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Rebellion: Digital distribution is "fascinating" opportunity

But developer will continue boxed product plans, while an MMO is possible later

Jason Kingsley, CEO and creative director of one of Europe's most successful independent developers - Rebellion - has told that he considers the new opportunities presented by the console-based digital distribution platforms "fascinating" - and hinted that the company might make some changes to experiment more in that area.

"The rise of console digital distribution is a real challenge, it's fascinating - what do clients want?" he asked during an interview at Game Connection in Lyon last week.

"We've been looking at digitally distributing 2000AD, and that's worked quite well as an experiment. It's made us some money, and we want to do more around that.

"I'm also very keen on the studio maintaining a certain output of original things, so we're looking at the smaller-scale platforms - the XBLA, PSN, that kind of area. The trouble is, I can't find any spare resource to actually do them, so every time we come up with some ideas, we realise we don't have any coders or artists free - they're all working on other projects.

"So we're looking at that, and we've got a couple of ideas on how we can actually manage that process and try and make it work."

But if that change happens, it won't spell the end of boxed product developments at Rebellion: "At the same time our biggest clients are traditional boxed product clients, and they sell hugely, in vast numbers," he revealed. "The Simpsons Game sold hugely well, and all the other titles have sold well, so we're not going to turn our back on those, because it's brilliant.

"But there are opportunities for other things, for quirky little ideas that might come off that no major client is going to want to commission, because it's too small of an idea to really make it to a full price title - but it might work perfectly as a little clever gameplay idea that will amuse somebody for an hour or two, but it will never carry a game all the way through for 20 or 30 hours of gameplay."

Kingsley also hinted that Rebellion might consider one day working on an MMO, possibly utilising the company's 2000AD license.

"The MMO market is really intriguing, and we keep looking at it and thinking, 'Bloody Hell, that's potentially fantastic,' said Kingsley.

"And given that we've got quite a lot of intellectual property, an MMO of maybe Mega-City One might be fascinating, with Judges and Perps and all that sort of stuff - it might be a perfect opportunity.

"But getting to grips with it, it's a fairly specialist area, and it's higher risk than making ordinary games. We're just not in the market for taking that kind of extreme risk yet. Yet... But who knows, stuff changes."

The full interview with Jason Kingsley, in which he also talks about the economic conditions, is available now.

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