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UK games market grew 4.4% last year PS software revenue overtakes Nintendo From Butter Club to major international companies, why are game manufacturers doing this business?


Game-Time reports/Epic and Xbox will not spend money.

For small game developers, how to obtain enough funds and gain a foothold in the highly competitive red ocean market has always been a headache. Independent game developers have been able to rely on platform grants to stay afloat, but as Xbox and Epic Games begin to reduce the size of the deals they offer, the problem may become more difficult.

Regarding the above dilemma, the developers of “Slay the Spire” and “Darkest Dungeon” shared their views.

Mega Crit co-founder Casey Yano said at least five small independent teams he’s spoken to have complained about declining funding and weakening partnerships.“It sounds really disgusting, but luckily we self-funded it or I would have been very, very scared,” he said.

Chris Bourassa, co-founder of Red Hook Studios and creative director of Darkest Dungeon, pointed out that the size of Game Pass or Epic Games Store exclusive deals has significantly shrunk and has become less important to independent developers.

“The gold rush was over,” he said. “I’m from the Northwest and my hometown was on the gold fields, but then they discovered diamonds in the north. Maybe there’s another paradigm shift waiting for us, but I definitely think that, The deal sizes I’m hearing about are significantly (down) compared to those days of big swings. And certainly our partnership with Epic comes at the right time.”

Over the years, Microsoft has worked with hundreds of developers and publishers of all sizes to increase the number of Game Pass subscribers. Some companies spend millions, even hundreds of millions of dollars to have their games added to the XGP service at launch.

Xbox is ready to pay up to $300 million to add Star Wars Jedi: Survivors to Game Pass and even pay for Baldur’s Gate 3, according to an unredacted court document leaked from the FTC v. Microsoft case. 》 conducted a potential transaction valuation, but Microsoft, which was blind at the time, gave a budget of only US$5 million.

Epic Games also spends a lot of money to reach exclusive agreements with game developers. For example, it paid $210 million in minimum guarantees during the first wave of EGS exclusivity in August 2019. As a result, as of November 2023, the store is still unprofitable. Regarding this situation, the company believes that its total losses may reach US$965 million by 2027.

These deals help many independent developers secure revenue before their games are released. Even big corporate studios have opportunities to produce smaller, risky projects. Obsidian design director Josh Sawyer said that the existence of “Pentiment” benefits from Game Pass, which allows developers to not worry about return on investment.

However, some creators are skeptical of such services, with Dusk developer David Szymanski saying, “If it or any similar subscription service transcends the current store model, I’m sure it will be a known indie market.” The end.”

Either way, it looks like Xbox and Epic’s offers are getting less generous. Studios will have to find new ways to get funding and continue developing the game. In response to this situation, the creators of “Darkest Dungeon”, “Slay the Spire”, “Vampire Survivor” and other popular independent games recently jointly announced the Triple-i (triple independent game) plan, which will be held on April 10 for more than 30 games. A digital representation of the game.

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