailer's help can make a big difference in a game's sales. For example, games placed at eye level on the shelf (children's or adults, as relevant) are more likely to grab a customer's attention than games placed at foot level. Retailers can include your game in their advertising circular, or place promotional posters in the store, or feature your game in a big display like an end-cap . Furthermore, retail real estate--often collectively known as shelf space --is a limited and very val- uable asset. A retailer can only carry so many games on the shelves it has allotted for games. A publisher's job is to get as much of that shelf space as it can, at the most desirable level, along with any other retailer support it can negotiate. How does a publisher get support from a retailer? Frequently, with cold hard cash--whether as MDF ("marketing development funds"), paying for advertising in the circulars, paying extra for pre- mium space and end-caps, and so on. This influence can only go so far. A retailer needs to get a certain return per square inch of shelf