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Digital delivery is "win-win" for devs and consumers - Brown

But pricing needs to be realistic, says the Team 17 boss; "It is possible to make good profit without screwing the consumer"

Team 17 studio director Martyn Brown has told GamesIndustry.biz he believes digital distribution offers a "win-win" situation to both games developers and their customers, since it delivers customers better value for money and grants developers higher royalties.

The retail market isn't disappearing, he pointed out, and developers also get the opportunity to quickly react to consumer demands and release episodic content when the market is ready for it.

"Generally-speaking everything's a lot more protected," he told GamesIndustry.biz in the second part of a two-part interview available now. "At the end of the day the consumer's paying a lot less as well, and we're earning more royalties - and it's digital delivery, so everybody's kind of win-win."

Digital pricing needs to be realistic though, the exec pointed out. "I think it is possible to make good profit without screwing the consumer."

Proving his point, Brown said the studio made sure the price point for Worms was a conservative one - resulting in both released Worms games entering the XBLA top ten after release.

"We argued pretty strongly with Microsoft about the price point for Worms... And we argue the price down, not up, because we saw the benefits in doing so - a larger volume means more people playing, populating the servers."

On the topic of the iPhone, Brown said it will decide how much focus to place on the platform depending on how its début Worms game is received.

"If Worms iPhone is a massive success, then it may ramp up our focus on that platform," said Brown. However he is sceptical of the current App Store model - "They've kind of got organised chaos at the moment".

This chaos extends to the pricing of iPhone games, he added, which is "a little Wild West at the moment." Worms will launch on the platform at GBP 2.99, but Brown admitted pricing would be more difficult on the platform if the studio was making a full, new game that required a larger team.

Nintendo has similar work to do too, believes Brown, when it comes to the way it's handling online gaming through WiiWare.

"I think there's a lack of maturity on the Nintendo side - there are, what, 30 or 40 million Wiis out there, but I'm not quite sure how many users are connected," Brown pointed out. "My theory on Nintendo in that because of the way they handle online gaming as a number, they're two steps away from social interaction - and the shopping experience isn't so great, either."

Despite this, Team 17 does have plans to develop for the platform and is currently talking to Nintendo about a title, revealed Brown, and he's hopeful the situation will improve.

"I think they know they've got to get a presence there because that's the way it's going," he concluded.

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