This is a good idea. his is about the survival of PC gaming for God's sake!!!
Indie developers need funding, major publishers need original PC titles, if indie developers keep their heads together and look at what they sign, I think this can be very good for PC gaming.
Would you rather have an excellent game like Space Rangers sell a couple 100,000 when an Activision has the muscle to get the game into the public eye, where I am sure it would have sold a couple million!
What about The Path, and Aquaria and others? They all deserved much more attention, but where too small.
This is an ideal arrangement if done properly. If the indie developers don't change because of the money, and if major publishers are willing to publish and back PC titles that are 'outside the box', then I can see a win win.
Without something like this, a couple hundred thousand hardcore gamers like us will know where to go to get these small indie titles, but the mass market will walk away. We will become the train-spotters of the games business looking backwards rather than forwards, with 100,000 playing the latest indie title, but a million going back to play X-Com or System Shock 2, etc, This is already happening, with DOSBox having over 5 million downloads! Think about it - FIVE MILLION downloads!
The PC gaming format is very close to Oblivion. 10-12 years ago you would have had 50+ AAA PC titles being released for the Xmas market in the final quarter of the year. In 2009 Gamespot only reviewed 72 PC titles FOR THE WHOLE YEAR! Add to that the fact that the average review score for those 72 games was 68%, you can see that the PC format is suffering from lack of quantity AND quality of games.
Without schemes like this growing and multiplying, I don't see how mainstream PC gaming can survive, so I have to hope this idea works and other major publishers jump on board.
It's also down to us gamers. Do we just want the big $30 million blockbusters with all the bells and whistles, or are we willing to consider a second level of gaming that have only had $3 million spent on it? For years now, we have had the Hollywood. Now we need to support the Sundance Festival end of the market too for it too survive. Even the movie business needs the occasional Piano Player, 4 Weddings and a Funeral and Blair Witch type hits. But how would low budget, great games get made unless we have schemes like this?!