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Topic: LilK's forum feedback: When do Indie devs turn into big-name 3rd parties?

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TheLilK98

1. Posted:

Hello. I've decided to make this topic, as it's been bugging me for a while. If enough people like the idea, I'll continue. Anyway, back on topic: Is there a certain threshold Indie devs (ex. Renegade kid, Mojang, etc.) cross to be in the same league as big name third parties, such as RockStar and Ubisoft? What I mean is, is there a deciding factor aside from budget and marketing that differentiates the two?

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FOREST_RANGER

2. Posted:

What mainly constitutes an indie developer is that they fund, develop, and publish games. The "big name third parties" you're referring to are actually publishers of games. They don't make the games; they publish them. In other words, they fund game development and distribute the finished product to be sold to consumers. They usually own game development studios.

So, an independent game studio doesn't turn into a major publisher. They either get purchased by a publisher (and no longer hold the indie status), continue to develop games independent of any publisher, or dissolve.

Well, the fundamental difference is that indie developers are developers whose studios aren't owned by publishers.

Edited on by FOREST_RANGER

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Bankai

3. Posted:

FOREST_RANGER wrote:

What mainly constitutes an indie developer is that they fund, develop, and publish games. The "big name third parties" you're referring to are actually publishers of games. They don't make the games; they publish them. In other words, they fund game development and distribute the finished product to be sold to consumers. They usually own game development studios.

So, an independent game studio doesn't turn into a major publisher. They either get purchased by a publisher (and no longer hold the indie status), continue to develop games independent of any publisher, or dissolve.

Well, the fundamental difference is that indie developers are developers whose studios aren't owned by publishers.

I'm assuming the OP meant in his initial post that he was looking to understand where the difference between small, niche developers and 'blockbuster' developers.

Generally once an organisation hits about 100 full-time development staff, it can be considered a big fish. Until that point they're going to be what's you think of as 'indie' :-)

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MAB

4. Posted:

Any indie dev out there that can create a game that sells 90 million Vitas can pretty much consider themselves some sort of top dog within the industry.

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CM30

5. Posted:

FOREST_RANGER wrote:

What mainly constitutes an indie developer is that they fund, develop, and publish games. The "big name third parties" you're referring to are actually publishers of games. They don't make the games; they publish them. In other words, they fund game development and distribute the finished product to be sold to consumers. They usually own game development studios.

So, an independent game studio doesn't turn into a major publisher. They either get purchased by a publisher (and no longer hold the indie status), continue to develop games independent of any publisher, or dissolve.

Well, the fundamental difference is that indie developers are developers whose studios aren't owned by publishers.

Not really. After all, it's perfectly possible to have a large publisher who also develops games in house, like Nintendo or Sega or the like. And I'm sure the likes of Activision and EA do as well, not all their development teams have unique names or branding.

I'd say indie is kind of a vague term in general, but would probably be best used to mean games made by small teams without large publisher support. Hard to tell where the boundaries are, but it'd be something like 'small twenty or less person team working on their own' = indie and 'large corporation with many people working for them and a more structured feel' = not indie. But it's generally quite difficult to define, especially given how many people use 'indie' as a buzz word without really knowing what it means (like the large companies putting out 'indie bundles' and smaller teams getting games originally released independently backed by a publisher).

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CanisWolfred

6. Posted:

Dang, Bankai hit the nail on the head again.

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