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Redundancies can help fuel indie innovation - Oliver

Rolando developer sees silver lining as more talent form start-ups following lay-offs

Simon Oliver of Rolando developer Hand Circus has said that studio closures and redundancies can have a positive impact on the industry by encouraging talented teams to start their own studios.

Speaking as part of today's interview with, Oliver pointed out that having groups of highly skilled individuals suddenly finding themselves with time and money on their hands can result in innovative and daring new start-ups forming, much as it did after the collapse of GRIN in Sweden.

"Obviously, a lot of large studios have made some quite significant redundancies - so some of those people who have had redundancy settlements, and time on their hands, alongside a network of great people, made a decision to pursue development," Oliver said.

But as optimistic as Oliver is about closures and redundancies, he does concede that other factors have helped to fuel the recent boom in high-quality indie titles.

"I think that certainly the new platforms have done a lot to help. The iPhone was certainly a trailblazer in that respect. The barrier to entry was so absurdly low. At the same time, when the 360 and PS3 came onto the scene, you could really purchase downloadable console games for the first time.

"As that continued to create a market for other consumers to buy different games, that in its own right has increased confidence.

"I think the appetite for developers to create something has grown as they've seen the success of titles like Braid, World of Goo. Some of the headlines that came out at the time of the launch of the App Store, people making huge sums of money, from very small teams, I think that has, for better or worse, made a lot of people quit their day jobs."

For a full picture of Simon Oliver's views, including new opportunities, Gameloft's hypocrisy and the state of the App Store, read the full interview on the front page now.

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