Steam gets Darwinian

Valve's digital distribution service brings UK indie hit Darwinia to gamers worldwide starting December 14.

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One of the most exciting aspects of digital distribution of games is the potential it has to give independent developers an outlet for efforts too innovative, ambitious, or just plain different to get a second glance from entrenched publishers and retailers.

Valve Software's Steam was among the digital distribution services to make a splash in the industry, and the developer is now expanding its offerings to include non-Valve games. Lionhead developer Mark Healey's mouse-driven fighter Rag Doll Kung Fu is already available through Steam, and today the company announced that it will shortly be joined by Introversion's underground UK hit Darwinia.

Darwinia is a genre-bending mix of real-time strategy, arcade action, and puzzle games. The entire game takes place within a virtual theme park, where a computer virus is running rampant and threatening the park's digital denizens with deletion. With a streamlined, mouse-driven interface and unique aesthetic, the UK release of Darwinia has garnered praise not only from critics, but also from developers like Valve.

"After playing the game around the office, there didn't seem to be a reason why a game as great as Darwinia wasn't available to gamers worldwide," said Valve director of marketing Doug Lombardi. "When everyone gets their chance to play it, we think they'll be staying up all night protecting Darwinians, just like us."

Darwinia will begin preloading December 1 and will go live through Valve's Steam service December 14 for $19.95.

Discussion

6 comments
motslaps
motslaps

I have not played it but I've heard it's really good. Maybe this game will finally see sales that it deserved!

ewjim
ewjim

If it was't only online - maybe i'l try it...

Aerothorn
Aerothorn

This is great. I ordered Darwinia through Introversion, and I really apprecaite having a hard copy of it with the cool manual and postcard...but I realize most people don't know of Introversion and would not know how to get this game, even if they knew it existed. Selling it through steam allows it to both reach a broader audience, and for that audience to get a significant discount (they save $10 on the game, plus they don't have to pay shipping from the UK).

Adam_B
Adam_B

I'm definitely a fan of this online distribution model. Instead of small developers worrying about trying to find a publisher to ship out their game to retailers, now, for a relatively minimal cost, Valve can just distribute it with its current architecture. Valve pockets some, the gamers get the chance to play games they couldn't have otherwise, and indie developers have an outlet for their games in the era of multi-million dollar productions.

MasterMarcus
MasterMarcus

A year has passed since Steam's implement, and after some bashing in the beginnings, now Valve's online system begins to pay off - not only for developers, but for us too as we're going to experience new, promising games we wouldn't be aware of . One of the greatest news lately because aside being useful and informative, it exhibits a discovery seldom shared otherwise ( though ''only'' about a single underground game ).