Now it seems that the coronavirus pandemic has a beneficial effect on the gaming industry: people sit at home and play more than ever. However, in the future, the consequences of COVID-19 can hit small studios very painfully, the developers with whom PC Gamer talked are sure .
13AM Games is a 12-person studio in Toronto. In 2015, she launched the Runbow party game , and in 2019, the Double Cross platform game . In general, 13AM is pleased with its previous results, but she wants to grow, and for growth, she needs to release games more often, so the studio began to prepare two projects in parallel.
In 2021, 13AM is going to release a fighting game Dawn of Monstersabout giant monsters, and the studio wanted to bring its second project to E3 2020 in order to find a publisher for it. However, E3 was canceled, so 13AM was in a precarious position. Dawn of Monsters will be released, since a publisher has already been found for her, but what will happen next?
According to the head of 13AM, Alex Rushdy(Alex Rushdy), many publishers who were negotiating with the studio just stopped making contact. There may not be room for small games in the industry, because the financial situation is bad: now people still have savings, but in the coming months they will spend money more economically – a pandemic will deprive many of their stable earnings. This means that publishers will not take up adventurous small games from little-known teams.
Founder of Typhoon Studios (recently released Journey to the Savage Planet ) Alex Hutchinson believes that those companies that have successfully launched games right now can generate significant revenues, while those close to bankruptcy will drown due to the consequences of coronavirus – and there will be many.
The interlocutors of PC Gamer do not know when publishers will again agree to consider projects from small studios. Formerly, exhibitions and conferences like GDC and gamescom were perfect for such purposes, but they are either canceled or converted to the online format – indie developers have nowhere to go with their presentations.
Some suggest that, against this backdrop, independent developers will increasingly look for money on Kickstarter, Patreon, Fig.co and other public finance platforms. But how good these options turn out to be is unclear.
One of the developers PC Gamer talked to bitterly laughs: he founded his indie studio Poorly Timed Games a few months before the outbreak of coronavirus. Now the name “Poorly selected time” has acquired a new meaning.