News Article

Industry Veteran Peter Molyneux Warns The Indie Craze "Won't Last"

Posted by Jake Shapiro

"Don't think we're going to be all indies for the next five years"

In an interview with CVG, our old friend Peter Molyneux — who recently spoke about the Wii U and his thoughts on Nintendo in general — hopes the games industry won't take the recent indie boom for granted. The veteran developer — now in charge of indie studio 22Cans — likens it to the booms and busts of the music industry:

Don't think we're going to be all indies for the next five years — these things go in cycles, just like in the music business. You have a time where punk is big, and then you have times like now where everything is manufactured. Enjoy this time, because inevitably it will only last a short period.

It's an incendiary quote from a man known for incendiary quotes. Molyneux warns hotshot indie developers not to be wooed by all the venture capital rushing into the industry right now:

Walk through any hotel lobby at GDC and look at people's name badges. This morning at breakfast I saw three angel investors talking to indies. They're saying, "Take my money! I want to invest in your company!" But what those indie companies don't realise is that they'll then have to have board meetings, and in those meetings they'll be told, "No, you shouldn't do that — look at this game that's making money."

The man wasn't all doom and gloom, though. He said the current indie craze reminds him of the adventurous period of bedroom coding in the 1980s when Molyneux started his career. He praised Lucas Pope's cult hit Papers, Please as an example of what the modern indie scene can accomplish. And of course, in 2012 he left his position at Microsoft to found 22Cans. Speaking of which, he had less-than-glowing remarks for his former employers:

If I was still working at Microsoft I would be self-harming. It would be a horrible experience. I now feel like I'm back in an industry that's truly fascinating and marvellous.

Molyneux's new Kickstarter-funded game, Godus, is currently available as a Steam Early Access beta. Considering Nintendo's longtime struggles courting independent developers, do you think its recent strides in opening up the eShop are enough? Or is indie gaming just a fad, and the Big N should stick to what it knows? Share your opinion by leaving a comment below.

[via computerandvideogames.com]

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User Comments (91)

Einherjar

#1

Einherjar said:

As much as i hate that guy, he has a point here, that doesnt only concern indies.
If you look closely at this generation, you will see that people are developing some sort of "hive minds mentallity" and are jumping from band wagon to band wagon, trending mundane stuff left and right.
The thing is, these things only stay "in" as long as the next big "hit" comes around. Like Molyneux said, that trend could be over in a heartbeat. If the hive mind dictates that indies arent "cool" anymore, its over.
And thats why i find it rather dangerous for companys to blindly follow these trends instead of just doing what they do best.
If youre not blinded by the overall craze you realize, that most indies arent really that different from the tripple A business model. They also start to follow the schematic of "look, that game was popular, lets make another one of it". Very few indie devs are really creative and rather follow their dreams instead of the whats "in" at the time.
Dont get me wrong, the indie scene CAN be the "knight in shining armor" that the industrie needs so desperately, but it isnt a given just because its indie.

Josaku

#2

Josaku said:

It's good to consider something new, and bring new developers to the market AND to Nintendo. I think even if the Indie craze will eventually fade out, Nintendo could be strengthen it's 3d Party support with these now indie developers, who could eventually become a good standard 3rd for Nintendo. With that said, I think gaining new partners is never bad, so go for it Nintendo and get as much indie support as you can get because every indie developer could become a great success and a solid busines partner in the future.

Geonjaha

#3

Geonjaha said:

I'll be honest; most of my favourite games on steam are indie ones. I buy indies because they offer fresh exciting games that dont cost as much as triple A releases. Once triple A's get their act together again and realize what's important (Not blowing all your budget on cut scenes, and making just another copy cat game of one that already exists) then I'll probably end up buying a lit more of them. I don't buy indies because they're 'cool' - I buy them because I want new experiences with gaming, and ones that actually look enjoyable. Don't get ne wrong, there are loads of terrible indie games, but at least the variety means you can probably find something that's right for you.

Artwark

#4

Artwark said:

If you compare indie games and company games, you'll notice that indie games try something entirely different and end up being fun. I remember playing Cave Story and I can say that its my all time favorite indie game and I love it so much.
These games can also be a bad thing and may have the potential of making another video game crash though I don't think that's happening anytime soon.

