"We’re the only medium that lacks an alternate distribution system. All we have is boxed games sold at retail. This is changing a little. But think about our competition for your entertainment dollar. First run, broadcast, reruns, DVDs.. you name it. hardback, paperback, e-book. Theatre release, pay-per-view, video, DVD. We put our thing on the shelf at Wal-Mart, it sells or it doesn’t, and OMG you just blew 10m dollars. The publishers not respecting developers, this is not the problem. We have a flawed distribution model. There are very few ways of getting a game done these days. Developers.. why should we get a huge return? We’re taking some of the risk, but the $10m, the marketing space, the retail space all belong to someone else. We have winner-take-all business that carries a lot of risk. So .. we have to find alternative sources of funding. Chris Crawford used to rant about how we need patrons.. I don’t care if it’s wealthy patrons, I don’t care what it IS, but it’s critical that we divorce funding from distribution.
We need alternative forms of distribution too. I’m not saying publishers suck, although I do believe that in many cases. [laughter] If the plane went down who would care about the marketing guys? We need another way of getting games out there and in players' hands. If any of you bought half life 2 at Wal-Mart, please just leave the room. Has everyone bought Bioware’s online modules? JUST BUY THEM, OK, even if you don’t have the original games! We HAVE to get games into gamers’ hands. So I’m not saying publishers are evil.. if we do all this and go direct to our consumers with games funded some OTHER way than EA or whoever.. we’ll keep more of the money.. we have to find someone to pay for it and find a buyer after. We need Sundances. Independent Film Channel. Equivalents of those. Just try to find some way of funding your stuff that doesn’t come from a publisher."
Graham forwarded me this on Friday, and it's been all over the games feeds and blogs since, but I didn't get a chance to read it until now. Interesting stuff. Angry, angry people.
I've quoted Spector just because it made an interesting compare and contrast between what I rememebred him saying at a previous GDC, where his speech was on developers not worrying that they're working on a licence and just concentrating on creating the best licences they can.
Something's changed here.
Oh - and another quote which nails a central issue for next generation, this time from game designer Greg Costikyan: "Those budgets and teams ensure the death of innovation".
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