Could Indie Gaming Grow Into a Challenge for Big Game Publishers?
I will be the first to admit, I am a Steam junkie. The sheer number of different games available for purchase or demo is staggering, providing choices no matter what budgetary constraints I am under. All of the industry staples are here, including giants like the Elder Scrolls, Bioshock and Total War franchises. No matter what mood you are in, you are sure to find tons of good titles to satisfy it using the Steam service.
Whilst poking around the other day looking for a new game to master, I noticed the Indie section for the first time. It caught my eye, mainly due to all of the hype that has surrounded this category of games in recent news. While big-developer games are still the reigning champs of the gaming world, indie producers are fast making serious inroads and claiming their slice of the pie.
What Are Indie Games?
Indie games set themselves apart from traditional games in that their creation and development is done by private individuals or small teams. This is a sharp contras to traditional games, which usually have hundreds of people to work on them and millions of dollars to spend creating them.
This production process produces games, which while usually less graphic-intensive than their mainstream counterparts, can actually have a heightened feel of creativity to them. In addition, due to the absence of the immense operating costs of big-game publishers, indie games are usually much less expensive to buy.
What Is Available Now?
If you want an example of just how successful an indie game can be, look no further than Minecraft. The designers of Minecraft took the simple activity of building and turned it into one of the most loved and lucrative games currently available.
Minecraft is not the only game that has caused industry experts and players alike to sit up and take notice. In fact, two staples of the mainstream gaming industry, Sony and Microsoft, have already professed their love for indie games. Each of these behemoths recently announced different features and packages designed specifically with the indie game in mind.
What Is on the Horizon?
Obviously, given that technology is changing and evolving each and every day, we are by no means at the pinnacle of possibility when it comes to indie games. In fact, independent developer, Octav, predicts that many current gaming models used by industry giants will fall by the wayside, clearing the way for more indie games to rise to prominence.
The creativity previously mentioned that is so prevalent in indie games is also expected to turn the tide in their favor. Big game developers have a narrow look when developing a game, usually constrained by the ever-present need to turn a profit. While indie game developers do want to make money, many times the driving force behind their creations is turning a good idea into a cool game. This will lead to a much more diverse landscape to choose your indie games from.
While indie gaming has certainly begun to enter into its own, the possibilities and potential it holds signals a true rise in prominence for this genre in the coming years. If you enjoy cloud gaming, as well as an inexpensive and diverse menu of different options to choose from, indie gaming may just well be your perfect niche.
By Joe Pellicone