June 1st, 2012 | By Richard Glenn
A revolution is afoot in the wind. Well, it was, anyway, thanks to ex-Digital Chocolate chief executive and Electronic Arts founder Trip Hawkins.
In an article written by Venture Beat’s Dean Takahashi, it was revealed that Hawkins, having resigned last week from his post at the mobile and casual game developers, had laid out tentative plans for forge a symbiotic alliance with a number of other small independent developers, working towards the ultimate aim of keeping his would-be allies afloat in the face of such colossal casual game monoliths as Zynga and Electronic Arts. Operating under the guise of FreeGameLeaders, the partnership would have overseen the introduction of a scheme in which members could publish their games online, whilst encouraging the promotion of traffic to each developer’s websites.
The news should come as little surprise to readers who have followed Hawkins’ exploits over the past year. In 2011, he claimed that large gaming distribution platforms, particularly the App Store and Facebook, were stifling the commercial interests of small development studios as a result of the imposition of 30% selling fees for in-game microtransactions. As a consequence, Hawkins suggested that independent video game creators ought to work towards the foundation of a royalty-free distribution platform, a move that he asserted would inspire developers of all sizes to sell their wares without fear of falling foul of hidden financial loopholes.
Hawkins’ plans have reportedly been put on hold for the time being, but that’s not to say that the ideals on which they were founded have been cast aside. Although he was unwilling to comment on the factors behind his recent resignation from Digital Chocolate, Hawkins revealed that the alliance had been indefinitely “suspended,” with the nature of his discussions with specific indie developers still unknown.
To read Hawkins’ alliance pitch letter in its entirety, check the original Venture Beat article.