The game Sour Patch Kids: World Gone Sour was made by Beefy Media directly for Kraft. While Capcom was involved in some marketing aspects of the game, the head of Reed Smith's Video Game Practice Patrick Sweeney thinks that there's some concern for traditional publishers.
"In some cases, yes....These are potential revenue-generating opportunities that publishers may not have a chance to profit from," said Sweeney. "But, realistically, a lot of publishers would not have wanted to invest in many of these projects anyway. That being said, this is symptomatic of a larger issue that should be concerning to some. Regardless of whether the game is brand-based, the ability to bring a game to market without a publisher ought to be concerning to many publishers."
"I think every brand is going to have a different perspective, but the major factor is the relatively lower production cost and barrier to entry to reach the consumer," he added. "Games like these are not $50 million investments and there is not the risk of dealing with a warehouse full of inventory. Independent games have to manage the process with digital platforms, but its a much different level of commitment."
Read the full interview on [a]list.