Guybrush20X6

#5

Guybrush20X6 said:

I think the AAA and Indies need to work together. Most big film studios have some kind of indie division where they give a bunch of unknowns a moderate budget and if they strike gold market the crap out of it. That's where Juno came from.

Emblem

#6

Emblem said:

@Einherjar I mostly agree with you. Indies might lose the status they have now but their position in the market will stay largley the same, a few big hits and lots of normal to weak titles, which is pretty much the same as the AAA and non indie market.

Due to how easy it is to get a game made and sold nowadays regardless of quality, the market will be oversaturated this generation for sure.

ikki5

#7

ikki5 said:

hmmm, I don't know about this. Sorry to say but those big games that he is pretty much saying will last.... well, there is not much to them. Face it, they are all old and pretty much the same thing each and every time they are made. Everything is a sequel pretty much now with the few new IPs coming out or they are just using the same IP's over and over instead of a wide variety of them over time (Nintendo is guilty of this one). Where as indie games, they bring something new, that isn't just repeated over (though yes, I'll admit, there are those that seem like clones) and they provide something new. Also, Indie games are not as much, they.... usually don't take as long though, the AAA games that people seem to make now a days is pretty much the same length and then it is just DLC and more to make your experience "better". I honestly think indie games are here to stay and maybe even move to the level of the AAA games because there are some incredible ones out there.

ledreppe

#8

ledreppe said:

When I went on wikipedia I was amazed at the sheer volume of eShop exclusives coming out in April and in the pipeline. It made me worry about the quality of a lot of them. I'm all for this, but I don't want to be buried in a sea of crap this gen.

LavaTwilight

#9

LavaTwilight said:

But then I would've said that about the mobile gaming industry. Typically games have been for gamers only and that's it. Who'd have thought that people who would claim not to be interested in computer games and dedicated gaming consoles, would still be willing to spend so much time and money playing computer games just because it's on their phone with a pick-up-and-play style? That craze is still going on. Indie developers are indie developers because they stay indie. If they sign with a company are they still indie-devs? No, they're no longer independent. Now that the technology has been made available to the public, anyone who's interested in IT programming, there's always going to be indie developers.

CaviarMeths

#10

CaviarMeths said:

I think indies are trending now for two major reasons.

First, the price point. The gaming landscape is full of people who only want or can only afford a $10 gaming experience. Video games are no longer a fringe interest like they were in the 80s, or even the 90s. It' a mainstream past time, but with any mainstream past time, the majority of the market are consumers who aren't willing to spend $60 on a single piece of entertainment. For the same reason, you have 1000x the number of people buying a $1 song on iTunes than buying a $100 ticket for a live concert.

AAA titles, on the other hand, are ballooning in budget and price.

Second, overall frustration with major publishers. When 50, 100, 150 million dollars is on the line, what are you going to do? Yes, you're going to release the same darn product in a different wrapper this year, next year, and the year after that because it's the only thing that publishers know will make money. The AAA industry is becoming stagnant. If you want an innovative experience, you need to look at indies and games with a smaller budget.

No trend ever lasts though. Major publishers will adapt to what gamers want and the pendulum will swing back.

CaviarMeths

#11

CaviarMeths said:

@ledreppe I don't think you have to worry about that. Quality and quantity are two separate things. 40 new games doesn't mean 40 bad games. It doesn't mean 40 good games. It doesn't mean 20 good games and 20 bad. It doesn't mean anything. It just means 40 games.

Einherjar

#12

Einherjar said:

@Emblem And exactly that is what could kill it rather quickly. Oversaturation is way more damaging than drought to be honest.
A drought means that people are more likely to pick something up and maybe be interested in the game afterall. If youre over saturated, you will be less likely to just delve in and find the gem amongst the poop because youre just fed up with the sheer mass of stuff.

Peach64

#13

Peach64 said:

It's going to get bigger first. The last 2 years have seen indies being considered for major GOTY awards, and that kind of exposure is going to influence even more wannabe game makers to give it a go.

