In the world of Flash games, Kongregate doesn’t want to be a one-game-stand. It doesn’t want to be one of the many fish in the sea. Kongregate wants to be the one you settle down with. To that end, they’ve put their own funding into developing new casual properties with a wider scope, and with more depth than the usual casual fling.
Today the site announced the first five offerings from their Premium Development Program: Dinowaurs by Intuition Games, Remnants of Skystone from Flipline Studios, Lila Dreams by Creatrix Games, Zening from developer Michael King and Argue (About Everything) from development duo Adam Schroeder and Roger Bankus.
“The philosophy is that we have great community around the games, but within the games, most of them are still single player games,” said company CEO Jim Greer. “We want games that have that sort of community inside the games.”
It was with that in mind that it was decided that each of the games would have a multiplayer component, and some of them would allow co-operative play.
But just allowing several people to play wasn’t enough. Greer wanted games that were bigger … and not just in terms of player count.
“We also needed deeper gameplay, more replayable games,” Greer said. “Part of that is having multiplayer games, but part is having games with a larger scope. We believe there’s a market for bigger and better games.”
Kongregate is putting their money where their beliefs are with their new program. The company will help to fund the games and they’ll recoup their expenses through advertising and also allow microtransactions, miniature purchases that unlock extra features within a game.
The money won’t be the only somewhat risky part of the venture. Chris Pasley, director of games, has been the producer on some of the edgy games produced by the Cartoon Network’s [adult swim] site. He’s pushing games in the program to be some of the freshest on the market.
“The main requirement I had is that these games be very original,” Pasley said. “I didn’t want something that was just another Bejeweled. It’s part of our strategy, but it’s also part of my personal belief.”
The games won’t be released until early 2008, so it will be a while until Kongregate sees if their unique program will pay off. But whatever the result, Pasley is convinced of one thing: It will be worth the risk.
“You don’t really know what’s going to do well until you actually see,” Pasley said. “If you don’t know what’s going to do well, why not try to do something interesting?”