Publishers "spend XBLA budgets" but expect "retail content"
Posted: 18.07.2011 11:06 by Simon Priest Comments: 0
Zoe Mode studio boss Paul Mottram says there's a "nervousness" among publishers as no one platform is leading the pack, like PS2 or Wii used to.

They're also expecting full retail-level content on digital budgets, and it's going to be "very hard" to make "games we want to make" unless it's addressed.

"It used to be that ten years ago, it was PS2," said Mottram, talking about a lead market position. "So you'd just do PS2 and then maybe some others." With no clear front runner publishers get jittery when parting with cash and 'expect too much'.

"But now we're finding that everyone is not knowing what platform is going to succeed - we did our first 3DS title - we got Crush onto that, but we had to delay the release of that because of the success of the platform."

"So it's hard for us because none of the platforms are dominant at the moment. The Wii is on the wane, obviously Zumba has done really well on that, and we hope we see some success there, but there's a nervousness which we're seeing from publishers who are traditionally funding some of our products," explained Zoe Mode's big cheese.

"With the move to digital, what I've seen is people wanting to spend XBLA budgets but expecting retail content. Unless we can address that it's going to be very hard for us to deliver the games we want to make."

Mottram's favourite platform is the iPad. "I pretty much do all my gaming these days on my iPad, and I never thought that would happen. I'm spending more on games on that, even at 59p, than I was on retail games at €80 or something. Now I'm spending £25 a month on getting games every day just to see what they're doing. I think that's good."

David Amor of Relentless Software concurs that low priced apps and browser-based games are an opportunity for the industry - tapping a greater audience.

"I like the fact that being able to play games in your browser and on your phone appears to have enabled a much larger audience," said Amor. "I'm sure that most people didn't buy their PC to play Farmville, and that most people didn't buy iPhones to play Angry Birds. But now they have them, we have a wider market."

"So should we be sore that there's a wider proliferation of platforms to be working on? Well, no, because with that came a whole new section of people to be making games for."
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