Genesaur

#14

Genesaur said:

I'm not so sure he's looking at it the right way at all. Maybe there is something of a bandwagon effect going on with indie gaming, but I'd say that's only because it's so within the reach of prospective designers to make the games on their own. This guy makes it sound as if they're only avoiding big publishers because it's the "cool" way of doing it. And yeah, maybe that is the extent of reasoning for some. Maybe we will see a dropoff of the more "shovelware" indie titles, due to companies like Nintendo taking less interest, but I highly doubt that it's simply a craze that will die off. Any designer worth his or her salt is going to keep at it, regardless of trends.

sadsack777

#15

sadsack777 said:

I must say looking at the game development software to day it feels and looks the same over and over again todays games only last between 4 to 5 hours of play that's it for what 40 pound a game lets look back shell we when the amiga was out there games were better played better and last a lot longer amiga shareware games are like indie games today cost less and play with lots of fun get my point

jdarrell

#17

jdarrell said:

Meh, in 5 years more indies will probably become mobile developers occasionally porting games to other systems.

ikki5

#18

ikki5 said:

@sadsack777

45 hours? what games are those? I can only think of RPGs and even then... most games today, especially the AAA games, you'll be lucky to get 20 hours before it is just you going for the rest of stuff and side quests in a game.

MrGawain

#19

MrGawain said:

The problem is, the more indies there are, the more quick buck shovelware. And in a list of games 8 miles long, it's going to be harder for the good ones to shine through. We don't get a million different ideas, we get 10 ideas and then loads of clones. This is the same in any business- look how there used to be only 4 big supermarkets who ruled everything, now there are 10 all trying to cut each others throats.

Morph

#20

Morph said:

I think he's wrong personally, i think the indie thing is here to stay. However my only concern is that those indies who do well will sell out to big publishers, and like he says maybe be forced in a different direction.

WiiULoveSquid

#21

WiiULoveSquid said:

You can't compare it to punk rock, that's a specific sound genre, compare it to the larger indie music industry which maintained sustainability since 80/90s punk has come and gone. Enough people will always "dig" stuff that isn't "all the rage", and gaming due to advances in technology and the number of skilled people out there now is getting its first true taste of that as an industry.

Now, Molyneux is obviously looking forward to the next Taylor Swift of the games industry. Doesn't mean popular You-Tube channels, and self-published games and that kind of "semi-pro" community aren't here to stay in a meaningful way as a part of the larger industry. And the technology will make it just that much easier.

It will get more competitive I'll give him that, just like the graphics race. And perhaps you won't have the Cloudberry Kingdoms of the world being picked up by large publishers.

I can't speak for mobile gaming however. I'm speaking only to the dedicated gaming platforms.

nungi

#22

nungi said:

How come he doesn't have at least a Aa studio working from.You can't stay small forever someday you must grow and get bigger and more experience calls for bigger adventuring

Beetlejuice

#23

Beetlejuice said:

Huh? I fail to understand why the author thinks this was a 'doom and gloom' statement.

It's not as if Molyneux was criticizing indie games or their developers. He was just saying that a lot of these studios are going to likely be bought up by other companies. Is that an 'incendiary' statement? It sounds completely plausible and rational to me. Oculus Rift was just sold to Facebook for gods sake!

He then goes on to say how he prefers working for himself, and gives reasons why, if he was an indie developer currently, he wouldn't 'sell out' to a bigger company. It all makes sense and doesn't sound negative at all, so why did the author try to spin it that way?

I also had to lol @ this sentence "It's an incendiary quote from a man known for incendiary quotes". A thesaurus could have been helpful there!

daggdroppen

#24

daggdroppen said:

I love this indie trend!
1. Those games reminds me of the 80 & 90s
2. They are much more fun than crappy AAA games
3. Indies are innovative in a sense that a multi million dollar game never can achive.

Beetlejuice

#25

Beetlejuice said:

@WiiULoveGBA

I think the comparison to punk was dead on. Originally that style of music represented rebellion, a new attitude, doing things your own way on a small budget, not mainstream, etc. Sounds just like the current indie game scene.

Then punk began to change in the late 80's early 90's where punk bands were signed by major music labels, their sound changed, marketing and recording budgets went up, and their music became more 'manufactured' by the label who owned them.

That's just what Peter was warning would happen to indie developers if they were bought up by EA, Ubisoft, etc.

