BusinessWeek online has an interview with Greg Canessa, manager for the Xbox Live Arcade download service, on why Microsoft is forging links with small developers:
In its effort to grab the console-gaming crown away from rival Sony, Redmond has redoubled its efforts to lure casual gamers — schoolchildren, grandmothers, and the like playing poker and puzzle games through MSN Games and MSN Messenger a few hours a day.
Wrangling those players is key to the company’s goal of taking the Xbox 360 to breakeven within two years of its launch on Nov. 22. And indie developers can help the company attract them.
The new Xbox 360 Live service, which allows console owners to play against each other and download additional game levels, will feature a special Xbox Live Arcade section filled with casual games. One of the dozen-or-so titles to debut will be from indie studio GarageGames. That’s a first for Microsoft, which previously has launched exclusively with bigger, mainstream titles.
But Microsoft hopes to work more closely with independent game developers in the coming years, both because the indies are known for producing innovative titles and because many of these smaller developers are already well-established in the casual gaming market.
Hit the link for the interview.