Saw this sad news this morning that Manifesto games, fronted by long-time and storied game designer Greg Costikyan, is shutting down.
I’ll owe a debt to Greg and his partners for starting Manifesto, even though I never had a game on there. To me, their effort was an energizing symbol of the potential of indie games. I wrote Greg around then and asked if they were looking for money – he told me thanks, that they were, but that it would be incredibly risky to invest with them at that point. In retrospect, he was obviously right… but I didn’t care much about a return; I just wanted to tangibly show my support. In the end I should probably thank him for warning me off – that money is essentially being used to build Heritage.
Greg’s post is worth reading – he notes that while indie games have taken off since they started Manifesto, a great deal of that success is on proprietary channels like XBLA, WiiWare, and PSN, and the iPhone app store. I agree completely with his assertion that the continued viability of indie games requires breaking out of these walled gardens – otherwise we’ll see a repeat of the commoditization that has occurred in the casual games channels – and hell, is occurring right now in the iPhone app store.
Thanks for fighting the good fight, guys. I wish you the best of luck with all your future endeavors.