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The Importance of Indie Games for the Game Industry

The Importance of Independent games for the game industry

The Importance of Indie Games for the Game Industry – In this article we are going to discuss the importance of independent game development to the overall game industry as a whole. And why it’s great to have independent game development instead of just big developers.

To paint a clear picture about the publishing model of the game industry let’s go back to beginnings. Back when the game industry was started publishing of gamers was the process of copying them into cartridges and selling them in stores. This publishing model is similar to print publishing this type of publishing takes money and is very risky. What is the game didn’t sell enough the cost of publishing this game will not be returned this means the publisher will get a loss.

This model of publishing continued from early 1970s until mid-2000s. I don’t say there were no tries done by motivated developers to publish their games at this time period but it also required by them to convince a publisher to publish their game on a specific platform.

1970s

Atari where Cartridges are being used – Late 1970s

Until the mid-2000s there was no real online publishing platform like Valve’s Steam or GOG or EA’s Origin. There were however Casual Game developers creating websites to publish their Casual games, something like Yahoo Games or Big Fish Games.

Mid 1980s

Nintendo Entertainment System used Cartilages mid 1980s

Nintendo Entertainment System used Cartilages mid 1980s

This however was not considered a real jump to the next level. By the year 2012 Valve Software introduced the Greenlight program this program let Independent game developers to post their games online and the community decide which game wins to be published on Steam.

Early 1990s

Super Nintendo Entertainment System used Cartilages – Early 1990s

It was still with a lot of bounds but also a big opportunity to publish online with almost zero risk of losing money to a publisher in this case Valve Software.

Late 1990s

Panasonic 3DO system used CDs to distribute it;s media - Late 1990s

Panasonic 3DO system used CDs to distribute its media – Late 1990s

Interplay CD 3DO Published Game

Early 2000s

Sony PlayStation 2 used DVD media to Publish its games - Early 2000s

Sony PlayStation 2 used DVD media to Publish its games – Early 2000s

In 2017 Valve Greenlight was phased out and replaced by Direct Launch this led to massive amount of games being published however they should be reviewed and accepted by valve to meet the product page description and doesn’t contain malicious content.

At this point also GOG.com is delivering the same service for Independent Developers this means a great deal of freedom for publishing new games on PC and MAC.

Why Independent games are important?

So The Importance of Indie Games for the Game Industry? You say… let’s get to the main question. The the answer is the following.

1. Innovation

Independent games tend to be innovative. By the time big publishers have exhausted all ideas of new games they start to mimic each and every successful game to take a piece of the success pie.

Bridges Innovative Game-play earned it countless amount of Prizes

Bridges Innovative Game-play earned it countless amount of Prizes

Puzzle Level in Bridges

Puzzle Level in Bridges

Independent game developers at the same time are limited by budget and talent compared to say EA games or Ubisoft. Those big names employ big talents with big budgets.

Indie developers simply do not possess those resources so what they do is to create something new not necessarily perfect but entertaining.

2. Simplicity

Simplicity is where the Indie game excels it’s not necessary for the game to be complex to be successful all it’s needed to succeed is to deliver a good concept and a fun experience. So, lines and graphics maybe simple but can deliver the experience needed. This might not be what most big publishers at geared towards.

LYNE simple interface and game play makes it a good example of simplicity

LYNE simple interface and game play makes it a good example of simplicity

Linking lines and shapes to pass levels

Linking lines and shapes to pass levels

3. Entertainment

When it comes to Entertainment the Indie game developer tries to fill the gaps that big publishers may not try to think of for example a game like Cuphead would not be possible without a courageous out of the box design. This game uses a 1940s animation theme in a modern game which gives it an out of the box entertainment overhead over AAA best graphics next gen titles.

Cuphead is a example of a good entertainment value

Cuphead is a example of a good entertainment value

Graphics is made to be like a 1940s classic animation

Graphics is made to be like a 1940s classic animation

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