An independent British film has become the first ever motion picture to premiere on a games console, rather than in cinemas or on DVD.
Pulp, a new comedy about a struggling writer recruited by the police to help crack a criminal syndicate, was released on XBox Live earlier today.
The film’s director Adam Hamdy explained that the decision was motivated by the financial strain of marketing low-budget movies in a traditional way.
“At the top end of the indie film business the UK is still pretty healthy, but it’s the middle tier and the lower budget tier that’s struggling,” he said.
“Where they would have been released straight to DVD, the opportunities for doing that have really declined. Retailers have gone out of business because of the threat of piracy and because of legitimate digital downloading.
“Theatrical distribution, nowadays, costs on average about £2 million per movie for marketing, prints and advertising. For a film like Pulp, that doesn’t have bankable stars with a track record, it’s a challenge for any distributor to take that gamble.”
XBox Live’s product manager Pav Bhardwaj welcomed the chance to premiere a film like Pulp via the console.
“It’s a great fit,” he said. “The film is really well aligned with our audience. All our audience like that sort and types of film and it’s great to support British talent.”
Microsoft, the company behind the XBox, says it intends to distribute more films in this way in the future.