Manifesto Games Shuts Down

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Indie game portal Manifesto Games is shuttering its doors.

Eons ago, in the dark wastelands of 2005, Greg Costikyan wrote an article for the eighth issue of The Escapist called Death to the Games Industry, in which he stressed the need for the industry to evolve in the face of stagnation.

Costikyan’s vision, as expressed in the article (and its sequel) led to the founding of Manifesto Games, essentially a digital distribution portal for indie games. Rather than competing for space on the Wal-Mart or Gamestop shelf, indie titles would have a chance to strut their stuff, offering innovative experiences at development (and retail) prices well below that of the mainstream market.

In many ways, Manifesto was the precursor to the current form of Steam, XBLA, PSN, or Apple’s App Store. Unfortunately, it may have been before its time – last night, Costikyan posted an update that announced that Manifesto would be shutting down, effective immediately. Costikyan said that there were several factors that contributed to the decision: difficulty marketing the concept and getting their concept across to the indie developers they were trying to cater to (and the current economic recession, of course).

We at The Escapist offer a salute to Greg Costikyan and the Manifesto team: Though their market timing may not have been the best, their ideas were visionary and their hearts and ideals in the right place. They deserve our thanks for their tireless work in supporting the growing indie game development scene, and we wish them well in the future.

“Greg Costikyan has never been afraid to navigate into uncharted waters, and every journey he takes always reveals a new trend that will shape the game industry,” said Alexander Macris, publisher of The Escapist. “We’ll look forward to where he sails next.”

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