Independent games have always existed, but in recent times there’s been a commercial and critical boom. More and more indie games are getting exposure, recognition, sales and – importantly – lots of love and playtime from people who play games.
Games like Thomas was Alone, Gone Home, The Stanley Parable, Kerbal Space Program, FTL, Minecraft, Terraria and yes, Desktop Dungeons seems to be taking more and more of gamers’ time and money.
People are becoming more and more hesitant to spend $60 on games that give them 8 hours of graphically flashy fun, when $10 indie games give them hundreds of hours of entertainment.
It’s a question of risk, too. Large publishers are reluctant to throw money at games that are interesting or innovative, preferring to fund games that are; typical rehashes of things they’re confident will sell .
"The publishers are nervous because they have to project a game being a massive hit three years into the future and the developers are frustrated because they need to be flexible to every move the publishers make," Avalanche’s Cristofer Sundberg said on the state of AAA gaming. "It’s impossible to make everyone happy in the current equation."
Though the new consoles have certainly re-invigorated a declining AAA games industry, it’s probably not enough. even on those systems though, Indie gaming is becoming more prevalent. Some of the best games available on the nearly barren PlayStation landscape are indie games like Don’t Starve and Outlast.
So the question today is, do you find yourself playing more and more indie games and fewer big games from large publishers, or do you find all this indie stuff a bunch of hipster twaddle?
Last Updated: February 7, 2014