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XBLA is "so conservative"

"Door is closed", says indie dev.

Zee-3's co-creator Ste Pickford believes that digital distribution services like Xbox Live Arcade are still too conservative and inaccessible for independent developers.

"Potentially, for people like us it's brilliant, but at the moment I think the door is closed," he told GamesIndustry.biz in a recent interview. "There are very few people allowed to release games and I think it really comes down to who you know, and whether you're friends with the gatekeeper at Microsoft."

Increased development costs for next-generation titles, he believes, are forcing studios to rely more heavily on publishers' vast coffers, decreasing the amount of independent games being created.

For his UK studio, making his games available for download isn't just another option, it's a necessity.

"For us it's not just the best way of getting a game out, it's the only way. I think it's a great thing and I think it'll replace retail," he added. "The cost of development is just too high to compete as a business any more."

However, there's light at the end of the tunnel and he believes there's room for smaller budget games to co-exist with AAA titles in the next-generation.

"The rise in Internet distribution, indie games and things like XBLA has opened the door again and allowed smaller budget games to exist and succeed."

Head over to GamesIndustry.biz to read the full interview.

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Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.

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