Microsoft Studios corporate vice president Phil Spencer believes that the rise of the digital marketplace for video games might actually save mid-tier developers from demise, according to a report today from VG 24/7.
In an interview with Official Xbox Magazine, Spencer said digital stores have been a “real savior” in the sense that studios no longer need to look to retail to sell their games.
“I think five to six years ago, there was a real concern that we were going to lose those mid-tier games because they maybe weren't games that could scale up to compete with Halo, Call of Duty, or GTA, and there was no other avenue for those games to actually find consumers,” Spencer said.
Within that half-decade, Spencer points out, has been the creation of the Apple App Store, Android marketplace and other digital stores “where a lot of those developers have gone, and there’s been some great games created for those devices.”
And now, with Microsoft’s indie development initiative ID@Xbox, those smaller studios can develop offline, single-player games that they can viably sell, Spencer said.
“The indie program that we're running –– Sony's obviously running an indie program –– we're opening up the stores more on console,” Spencer said. “And the nice thing is, I think consoles will now start to feel more like the other devices in terms of the breadth of content.”
Last month Vlambeer co-founder Rami Ismail said he believes Microsoft’s ID@Xbox program could have a tangible influence in the indie development scene, say for one important parity clause that could be a deal breaker.