Crystal Dynamics GM lays out downloadable games strategy

The downloadable Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light isn't just an odd one-off from Crystal Dynamics, it's the first effort in a new strategy from the developer. General manager Darrell Gallagher told Gamasutra that Crystal Dynamics is using Guardian of Light, and future digitally-distributed titles, as a way to bridge larger-scale console installments.

Gallagher said that it's a plan that Crystal Dynamics intends to continue with -- and one that other publishers will also pick up. The use of a smaller, downloadable game as a promotional device or stopgap release for a console game has been catching on even before Guardian of Light was announced, mostly with Capcom, whose Dark Void Zero and Bionic Commando Rearmed were released to warmer receptions than either of their disc-based counterparts.

Gallagher told Gamasutra that because downloadable games have shorter development cycles, they can be used to bring people into a franchise or keep it popular while the next major installment is still in development.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.