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Sega veterans form publisher-agency hybrid Alibi Games

Co-founders discuss their plans to create a sustainable company and how they want to champion indie developers

Sega veterans Jarvis Crofts, Luke Greenaway, and Mark Dallamore have formed a new publisher-agency hybrid, Alibi Games.

Based in London, Alibi Games draws on the three co-founders' experiences in production, publishing, and more to help support developers in pitching and publishing games. spoke with two of its founders, CEO Jarvis Crofts and CSO Luke Greenaway, about the formation of Alibi and why they believe a publisher agency hybrid is a sustainable way forward in the industry.

Alibi formed at the beginning of last year after Greenaway looked back at his time working in the music industry. He noted the importance of scouting in that industry, and wondered why it wasn't of bigger importance in games.

"You live and die by the success of your titles, the same way record labels do with their artists," he notes. "I had that idea in my head for a while, and when I left PTW I thought, 'You know what, I'm going to build this out."

Jarvis Crofts, Alibi CEO

"It's obviously incredibly challenging because there is no science to making successful games, and I think publishers struggle to be sustainable because innately they almost feel like hedge funds," Greenaway continues. "You have to have a quantity to balance the successes from those that aren't going to succeed. And I think the way we looked at it was actually, you can do this better."

Crofts, Greenaway, and Dallamore have over thirty years of experience in the games industry. Crofts worked at Sega for a decade, moving from a junior to senior position on the publishing side before moving to Curve Games to head up portfolio and strategy.

Dallamore worked at Sega for six years as a project lead and product launch executive, with further experience in product development. Greenaway worked at Sega for two years before moving outside the industry working in music software, media and business development. He then returned to the industry as director of commercial strategy at PTW before founding ECI Games.

Greenaway adds that publishing is high risk, which is why he wants Alibi to stay small and to be selective about the developers it works with and the games it signs. That way, the team can pour their focus onto a select few and help them succeed. So far, Greenaway says that the developers they've spoken with have been "very receptive" to that.

"Our approach is that we're not necessarily pursuing representation super proactively – it's more of an emergent thing," Crofts adds. "Our objective first and foremost is to meet great developers. If there's a great game there and a mutual desire for us to work together, we'll ensure there's a way for us to work together no matter what.

Luke Greenaway, Alibi CSO

"So if we can sign a title and publish it, brilliant, let's do it. If our slate is full but the team wants to work with us, we can help represent or consult them, help them self-publish and get this stuff built up. It's really about maximising and being really efficient with the limited focus that we have."

Greenaway agrees that efficiency is the key to being sustainable in this industry, which Crofts says is at the core of what they hope to achieve with Alibi.

"If you're speaking to a developer and you don't sign a game, you've still invested a lot of time and resources into that negotiation," he explains. "Whereas for us, we can pivot into representation and consultancy and maintain that relationship and still generate revenue. But, more importantly, we can help a developer take their game to market through publishing partners."

For Crofts, this is what sets Alibi apart in such a competitive space among other publishers and agencies.

"It's all about being a smart first contact for developers to reach out to, and hopefully that gives us opportunities to help games really early to make sure their pitches are the best and make sure they get the best funding and release opportunities."

Greenaway adds that what separates Alibi from other companies is its small team, and how it can be laser-focused on giving constructive feedback.

"I know it's cheesy in a way, but one of the reasons we set Alibi up is that we often have those conversations of 'Why hasn't anyone made this game?'," he says. "And then you think about it, it probably has but no one's seen it and they haven't been given the guidance. That's what separates us from other agencies, as well as our ability to fully fund the title as well.

"It's about maximising and being really efficient with the limited focus that we have"

Jarvis Crofts

"So it's really the developer's choice of how they work with us, rather than Alibi being an agency that will take your game to several publishers and just get you a deal. We can sign your title, we can help you achieve this part better and guide you through the process. For developers the legal side and the contracts are quite daunting – they don't want to focus on that. They want someone to assist them so they can make their game."

As for the sort of developers Alibi intends to focus on, the co-founders are passionate about championing indie developers and giving them the support they need to succeed in the industry.

"I feel like these developers are the vanguard of creativity in this industry," Greenaway notes. "The accessibility for indie developers now has never been greater. We really want to work with them and give them a better platform, provide them with the opportunity to succeed."

Crofts adds: "We love mechanically deep, system driven games, and the great thing about these games is they're not asset-intensive or massively multiplayer. The best games in these segments are often from individuals or small teams, so it's mutually beneficial and that's a really sustainable model to have right now. Especially when you're looking for smaller titles because capital is really difficult without compromising games that size."

Greenaway describes this sustainable approach as "liberating" as it enables them to be selective about the titles they pick and not worry about how they're going to achieve revenue objectives.

"We have a responsibility as publishers to be sustainable and to ensure that we're not letting people go or cancelling projects. These are people's dreams and their passion"

Luke Greenaway

"We can select the games we want to work on, which allows us to be liberal and work with the developers that we really want to work with," he explains.

However, he also feels that sustainability as a whole in the industry is a long way off.

"We're quite open with our model, because we just want the industry to improve," he says. "We can see our model being replicated by other people, but the irony is that while sustainability is so far off, opportunities for indie developers are so accessible – it's never been better. There are so many brilliant games and so many people working in the industry and so much creativity.

"I think we have a responsibility as publishers to be sustainable and to ensure that we're not letting people go or cancelling projects. These are people's dreams and their passion."

Update: Alibi Games has reached out to to clarify a few of its comments, which have been amended in the article

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Sophie McEvoy avatar
Sophie McEvoy: Sophie McEvoy is a Staff Writer at She is based in Hampshire and has been a gaming & entertainment journalist since 2018.
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