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If you don't have passion for your work, why bother? Exclusive

If you don't have passion for your work, why bother?
August 29, 2012 | By Mike Rose

August 29, 2012 | By Mike Rose
More: Console/PC, Indie, Business/Marketing, Exclusive

The name Devolver Digital is slowly becoming a term that numerous indie developers want to be involved with. While the publisher initially began life focused on publishing a barrage of Serious Sam titles, more recently it has expanded its sights to great effect.

The publisher is now working with the likes of Dennaton Games (Jonatan "Cactus" Soderstrom and Dennis Wedin) on Hotline Miami and Vlambeer on Luftrausers, drumming up a serious amount of interest from the press and players alike, and all thanks to the contacts the company made through its work on the Serious Sam Indie Series last year.

"Devolver Digital started partly because our friends at Croteam wanted a partner for Serious Sam 3: BFE, and our team wanted to start a game label that still knew how to make the games industry fun for everyone," says Nigel Lowrie of Devolver in a Gamasutra interview. "One of the more unique elements in promoting Serious Sam 3: BFE was to tie the series back to its indie roots by working with top independent developers to make the three games in the Serious Sam Indie Series."

Through the initiative, Devolver began working more with the likes of Vlambeer and Mommy's Best Games, eventually also picking up Dennaton Games and Dungeon Hearts studio Cube Roots.

"The reason we are doing this is because these are the folks with the genuinely fresh and unique ideas in gaming," adds Lowrie. "Titles like Hotline Miami and Luftrausers were born out of love -- not some marketing spreadsheet or focus group."

Devolver is now constantly on the look-out for more indie devs to pick up, although its methods are somewhat outlandish. At GDC earlier this year, for example, it introduced the Devolver Digital Indie Bus, where developers could come along and show off their game prototypes. Funds and a publishing deal were offered to the three best game prototypes.

"Devolver Digital is open to any and all kinds of developers, but we gravitate to folks that have a genuine enthusiasm for their work and aren't worried about the status quo in video games," says Lowrie. "We're looking for people that are trying something different and aren't afraid to gamble on an idea they truly believe in."

He adds, "Some developers refer to games as 'passion projects' and position them as something they work with on the side, but we think all games should be passion projects. If you don't have passion for it then why bother?"

Devolver's near future is currently already set out with a number of unannounced titles already in the works, although the team says it is always looking to keep its finger on the pulse and snoop around the grassroots indie projects currently in progress.

The team is also very much open to any and all types of monetization options, although Lowrie notes, "it needs to be organic and not something that is forced in because it's trendy at the time."

"We've launched free-to-play games on mobile like To-Fu 2 and have a game from a development partner launching on Gambitious soon, so we are always looking for what makes sense for both Devolver Digital and the developers we are partnering with on games," he explains. "That said, we still believe the 'old fashioned' pay up front has a place in this world and gamers still want to buy full games as long as you are providing value in your product."

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