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Mode 7's Paul Taylor: 'Steam is Essential for Indie Games'

Speaking with GamesIndustry.biz earlier today, Mode 7 co-founder and joint managing director Paul Taylor had a few things to say on the subject of indie games and digital distribution, both via Steam and elsewhere.

"We had a great result [for Frozen Synapse] at launch, and we just had the Steam sale, which was a big deal for us," said Taylor. "Being featured as one of the specific deals on there was really, really good for us. One of the problems for indie games is that you get a big spike of PR just before and just after launch, and then they kind of disappear."

Frozen Synapse has had an undercurrent of community buzz for some time now, thanks to its Minecraft-style paid beta/preorder approach. But since its launch on Steam and its featuring in the recent Summer Camp sale, the game has considerably surpassed Taylor's expectations.

"People really use [Steam] as a mark of quality, I think," says Taylor. "I think there's a good reason for that, because not everything gets on there. [Valve] have to strike a balance between doing things that benefit [them] and things that createa good ecosystem for everyone. I think they're pretty good at that, and they think very seriously about it. It is astonishing just how important they are in terms of the PC, especially as an indie game... Steam is really essential for indie games at the moment."

Despite Taylor's words, he doesn't believe that Steam should be the only outlet for indie developers -- but that Valve's considerable marketing and publishing clout certainly doesn't hurt a game's chances of getting noticed.

"If you're making an indie game, you should be selling it direct as well," Taylor later added via Twitter. "Selling your game from your own website is vital -- there is never a good reason not to do that. The reason for this is simply that some people want to purchase directly from the developer, so you should let them!"

Frozen Synapse is available now, both via Steam and direct from Mode 7. Both versions come with a free copy to send to a friend. Check out our review.

This article originally appeared on GamePro.com as Mode 7's Paul Taylor: 'Steam is Essential for Indie Games'


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