Blitz doubts self-publishing dream

Oliver suggests platform holders want too much money from indies looking to publish digitally

Andrew Oliver, chief technical officer of UK developer Blitz, has poured cold water on the idea that independent developers can enjoy a bigger profit by self-publishing games on services such as the PlayStation Network, Wii Ware or Xbox Live Arcade.

Although Oliver would not not clarify whether he was talking about one service in particular, he suggested that format holders may not be so keen to entice independent studios to their services.

"There's some funny politics around all of that, to do with digital downloads," he said, speaking exclusively to "They're not so inviting as they make out to be."

Blitz is currently working with Namco Bandai on Invincible Tiger, a 3D title for Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network.

When asked whether he thought format holders want too much money from developers looking to self-publish, he replied "Yes. It's not public knowledge. We can make more money going through a publisher."

The idea of self-publishing content has tempted a lot of independent developers to digital downloads, keen to cut out publishers and get closer to the consumer.

UK teams such as Team 17, which will publish a new Alien Breed on home console, and Buzz house Relentless, which is working on a brand new social title, have both embraced the idea of publishing directly on home consoles.

Last week, Sony revealed it plans to match the development costs of a select number of titles for the PlayStation Network, in return for exclusivity.

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Latest comments (4)

Martyn Brown Managing Director, Insight For Hire7 years ago
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Rupert Loman Founder & CEO, Gamer Network7 years ago
Yeah, very odd. How can you cut out retail, manufacturing, publishing, physical distribution etc - as well as getting some free marketing - and still not make it stack up? Most platforms will give you 70% of revenue, seems pretty good to me!
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Martyn Brown Managing Director, Insight For Hire7 years ago
If it's the right quality title, at the right price then there's every chance to have good success with reduced risk and IP ownership. There are opportunities for indies to do their own thing, especially on something like iPhone.

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Mat Bettinson Business Development Manager, Tantalus Media7 years ago
Strikes me if you self publish the risk is yours, you're fronting the dev costs. The actual cost to dev on the platforms well... that's nonsense isn't it, the revenue split is very good as Rupert says.

As a pure business decision, the publisher route is attractive because once they've agreed to publish your game they are essentially paying your costs and your profit without needing to rely on a given level of sales.

That's the biggest question any indy has to ask. Can we be sure that our game will sell on the service? The answer has as much to do with how you're presented on the service (featured on iPhone for example) as the quality of game.

Not all of us have awesome own IP lying around like Mr Brown here :-)
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