Going alone 'can be too much a burden for small studios'

Indie self-publishing has lost its shine – EA

Enthusiasm for self-publishing has gradually lost momentum in the digital era, a key executive at EA has said.

Roger Walkden, the business development director at EA Partners, believes many independent studios are again keen to cooperate with publishers on platforms such as Facebook and iPhone. The reason, he said, is because the effort required to publish a game has been overlooked by indies trying to do everything on their own.

“Two, three or four years ago there was a lot of buzz about self-publishing,” he said.

“Since then, what’s happened is developers have realised that when they have to do self-publishing, they actually have to do publishing, which is harder than it looks.”

Speaking at a panel session at the Develop Conference, Walkden later clarified that indies can still become successful through self-publishing. But, he said, the extra burden of localisation, marketing and product research can prove too big for a small studio.

These tasks can get in the way of what developers do best, he added.

Walkden’s views were echoed by Chris Charla, the portfolio director for Xbox Live Arcade, who said, “if you want to be a great developer, you don’t want to think about publishing. With freedom comes more of a responsibility to decide where to go.”

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