If you dig around, you can still find a few 'non mainstream' punk bands recording their own stuff, but the vast majority of what kids today consider punk is stuff that's just as mass produced and sterile as current pop music.

Heiki

#27

Heiki said:

I really hope that guy is right. To be fair, I don't care about indies.

ricklongo

#28

ricklongo said:

If Molyneux said it, the opposite will happen. That is like, the rule of the universe.

skywake

#29

skywake said:

The problem with the "it goes in cycles" argument here is that a lot of the reason for the indie boom is the change in game distribution. I have no doubt that the novelty of "indie games" will fade and some of the indies will become bigger. However when they do that doesn't mean that it'll go back to how it was.

When Punk went mainstream it wasn't the death of the idea of "non-mainstream" music. Punk died and New Wave took over, New Wave died and Grunge took the keys, Grunge died and made way for alternative. I'd argue that if anything music these days is more independent than it has ever been. Imagine going to a record label exec and asking "hey guys, I know it's 2014 but we want to make some Psychedelia, Grunge Revival or make something that sounds like The Jesus and Mary Chain". You'd be kicked out.

WiiULoveSquid

#30

WiiULoveSquid said:

@JohnRedcorn The problem is that the large publishers can't buy up enough indie devs for it then to be said that all hype for the independent game market is in limited supply --"Enjoy this time, because inevitably it will only last a short period."--

I agree that going forward large developers will evolve or are already building a secondary market proposition of non-premium/AAA content to meet demands for cheaper-than-traditional game prices, and that /some/ of the indies gaining steam now will be chosen for that.

rjejr

#31

rjejr said:

I don't know if they guy is just trying to be obtuse or he's taken out of context but there are several different things he could be getting at and I'm not entirely sure what he means.

1. Indies are going away could mean they all get bought up by big companies - like Popcap got bought by EA - so they all get eaten.

2. Indies could go away b/c the big companies start making their own "budget" games - see Ubisoft's "Child of Light" which 80% of the people purchasing it will incorrectly refer to it as "indie" when Ubisoft obviously isn't. Ubi has marketing muscle to get the word out an indie doesn't.

3. Indies go away b/c people get bored of the word "indie" and just start referring to them as "game companies". This seems the most likely argument considering his music comparison. There will still be indie games and companies but there won't be a hip "indie scene", people will find something else to talk about, like VR. (Related, hopefully in a few years NL can stop posting a story about Kickstarter funded games every day.)

4. Indies go away b/c people think anything less than $50 or $60 is shovelware and stop buying them. I think this is the least likely due to the DL nature of games on smart devices but his comments could be interpreted that way.

I think a better comparison than music is beer. There are lots of microbreweries now selling beer - they would be the indies - so now companies like Anhuser-Busch-Inbev are coming out w/ beers that have micro-brewery sounding names, and some people probably even buy those beers thinking they are micro brews when they are really just Bud in a different bottle. The good micro brews like Blue Point will be bought up by Inbev. Some micro breweries will wither and die, some will get purchased, and we all go back to just drinking beer.

http://consumerist.com/2014/02/05/anheuser-busch-inbev-has-a-taste-for-craft-beer-gobbles-up-blue-point-brewing-co/

PinkSpider

#32

PinkSpider said:

I didn't realise Peter molynoux hated Microsoft I thought he was loyal to them
Must have missed something

WiiULoveSquid

#33

WiiULoveSquid said:

@skywake I agree. arguably the larger game industry has just now/recently matured to the point that a substantive indie market/culture (culture majorly and importantly) actually exists. And by my prediction is here to stay.

WiiULoveSquid

#35

WiiULoveSquid said:

@rjejr He's speaking mostly to the development community not the players. He's saying that the current climate of indie development being given the fanfare it is getting from major publishers and platform holders is going to fade away because the major publishers are evolving their very own "indie" brands to meet demands for cheaper-than-traditional game prices. This is a new and secondary market proposition from major publishers in addition to the more premium offerings major publishers have always offered.

So whether you agree or not depends on what you think will happen after major publishers have bought a piece of the popular "underground sound" to manufacture themselves.

Linkuini

#39

Linkuini said:

I see a lot of game developers being laid off from big companies like Disney and Popcap and forming their own indie studios lately. I wonder how that will factor into the industry in the near future.

