Well-known video game developer and publisher, Sega, is taking a cue from publishers like Chillingo and helping indie game studios find their footing in an uncertain market.
The initiative, called the Sega Alliance, will assist independent developers with creative consultation, marketing, production, localization, and distribution tasks. The first indie studio to get this special support from Sega is Owlchemy Labs, the makers of Smuggle Truck and Snuggle Truck for iOS, Mac, and PC.
Owlchemy’s latest iOS game, Jack Lumber, released today on the App Store. It stars Jack, “a lumberjack with an axe to grind.” Apparently a tree killed his grandmother, and he’s out for revenge. Against trees. The game is currently on sale in the iTunes App Store at $0.99, but will increase to $1.99 after a limited time.
Sega plans on nurturing a small number of titles from a smaller number of hand-picked developers each year. The publisher plans on promoting the independent developers as much as the Sega brand, giving credit where credit is due.
“Sega Alliance is a project that was started to help great developers cut through the clutter of digital storefronts and find an audience,” Ethan Einhorn, the director of developer relations at Sega of America, told GamesBeat, the gaming arm of the VentureBeat website.
Sega’s plan is similar is scope to Sony’s own Pub Fund, a $20 million investment. Sony’s fund has seen the release of Papo & Yo on the PlayStation Network, as well as the upcoming beat-em-up Guacamelee!
iOS gaming publisher, Chillingo, has seen quite a bit of success as well by supporting indie developers to create more polished games and helping distribute and market them to consumers.