Download 'price war' a threat to development

Download 'price war' a threat to development
Will Freeman

By Will Freeman

February 17th 2009 at 3:23PM

One-man studio blasts battle to deliver games for less

Speaking to Develop in an interview published today, the man behind Positech Games has lambasted what he describes as a 'price war' over downloadable games.

Cliff Harris runs the one-man UK independent studio which specialises in creating downloadable releases, and believes that controversial services like Amazon's Reflexive Portal threaten the quality of games and the commercial viability of niche titles.

"There’s a price war going on in downloadable games right now, started by Microsoft, continued by Steam and now Amazon," said Harris. "It seems like a good deal for gamers in the short run, but in the long run it might not be so great. If gamers start to expect every game to be $10, then developers can only make $10 games.

"That means killing off the niche stuff and making blander games, or it means less polish, less content and less depth.  People shouldn’t be afraid to pay $20 to $30 for decent games. Hour for hour, they are stupidly cheap forms of entertainment. Nobody expects all books to cost the same, and we shouldn’t expect it from games either."

To read the full interview, click here.