NINTENBOY

#41

NINTENBOY said:

I don't agree with Peter at all on this one, all these great indie games that are finding support left and right.

Being crowd funded all the time because they actually add something new and take risks! You never know the next MINECRAFT could be just around the corner!!

You never know, he just shouldn't have tryed to predict the industry at this point. I respect his opinon but with such a big community of the most dedicated people I've ever seen you can't really predict where this industry is going.

NOTHING IS EVER SET IN STONE WHEN IT COMES TO GAMING! DON’T COUNT THE INDIES OUT JUST YET!

Bizzyb

#42

Bizzyb said:

@CaviarMeths Good point, but the problem with releaseing the same product over and over again is that you eventually burn out your market. This happened with the music game genre, and the skateboard genre, and eventually will happen with FPS genre.

That's why ,imo, we need indies who aren't afraid to try new ideas for gameplay. Hopefully the Wii U provides a canvas for indies to truly shine on.

TruenoGT

#44

TruenoGT said:

Hopefully we're back in the middle ground before too long. The so-called "AAA" games and publishers are becoming worse all the time (IMO) and most indie games are just too "raw" for me. Back in the SNES/Genesis days (and even into PS1), there were tons of medium size publishers making a good variety of polished games across many genres.

Now days it's just massive publishers and tiny indies only, the developer "middle class" has been hollowed out. Hopefully many of these indie folks grow into bigger, but not too big teams and don't get bought out by EA, etc so they can make more complete and fleshed out experiences.

Nintenjoe64

#45

Nintenjoe64 said:

He's right about these things going in cycles but I don't think the indy scene will disappear as much as it did between the C64 era and the current era. There are too many successful platforms to stop there being a decent scene for any one of them at any one time. He just wants people to think that his games will be better than the average indy game.

I wouldn't have a bad word to say about Molyneux if he had made better use of the Bullfrog IP. Selling it to EA just means that they'll rot or become mobile games. Most people that pipe up to criticise him don't realise that Molyneux's company made some of the greatest games of all time. He does seem like he might sniff his own farts though.

Gioku

#46

Gioku said:

"Don't think we're going to be all indies for the next five years"
This quote really gets my blood boiling, let me tell ya... >.<

jrob23

#48

jrob23 said:

the douchness oozes from this guy's pores. Not sure what's worse, his photo or his comments

luke88

#51

luke88 said:

I don't really think he has much of a point at all. 'Indie game' is not a genre: not something that people will just go off. As long as independent developers keep creating good, diverse content then consumers will keep buying it. If consumers stop enjoying good games perhaps independent studios could be in trouble.

His point about investors is just a platitude really.

rjejr

#53

rjejr said:

@Plutonian - Beer is universal. Thanks for the link, better comparison than the one I linked to, but Blue Point Toasted Lager is currently my favorite beer. :-(

Dark-Link73

#55

Dark-Link73 said:

I think he's being realistic. Let's face it people, most (if not all) Indie developers are making games out of their garage/small studio, not because they love being independent; they do it because they feel they are talented and they want the exposure so that one day they can get the opportunity of working our being funded by one of the big ones and make big money.

I don't know if indies will die down because they are a "fad", but if they die down it'll be because they were absorbed or hired btu the big ones and the rest that weren't hired went the way of the dodo. However, I'm sure they'll be others taking their place.

mike_intellivision

#56

mike_intellivision said:

Thoughts on what is likely to happen.

  • Some companies will have a success or two and become bigger players.
  • Some companies will have a success or two and try to milk that for all its worth.
  • Some companies will have a success or two and be bought out and eventually ruined/run into the ground.
  • Some companies will have a success or two and then fade away when they can't repeat their success.
  • Most companies will never have a success or two and will cease to exist.

In other words, what will happen is like any other business.

As for games — there are a couple of points that PM misses. The first is that the mode of distribution shifting from physical to digital has substantially lowered the barrier to entry for the industry. That means it is possible for people to create games with less inputs on a smaller scale and self-publish them. This was not the case in the music industry during the period he selected for comparison.

