Sega Announces Sega Alliance, a New Publishing Initiative which Helps Indie Developers
Sega, the well-known videogame developer and publisher seems to be taking a cue from publishers such as Chillingo and helping indie game studios find their footing in what is otherwise seen as an uncertain market. The initiative, called the Sega Alliance, will assist independent developers with creative consultation, marketing, production, localization, and distribution tasks. The first independent studio to get the special support from Sega is Owlchemy Labs, the developers behind Smuggle Truck and Snuggle Truck for iOS, Mac, and PC.
The latest game Owlchemy Labs released is called Jack Lumber. The game stars Jack, a “lumberjack with an axe to grind.” Apparently a tree killed his grandmother and he is out for revenge, against the trees. The game is currently on sale in the iTunes App Store for a price of $0.99 but will increase to $1.99 after a limited time.
Sega plans to help nurture a small number of titles from a select number of hand-picked developers each year. The publisher plans to promote the independent developers as much as the Sega brand itself, all while giving credit where credit is due. According to Ethan Einhorn, the director of developer relations at Sega of America, “Sega Alliance is a project that was started to help great developers cut through the clutter of digital storefronts and find an audience.” The publisher’s plan is similar to scope to Sony’s own Pub Fund, a $20 million investment. Sony’s fund has seen the release of Papo & Yo on the PlayStation Network, as well as the upcoming beat-em-up game called Guacamelee! The iOS gaming publisher, Chillingo, has also seen quite a bit of success by supporting independent developers as they create more polished games and help distribute and market them to consumers.
The initiative as a whole is likely to help create iOS games that hopefully many consumers will like. We’ll just have to wait and see in the long run. It’s certain good news for hardworking independent game developers.