Game Development Reference
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Figure 10-4: Google Chrome Store for games
This is definitely true, although in the short term, the biggest beneficiaries of this move will probably be the
established developers. To grow these new app markets, the major players (Google and Microsoft, for starters)
will continue turning to the Angry Birds of the world, offering them exclusive or preferred deals. (This has
already happened with the Chrome Store.) For that reason, it's quite possible that the web game market will gen-
erally resist this trend toward web apps, because it adds several additional steps to the gaming process, which
they've come to expect to be seamless and friction-free. In addition, much of the web game market audience
is made up of minors, so any kind of pay wall may meet extreme resistance. Although Annal is right that app
stores are a major opportunity, the converse is also probably true. Competing against app stores—offering sim-
ilar games with less friction—is a great opportunity for web game developers too.
The Rise of Indie Development Funds
“I expect to see a billion-dollar fund [for indie game developers] sometime this year,” says Billy Pidgeon.
“Many publishers and investors see huge talent potential in independent developers,” Pidgeon says. “Nearly
every large publisher has publicly announced millions in funding regularly available for small developers.”
He notes that major publishers like Nexon are providing office space and other resources for indie folks,
whereas “Electronic Arts and Ubisoft are first investing in independent developers with work for hire and then
buying indies and giving them creative autonomy and accesses to resources [marketing, IT, and so on] to enable
the rapid scale necessary to support a small game going big.” Add to this the rise of companies like Swiss-based
Digital Capital with a new publishing model, “where investors pay an indie developer's creative overhead for a
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