The Video Game Industry: The Effect of Indie Games

SonyConference_PSLovesIndies

Recently, a lot of gamers have been voicing their negative opinions of smaller indie games. Indie games are becoming the life-blood of the video game industry, but some players won’t accept that. People want big budget shooter and adventure games, so smaller titles don’t appeal to them. It is perfectly okay that people want that next blockbuster title, but shunning away smaller titles is a big mistake. These Triple-A games come out monthly at best and players are usually stuck for a long time without anything to play; especially in new console cycles. When players buy a new console close to launch, they are investing in a ten-year sustainable device, but usually, they experience a lack of games within the first year. This is an unavoidable part of the video game industry.  Video games are hard to make and take a lot of time to develop. These smaller indie games however are making the wait for the next big game easier in many ways.

Indie games are made by independent developers who are not tied down by publishers. They have the 100% creative freedom that developers like Infinity Ward and Bioware do not have because they are under the wing of a publisher. A publisher has the job of funding the game, the marketing campaign and the manufacturing of the game. The publisher has their hands in the project so they usually control the release date of the game; even if the game isn’t fully polished. Games such as Battlefield 4 and Mass Effect 3 suffered from the publisher essentially rushing a game out before it was perfectly ready to release. The developer for Battlefield 4, DICE, didn’t have the time they needed to work out the bugs for the game in time for release; resulting in a game that sold well, but has been a train wreck quality-wise, for months. So why did Battlefield 4 release in October when clearly it wasn’t ready? Because the publisher Electronic Arts wanted the game out before their competitor, Activision, released the newest Call of Duty. There are exceptions to publishers getting in the way of projects. Sony and Ubisoft have been pretty generous to their developers by pushing back release dates if a developer is having problems making games, but for some publishers, it is only about the cash return they receive.

Big time fun in a small time game

Big time fun in a small time game

Indie games are a delight; and despite their somewhat bad reputation, their quality is even often better than big budget titles. They aren’t restricted to release on an unchangeable release date; they come out when they are ready. People often complain about the price of a sixty dollar video game, but never remember that most indie games cost ten to twenty dollars. Since they are less time consuming to make, Indie games fill in the time you have to wait for the next Call of Duty, Halo or Uncharted. Take the Playstation 4’s launch for example. The system launched with several big budget games back in November, but the supply of those big titles shorted out since then. That doesn’t mean that the system won’t get plenty of those games, but in the meantime, smaller games have been released digitally on a weekly basis. I myself have only bought one sixty dollar game for my PS4, but I have eight indie games on my system. I even often get them for free, since I’m a subscriber to Playstation Plus. I’m a poor college student, so quality and diverse games like Don’t Starve, Towerfall, and Resogun are easy on my dying wallet.

Next to those Steam sales on PC, PS+ is one of the best services in gaming. Ever.

Playstation Plus and indie games make it easier to wait for the next big thing. The also introduce players to games they might not have tried out before.

Indie games are creative, wallet friendly and are joyous to experience. They are becoming more common and are becoming the life source of the video game industry. The big budget games will always be there to whet your appetite, but supporting indie games will help the industry as a whole. Throw away your image of every single video game being made by a large studio, and learn to appreciate those smaller games that are being made by a handful of people who love video games as much as the actual gamer.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s