Digital Distro for Indie Game Developers

Posted by Ilya Malinsky :: Digital Distribution

RetailvideogamesGot a great idea for a new major console game? Well, unless it’s based on a previously successful game, features licensed film characters, or is a socially immersive ultra-violent role player, chances are slim that it’ll ever see its way through development in the current studio climate. The rising costs of producing a new retail game (which include store promotion, advertising, packaging/shipping, and lavish, ice sculpture-filled release parties) have made major studios more risk-averse than ever before. It’s a model that’s currently plaguing the mainstream music industry as well. However, unlike an indie video game, an album produced in a small basement studio is still playable on any high-fidelity Sony audio system.

Ste Pickford, game development veteran and founder of ‘virtual publisher’ Zee-3, provides some insight into the current plight of the independent game developer in this interview. Digital distribution, says Pickford, is the only way for smaller developers to stay competitive in the marketplace. Internet-based game portals such as Xbox Live have the potential of being the next iTunes Music Store, but Pickford says access to the major systems is still heavily controlled by corporate gatekeepers.

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