It must be incredibly difficult to be an Indie game developer. Pouring your heart and soul (and potentially second mortgage) into a game, only to be told it's 'not what publishers are looking for right now', must be heartbreaking. But that's exactly what Hello Games heard when they were looking for someone to publish awesome PSN title Joe Danger. Well, almost exactly. Check out this list of reasons that programmer Sean Murray (speaking at Develop) said were given as rebuffs from top publishers in the industry when Joe Danger was pitched to them:
“Name me one popular game with motorbikes”
”Collecting giant coins feels unrealistic to me”
”I can see this working as a Facebook app”
”We love the theme, but with a different game”
”We believe the iPhone will be largely unsupported”
”Can Joe be a monkey? We like monkeys”
Amazing, isn't it? It's reminiscent of those adverts for mobile phone network Orange that you see in the cinema where they shoehorn their own agenda into any pitch for a movie script. But this is real life.
At least the good news is that once Hello Games got the game onto PSN, Joe was a hit, selling 50,000 copies in its first week. Better still, that success story is likely to get even sweeter as more people hear about the game's awesomeness through word of mouth (and all our features about it). However, there is one last rebuff recounted by Murray that worries us more than a little:
”We want games that are less about fun right now”
Is there any hope for our industry?
17 Jul, 2010