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8. Re: Evening Consolidation Apr 12, 2011, 01:19 Evil Timmy
zirik: You might think so, but if they're squeezing every ounce of performance out of current hardware just to keep up in the eyes of their screenshot-nitpicking audience, that's where their focus will be. And since those visuals have been mostly stalled for well over a year, standards are high, and trading off graphical fidelity for something unproven in moving units (added dialogue, more complex rules and systems, in-depth story) in the home stretch of these consoles' lifespans is unlikely.

Even on the ever-shifting PC, with barriers of entry so minimal as to be virtually non-existent, it takes small European teams and random individuals to explore strange breakthroughs that don't precisely cleave to existing genre definitions (Space Rangers 2, Minecraft, Amnesia, Battle Slots, thousands more). The gaming industry doesn't seem to have an analogue to Fox Searchlight or Focus Features, that takes promising independent work and helps polish it up for a somewhat broader audience. Steam may let you earn money on those games once they're done, but they provide no support to get you to that point. The major publishers might be wise to fund something like that, where the successes can still be great but they can throw low six figures at an existing project and use their distribution network to bring it to a much wider audience. At worst, they hired new blood for an extended interview; at best, they've got a runaway hit and the start of a new development studio. It could even have more hidden benefits, like being able to retain more staff after a big project by shifting them to/between smaller teams as needed.
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