Schafer: Indies Moving Away from XBLA/PSN due to Costs — Patches Run $40,000
Double Fine head Tim Schafer, who recently raised eleventy zillion dollars for a retro adventure game through Kickstarter, recently said in an interview with Hookshot Inc that indie developers are moving away from “closed” console download services like Xbox Live Arcade and the Playstation Network. Exorbitant patch costs and complex procedures make platforms like Steam and even self-publishing increasingly attractive options.
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. [XBLA & the PSN], as great as they are, are 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.
Steam’s success speaks for itself; it has provided indie developers with a tried and tested platform to reach a huge audience. If you were developing a game and given the choice, would you pick XBLA, the PSN, or Steam as a platform?