Indie Games and whatever that means

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With GDC (Game Developers Conference) ending soon and PAX east (Penny Arcade Expo) starting right around the corner, Games will be shown and talked about everywhere, and the majority of those games are quote unquote “Indie Games”. That term and that genre have evolved into something unrecognizable from a few years ago, the PlayStation network and the Xbox live network have become juggernauts compared to its inception. And with the growing console connectivity it’s given indie or smaller games a wider audience than simply playing them on steam when they  arrive three years before the console version.

As purely a console gamer I would’ve never played games like Spelunky or FEZ on the PC, but with Sony and Microsoft throwing more and more money at indie developers its shown everybody a whole new world of gaming that can exist outside of Steam. Games like Firewatch (Shown above) aren’t officially announced for consoles yet but with the developers “Considering bringing it over to consoles.” It brings hope for games that may not have had a chance at coming to console. And it brings even more hope to people like me who haven’t played a PC game since middle school and spend most of the time with a controller in there hand. Indie games have become the bridge in the gaming industry.

Ever since the bottom dropped out on publishers like THQ who made their money by the in-between type of games, not a small budget but also not necessarily a big budget. Things have changed, there are huge games like Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed that we get maybe five or six a year but then we get forty to fifty “Indie” style games released during that same time span, and games like that cost less and they also don’t need day one patches to fix game breaking bugs. It’s a revolution that the industry has adjusted to well and hopefully publishers can learn from those tiny dev teams.

And it seems as though Ubisoft is willing to try, we can all make fun of the Assassin’s Creed face melting and the weird Tetris bug not allowing you to play online but games like Valiant hearts and Child of Light (Shown Above) aren’t technically speaking “Indie Games” they were made and published with those aspects in mind, something small and memorable that isn’t a big budget, shoot’em up type of game. Child of light was made to be breath of fresh air for the developers of Farcry 3 after spending years of your life on this game you need to take a break, but you also need to make money and Child of Light turned into this breath of fresh air for both the developers and the gaming audience.

However you want to describe Hotline Miami or Gone Home the one thing we can agree on is that they are special, games like those couldn’t be made ten years ago, and with the wide array of options for developers now days it’s easier to produce your game when it’s given more freedom. Triple A games aren’t going anywhere, but they don’t come out every month, that’s why indie games are so important for this industry,

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