In the recent past, parents who wanted their children to grow up and make something of themselves would urge them to go to medical or law school. Forget all that. Start urging your children to become independent console game developers. Take Johnathan Blow, for instance. He wrote Braid
, a puzzle-solving romp through what looks like hand-painted landscapes, for the Xbox 360. Distribution of games is not reserved just for big players anymore; Johnathon released his creation on Xbox Live Arcade. The result? In its first week, he estimates it's sold about 55,000 copies. Braid has now been out on Xbox Live Arcade for an entire week, and the week has been a good success. The wave of highly-positive reviews took me by surprise, but the unexpectedly good sales show that this isn’t just a game for critics: a lot of people out there are playing Braid and getting good things from it.
I want to thank everyone for their support over the past week: whether by buying the game, telling friends about it, or just posting here with thoughts about Braid, it has all contributed to a successful launch. I hope this will serve as a useful data point for other independent developers: we can make games that are unusual, experimental, or personal, and there’s a substantial audience out there who will play and enjoy them.
I'm sure the Beatles' moms told them to put down those guitars and make something of themselves, too. Perhaps Johnathan's success will lead to mothers calling out their windows to their children: "Do you have to spend so much time outside? Why don't you come in and monkey around with that computer in the basement?"Braid