Double Fine chief operating officer Justin Bailey expressed a desire to maintain premium status for indie-developed games in a recent interview with USgamer, explaining that a continued "race to the bottom" in terms of pricing could prove disastrous for the developing marketplace.

"I think what indies really need to watch out for is not becoming the new casual games," Bailey said, referencing a looming indie bubble and casual gaming's free-to-play shift. "I don't think that's a problem from the development side. Indies are approaching it as an artform and they're trying to be innovative, but what's happening in the marketplace is indies are being pushed more and more to have a lower price or have a bunch of games bundled together."

In an effort to stave off marketplace dilution, Bailey says that Double Fine will encourage its publishing partners to maintain consistent pricing without spurring sales through bundles or deep discounts.

"Double Fine wants to keep indies premium," Bailey stated. "You see that in our own games and how we're positioning them. We fight the urge to just completely drop the price. That's one of the things we want to encourage in this program. Getting people to stick to a premium price point and to the platforms that allow you to do that."

Double Fine recently kicked off its indie publishing initiative with Escape Goat 2, providing creator Ian Stocker with "promotional assistance and distribution" at launch.

"Our biggest interest is to have a vibrant indie ecosystem," Bailey said. "Our thought is the best people to provide that are going to be the indies. We'd like to help make other indies successful, keep them independent, and have a place where they can go and in turn, help out other indies. That makes the ecosystem stronger."

[Image: Double Fine]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.