Additionally, people's tastes are changing and their attention spans are lessoning. In other words, in our chaotic society, the single student who has time for hours-on-end gaming sessions today, may only have minutes between work and family commitments tomorrow, So the style of games has to change to meet the demands of that cohort. There is always the next cohort, but with continually increasing demands on time, they will start with less time available for gaming and see it decrease even further over time — so the smaller games will be viewed more favorably.

Melkac

#58

Melkac said:

The indie craze started...what? 10 years ago with Cave Story?

Yeah, uh, cool story Molyneux. Why don't you go back and make another game with unfulfilled potential like Fable, Black & White...?

Ryno

#59

Ryno said:

Nowhere else on earth do stories get a bigger overreaction then on Nintendolife. OK maybe that too was a little bit of an overreaction.

ultraraichu

#60

ultraraichu said:

I'm not sure if I'm misreading Molyneux's comment in comparison to other users' comments or vice versa but he got a point with investors and indie developers.
If big investors is going to fund (buy up) their game(s) maybe with the possibility of physical copies, then tell them how it should be, doesn't that rob them of the title "indie" developers?

Beetlejuice

#61

Beetlejuice said:

@Melkac

Ya...and then it blew up, got popular today, big publishers took notice and will start to copy that model or buy up indie studios themselves.

What's so hard to understand? He's absolutely right.

TG1

#62

TG1 said:

"Incendiary quote" indeed, at least based on these comments!

Squiggle55

#63

Squiggle55 said:

Indie games are here to stay. Technology has given them the opportunity to be a part of the marketplace. They are more affordable and typically more original. There is no logical reason to think they're going anywhere unless he thinks big publishers are going to lower their prices significantly and take more creative chances.

GalacticMario28

#64

GalacticMario28 said:

It's entirely plausible that indies won't be as big of a thing a few years down the road as both gamers and current indie developers get their fill of what indie games tend to offer, meaning gamers will buy fewer indie games and developers will make fewer indie games. But considering that it's relatively easy and inexpensive to make such games, I think they'll still have a significant presence; just not as significant of a presence as they have right now.

thatguyEZ

#65

thatguyEZ said:

Indie games aren't going anywhere Molyneux. Just..just be quite and stop being an attention wh...hoarder.

Windy

#66

Windy said:

All I want is a good game that is high in Quality. why does it need to be so complicated? is that so hard to understand

Park_Triolo

#67

Park_Triolo said:

@JohnRedcorn Maybe YOU missed all the trash he's been throwing around about Nintendo and WiiU.

Peter Is a burned out grumpy old guy, who's jealous of people in the gaming industry, in this case Nintendo, who have innovative ideas that make for new and exciting ways to enjoy gaming.
But why listen to all this doom and gloom... the WiiU is great, I have a bunch of games for it that I didn't even finish yet, and so many more are coming... cheer up Mr. Molyneux and start looking for a carreer change... please!!!

CazTheGamerGuy

#68

CazTheGamerGuy said:

"If I was still working at Microsoft I would be self-harming." Oh Molyneux, don't be so rude. Everything you do is self-harming.

Yeah, indies aren't a trend or fad, they've existed in some capacity before the seventh generation, it's just that digital stores like Steam has allowed widespread distribution of said titles. Once again, Molyneux has been given more attention than his credentials deserve.

Beetlejuice

#69

Beetlejuice said:

@Park_Triolo

All I saw him say about the Wii-U was that it was a bit of a stumble (which it is) and that he likes Nintendo and trusts them and thinks they will turn things around and return to form. What is so wrong about that? Sounds quite reasonable to me, and certainly isn't "doom and gloom".

JebbyDeringer

#70

JebbyDeringer said:

They won't disappear as such they will just end up becoming legitimately well funded companies starting the cycle over again.

letsplay

#71

letsplay said:

I have to agree with most of you. I buy indies games because they are fun , inexpensive , I don't mind spending $9.99 and the developers support their product.

Mystemo

#73

Mystemo said:

Nintendo continuing what they do best and continuing to bring in more indie developers is not mutually exclusive, they should do both. At least I think that will be best for them in the long run. The indie wave might slow down eventually but I think there will always be room for indie developers in the foreseeable future and having their support can't be anything but an advantage

DefHalan

#74

DefHalan said:

There will always be new developers trying to make it big the industry just like there are always bands trying to get bigger gigs. Same as the music industry there are people who follow smaller bands and people that follow bigger bands. This isn't going to change. The only thing that is going to change are the size of developers followers and the amount of press they get.

