“If you are an independent game developer with previous launched game titles or a successfully funded Kickstarter (Minimum of 50k USD), you’re eligible for our Indie program.”
The Razer Indie Program
Razer has stepped up its game in both the hardware world and the indie developer scene. Along side the release of a new generation of Razer Blade gaming laptops, Razer’s CEO has promised to support independent developers and their games by offering their top of the line system at huge discounts. Although eligibility and acceptance into the program is up to Razer, if you’ve released a successful game in the past or have one in the works you may want to take a look at this opportunity.
Since this post isn’t about the laptop itself, I will simply link you to the Razer website containing information on the Razer Blade Pro in case you want to check out the specs: Razer Blade Pro Specs
What this post is about, however, is my experience with the program and the little thing that they do not mention up front. To be accepted into the program, Razer prefers that you have either shipped a successful PC game or have a successfully funded Kickstarter campaign for a PC game; however, I believe they are just trying to find proven developers who need the extra help so even if you don’t satisfy either of these criteria, like me, you should still apply if interested. I’m sure that the fact that Lawnmower Challenge was selected for the PAX Boston Indie Showcase 2012 helped me a lot. I also mentioned that I was planning the development of a major PC game and they asked for more information about the game; so I sent them a pitch document and a game design document that I already had prepared.
Razer got back to me in a couple days telling me that they would be happy to extend their indie program to me - I gladly accepted.
In addition to deep discounts on two systems and a 10% on any hardware after the first two, Razer is also offering Indies use of their gaming software which includes Razer’s VoIP and cloud storage technologies. I haven’t had the chance to poke around this tech yet so I can’t comment on it yet. I’m hoping to take a deeper look at it eventually though.
“We also offer various software technologies to be integrated into a game to save game-studio internal development costs.”
One thing that Razer does not mention upfront is that in order to receive the discount you must agree to list Razer as a hardware partner in the credits of your game. They are also allowed to mention your game in any of their publications. It might sound sneaky but honestly for an up-and-coming developer, this is actually a great thing. If you end up making a fantastic game that gets Razer’s attention, their mentioning your game or studio as part of their advertisements is an amazing (and free) opportunity at a larger (and targeted) audience. I’m not sure why they don’t mention this up front as this is a huge benefit but I’m guessing it’s because they cannot promise it.
Is It For You?
I can see that this program may only be right for a handful of developers - those developers who have proven themselves but are still trying to make ends meet financially. Wildly successful developers may already have all the development hardware they need and can afford new hardware if they need it. Hobbyist game developers will not be able to prove they are worth the investment to Razer. But if you fall in that middle group, like me, need new hardware and want to take advantage of this new program I would suggest you give it a shot. Just give them as much information about what you’re doing and what you’ve done in the past. Best of luck to everyone - not just on the program but with your games.
P.S. Send me a tweet if you have any questions about my experiences with the program.
Posted by @LunarPeter