Who are we, what do we do, and why do we do it?
Zee-3 is an online publisher and distributor of video games and other digital products.
Our aim is to publish high quality, original video games, and offer an outlet for products which don't fit into the limited set of genres, themes and marketing profiles demanded by the hit-based mainstream video game industry.
Formed in 2005 by John Pickford and Ste Pickford, Zee-3's primary purpose is to publish and distribute the Pickford Brothers' new video games via the internet, and to license these games for other distribution channels, but we also distibute selected video games, music and similar digital products by other artists from time to time.
Based in the UK, we're a small 'virtual' business; we have no staff or offices, no bricks and mortar, just this website, managed by The Pickford Brothers inbetween developing new games.
Our first release - the PC game Naked War - was sold directly and exclusively through this website, as the game required a user account on here to access the servers around which the game was based.
For future releases we will sell our actual products through other online stores and marketplaces who are better able than us to manage purchasing and refunds and all that kind of thing.
Here at Zee-3 we will provide product support, additional services (online play servers, high score tables, etc.), and the opportunity for a dialogue with the developers / artists behind the products.
Zee-3 was formed to take advantage of a new opportunity provided by the worldwide growth of broadband - the ability to distribute digital products online, directly from the creators to the consumers - allowing us to satisfy the demand for novel and interesting new video games, a niche which has become too risky for the mainstream video game business to cater for.
Spiraling development costs have meant that the mainstream video game industry is only intersted in safe bet, sure fire hits. Unlike the worlds of movies and popular music, the video game industry had set itself up with no equivalent to 'art house' movies, or 'indie label' bands.
While new ideas and creative talent used to be welcomed in the world of mainstream video games, the increased risk aversion associated with the expanding scale of the industry has squeezed out creativity and experimentation, leaving few channels remaining for new ideas to flow into the industry.
We see the combination of small development budgets, low prices and online distribution as a way of cutting out the middlemen and gatekeepers of the video game industry (the manufacturers, publishers, distributors and retailers, who dictate the limited range of content available), freeing creators to take risks, and make good products without having to appeal to a lowest common denominator.
We want to provide an outlet for smaller, quirkier, fun and innovative video games, and a provide conduit for dialogue between game developers and their audience.
We hope to create an environment where video game artists can make a living and pay the bills by appealing to a worldwide audience - even a small one - of gamers who want their games to be interesting and good, not just big, glossy and expensive.