is an ecommerce
retailer of downloadable computer games, specializing in independently developed games
aimed at hardcore gamers
It was founded in October 2005 by Greg Costikyan
and Dr. Johnny L. Wilson, former editor of Computer Gaming World
, and is based in New York City
According to Manifesto Games' manifesto,
the company aims to avoid the narrowness of conventional retail channels by selling a large number of games (taking advantage of The Long Tail), and allow developers to experiment technically and artistically. An example of Manifesto Games' willingness to take risks is its support of Super Columbine Massacre RPG!.
The Manifesto Games website was originally designed in ironic imitation of the Soviet Union in its early years; some of its content still reflects this choice.
Play This Thing
Initially, Manifesto Games also provided reviews of indie games, including games it does not sell, and discussion forums
. In September 2007, Manifesto Games created a new game review website, Play This Thing.
A team of reviewers including Greg Costikyan
and Emily Short
post one review per day at the website, covering independent, alternative reality and 'big urban' games, interactive fiction, and mods. Most of the games reviewed have no relation to Manifesto Games. The site carries reviews of non-computer games on "Tabletop Tuesdays".