A bold new publisher owned by developers is to be run by Andy Payne.
He will step away from his day-to-day duties at Mastertronic to lead the outfit currently called ‘The Games Consortium’.
The Consortium is designed to build an operation for UK developers to publish their games digitally, and perhaps at retail too, by pooling their resources.
Eight studios will be allowed to buy into the initiative by taking a £20k stake each, with some funds also supplied by skills and innovation agency NESTA, which devised the scheme.
Drawing together a group of talented studios should help attract better investment at a time when publishers are entrenched in internally-made games and external investment is thin on the ground.
It will also allow for sharing of knowledge and best practices – and thus help support UK businesses overall.
“There hasn’t been enough of small independent developers holding on to their IP and exploiting it outside of iPhone, and a few hits on PSN or XBLA,” Payne told MCV.
“When there has, they’ve been bought by someone else, usually American – all that means is that the IP goes off to some tax haven. That brings the long-term viability of our industry into question.
“This approach can help keep ownership in Britain, help grow businesses here through collaboration, and spread the risk by letting a studio share its experience with seven other developers.”
Payne’s first duty as leader of the new publisher consortium is to pick the eight studios, with a deadline for submissions on February 14th, before working with the group to establish a publishing brand for the group to collectively use when it comes to promoting games to the public.
Added Payne: “This is a noble approach in terms of its aspirations, but ultimately our aim is to make money and release some successful games.”