From 2008 until 2011 Blitz Games Studios has been actively supporting the indie development community with our Blitz 1UP programme, which was designed to help indie developers with the creation, testing and distribution of their titles.
We’ve had some great successes during our time working on this initiative, but unfortunately we haven’t consistently reached the levels of success we had hoped to, and sadly we have now closed the programme to new applications.
There've been some fantastic games, and more are still in the pipeline, but unfortunately having a great game isn't always enough. We’ve enjoyed working with every single developer that has applied to the programme but one problem that has repeatedly caused frustration is that in order to succeed every game needs a big investment in marketing and the Blitz 1UP programme simply didn’t have the resources to cater to that need. So, while we know that the services we provided were useful to everyone we worked with, we understand that they didn’t provide exactly what developers needed to guarantee success.
The other issue we have had is with the portals we have worked with. Steam have just under 90% of the digital download market in the areas of the market that most of our partners have been targeting. Getting their approval on indie games is difficult and their decision making process can often appear quite random. Even when we have succeeded in getting games on to Steam they’ve often only stayed on the dashboard for a few days before disappearing into the indie games section, which results in a massive drop in sales. You could argue that better marketing support would also help here, but for developers who don’t get a shot on Steam it’s pretty much game over before they’ve even started.
So what does this mean for our partners going forward? We’ll be continuing to work with them to bring the remaining games we have signed up to market in the best way we can. However, we’ve also been helping to create something that will address the shortcomings of Blitz 1UP and provide indie developers with a platform where they stand a much fairer chance of success – and that platform is IndieCity.com.
The Blitz 1UP website will remain in place with to highlight all of the games we’ve helped, however, all of the games will also be appearing on IndieCity.com. We hope our fans, testers and developer friends will support IndieCity.com with as much enthusiasm as they have had for the Blitz 1UP programme.
We believe that IndieCity represents the solution to the digital distribution issues we’ve encountered during the lifetime of Blitz 1UP. It’s a rallying point for indie fans to gather and discover great indie games. It doesn’t rely on top 10 lists of what’s hot or what’s selling (we’re creating an Amazon-style recommendation engine that will tailor the front page to each individual). It will also provide powerful community tools through blogs, forums, achievements and global leaderboards to help keep indie fans coming back for more. We’ll be doubling down to ensure that it’s a roaring success.
So this is it for Blitz1UP… but please do join us at IndieCity.com.