Talking as part of a select handful of games publishers, Capcom director of development Adam Boyes told a room full of eager developers that already having online momentum for your game can be “a double-edged sword”.
Capcom doesn't believe that earning a game a following via forums and community is a good idea for developers looking to eventually find a publisher, said Boyes.
“Publishers wanna be the one that pops the cherry,” he joked. Already building online momentum “takes the wind out of the sails” of the publisher, as they want to be able to announce future titles themselves via their own methods.
Sebastien Motte, Senior Director of Worldwide Business Development at Microsoft Game Studios, disagreed with Boyes' comments, stating that it is “definitely a good thing to already have momentum” for titles to be to pitched to a publisher.
He specifically mentioned Xbox Live Arcade as an example of a platform for which previous online momentum would be useful.
But Zack Karlsson, business development VP at Namco Bandai Games America, stated that while he understood that online momentum might prove beneficial for Microsoft's XBLA service, he agreed with Capcom's Boyes.
“The Behemoth's Castle Crashers is good,” he said as an example in which an online following worked well, “but the flipside is that we can't get magazine covers if it's not exclusive”.