Long-time game industry rabble-rouser Greg Costikyan, and grizzled veteran games journalist Johnny Wilson want a revolution. For years, both men have been fighting for the future of independent gaming, where small-time developers and publishers would not be denied a voice due to a lack of funding. On September 28, the duo took up arms and created Manifesto Games.
According to their press release ( see http://manifestogames.com for more details), Manifesto Games is to be a distribution channel for “truly independent, original content from creators without publisher funding; the best PC games from smaller PC game publishers…and niche MMOs.”
Games will be distributed via direct download, in an effort to bypass major retailers, who “can only carry best-sellers.” They hope to foster a true independent game development sector that can thrive without the financial backing of the major games publishers, which, the press release states, “consider any title that sells fewer than 1 million copies to be a failure.”
According to Costikyan, “historically, the major hits, the titles that have
expanded the industry to new markets and created new audiences have been highly innovative.” Such titles that are now household names, such as the Doom series, the Sims series, and others, were created from what were then small companies (id, Maxis, etc.) that were below the radar of mainstream gaming. Costikyan and Wilson hope to foster the same kind of innovation with Manifesto Games, because, in their words, “it’s not going to happen if we leave it to the large publishers.”