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'Buzz' dev Relentless expands digital strategy as PlayStation exclusivity deal ends

James Ransom-Wiley
January 7, 2011
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Relentless Software, the UK-based creator of the Buzz! trivia games for PlayStation platforms, is now free from an exclusivity deal with Sony and looking to pursue a digital distribution strategy that would bring its games to a wide range of internet-connected devices. "That's my aim," co-founder Andrew Eades told GamesIndustry.biz, "to make games for anyone who has a TV."

"The whole retail market is becoming very much about pillar titles for a hardcore audience," said Eades, citing Activision's perennial standout Call of Duty and its difficult to match, multimillion dollar budget as good reason to move away form the disc-based business, "so we have to find a new way to get to our audience, and that is digital, episodic, various different platforms, including PlayStation -- that remains our main platform."

The platform-exclusivity deal with Sony ended on good terms last year, and Relentless will continue to look to PlayStation Network for long-term revenue in its new, fremium-based Buzz!: Quiz Player iteration, along with ongoing sales of its self-published episodic mystery game, Blue Toad Murder Files, which debuted on PSN in late 2009. (It was released for PC in November.)

"The interesting thing we've found out with Blue Toad is that, almost a year after its first launch, we're still selling it in different ways," Eades explained. "We've had a sixty percent uplift in sales through the Advent Calendar Theme Bundle pack. You can't do this on disc." This realization appears to be the guiding light in the studio's new focus to expand its digital distribution efforts to more platforms. Relentless is at work on a new game for next year, to be followed by the launch of a new IP.

"PlayStations and Xboxes have a place under many people's TVs, but there's also satellite boxes, Apple TVs, Google TVs, internet-connected TVs," Eades observed. "They all have more and more computational power, and that's all we need -- that processor power to deliver our games and the internet connection to distribute them -- and we're in the living room just as any broadcast TV is."

[Image source: Relentless]











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