Tim Schafer is in the news again; this time it’s not directly about him making bajillions of monies through Kickstarter, but rather it’s some interesting information that was divulged thanks to interview between him and website Hookshot Inc. That interview, however, stems from his Kickstarter success story and bajillions of monies anyway.
Schafer was justifying his renewed interest in the indie development scene when he dropped this particular titbit of information. He says that this is one of the reasons why closed-system, online shopfronts are losing their appeal; he didn’t specifically name them, but it’s pretty obvious that he’s referring to Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network.
According to Schafer, the “indie community is now moving elsewhere; we’re figuring out how to fund and distribute games ourselves, and we’re getting more control over them.”
Highlighting his point, Schafer made specific reference to the costs incurred by releasing a simple update patch to a game via networks like Microsoft’s Xbox Live and Sony’s PlayStation Network:
“Those systems as great as they are, they’re still closed. You have to jump through a lot of hoops, even for important stuff like patching and supporting your game. Those are things we really want to do, but we can’t do it on these systems. I mean, it costs $40,000 to put up a patch – we can’t afford that! Open systems like Steam, that allow us to set our own prices, that’s where it’s at, and doing it completely alone like Minecraft. That’s where people are going.”
Not that that’s just for a patch release; that’s not even downloadable content or odds and ends like Avatar props and t-shirts. Yeah, that puts things into perspective a bit, doesn’t it?