September 28, 2005

An Egg for Indie Games’ Chicken (Costikyan)

by Andrew Stern · , 1:42 pm

This morning I was just hopping over to Greg Costikyan’s site to grab a link from a recent post of his about game industry revenues, to bolster a comment I was making here about Chris Crawford, and to my surprise found that Greg’s friendly blue palette was replaced by a revolutionary red! (Well, hot pink.) The reason?

Game industry veterans Greg Costikyan and Johnny Wilson announced today that they are joining forces to launch Manifesto Games, a new venture to build a strong and viable independent game industry. Its site will offer independently-developed games for sale via direct download–a single place where fans of offbeat and niche games can find “the best of the rest,” the games that the retail channel doesn’t think worth carrying. Three types of games will be offered: truly independent, original content from creators without publisher funding; the best PC games from smaller PC game publishers, including games in existing genres like wargames, flight sims, and graphic adventures; and niche MMOs. … Manifesto expects to begin carrying original content by early 2006.

The above is from Manifesto’s press release. And, Greg is sort of “open sourcing” the process of running the startup. From the blog:

I will be posting various documents here, up to and including the business plan and financials (when I’m happier with them); and I’ll be talking about the whole process of fund-raising, site development, business development, and so on. This should, I think, be interesting for anyone who wants to understand what entrepreneurs do, what issues they face, and how they solve (or try to solve) problems; this is normally stuff that all happens behind closed doors, and I think it will be interesting to make it public.

Alright! Exciting. I like to believe that the cream of the crop of indie games that have been ignored by retail publishers can make for a viable business, and with organizations like Manifesto, it will spur more indie development of course.

On GTxA we haven’t yet had a discussion about Greg’s recent Escapist article, a sort of enhanced version of his GDC rant from last March. But now that he’s acting on his words, there’ll be a lot more to talk about and follow! Bravo, Greg.

2 Responses to “An Egg for Indie Games’ Chicken (Costikyan)”

  1. michael Says:

    Very cool! Johnny Wilson, who’s now based in the Atlanta area, visited the Experimental Game Lab last December. Had a great chat with him, and got some feedback on the then early-beta of Facade. He talked about the stagnation in the game industry, the need for more innovation, and had some very kind words about Facade in particular and the EGL in general. We definitely need to invite him back to the EGL to talk about his new venture with Greg.

  2. andrew Says:

    Here’s an interview with Greg with a few more details.

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