Rect_Pola

#75

Rect_Pola said:

I can see that. This is a transitional changing of the guard of who the new big dev houses are. If that happens, I hope they create a new standard of what being a big AAA means and don't just become the new EA and Activision. Of course, in a way, they sort of can't. One of the drives to the current AAA extinction event is how untenable the system has become.

I fully expect that at least some of this indie, crowdfund, vision/passion driven period will evolve into something bigger. I just hope they change enough of the rules to become something better than what we had.

citizenerased

#76

citizenerased said:

Well, someone's gotto give us some creativity, innovation and risk, right Molyneux? If the big guys aren't doing it, leave it to the indies.

Anguspuss

#77

Anguspuss said:

wow & Peter is know for his honesty. Me thinks you might not be around in 5 years.

vattodev

#78

vattodev said:

Yeah, no. He is comparing 80s with nowadays? Seriously? Everyone had to program everything from scratch to make low quality games in the 80s. Now you have high quality engines that make it a lot easier to make a good idea become a reality.
And about the investors, indies can crowdfund. So they don't have to use investors or board meetings. That's the whole purpose of why indies are taking more risks than AAA.

JaxonH

#79

JaxonH said:

As a gamer, I'm really enjoying the indie boom coming to Wii U. We went from extremely sparse indie releases just 6 months ago to 5 new games announced per day (or so it seems, anyways). As gamers, we know how to discern the wheat from the chaff. That's what we do. So a massive influx of new digital games should not be an issue for us.

Oversaturation (as mentioned earlier by another member) is a valid point, and can be damaging, but only to the uninformed masses. The Wii and DS were by far the worst offenders of oversaturation, and Nintendo is STILL paying the price for that mistake. Too many bad games made their way into the hands of the masses, and it damaged Nintendo's reputation as a result. I don't think an over-abundance of indies on the eShop are going to pose the same threat as an over-abundance of physical shovelware on insanely popular gaming devices.

unrandomsam

#80

unrandomsam said:

@JaxonH If you just look on this site at the out now and sort by score then it is not a very accurate picture of what to get for indie stuff (I made that mistake myself).

JaxonH

#81

JaxonH said:

@unrandomsam

Ya, review scores aren't dependable- Eurogamer and Gamespot more than proved that with Tropical Freeze, a game which I find to be the closest thing to excellence I've ever played. Great games get mediocre scores. Popular games get great scores. It's all out of whack.

Usually what I do is I watch a few seconds of the trailers and get a jist of what the game's all about. If it's even remotely interesting, I'll investigate further with as many gameplay vids as necessary to determine whether or not I want the game. I do take the general consensus of review scores into consideration, to an extent, but I trust my own eyes more than I trust another person's written opinion.

So ya, you've really gotta dig and do your homework if you want to find the best digital releases. Due diligence pays.

aaronsullivan

#82

aaronsullivan said:

My hope is that video games are entering an area where niche tastes can be served with games that developers can make money on. In other words, kind of like the music industry.

It's in the throws of change right now and it will go up and down for awhile before that might happen.

aaronsullivan

#83

aaronsullivan said:

@vattodev "From scratch" is just a higher bar now. There's plenty of parallels to the 80's when it comes to being the developer. Making good games is still hard to accomplish and even though the marketplace is bigger it is much more saturated with options.

AugustusOxy

#84

AugustusOxy said:

I don't understand the love of Indy games or kickstarter games.

In all honesty, most of the ones that do well, are not the interesting, well thought out games with new ideas and concepts. Its the ripoffs of previous ideas that get funded and made. Sure its nice, but it shows a general lack of creativity.

I've yet to see too many indy games that I'd consider masterpieces.

baconcow

#85

baconcow said:

I have enjoyed more than a dozen indie games more than a single P.M. game. He's just upset his indie game is so hated, right now.

Spectator

#86

Spectator said:

The word indie is a nice fad, the reality is that its just a hip word like casual and hardcore. Small independent games from small companies have been around forever,that won't change. Who knows how long the label indie will be used for small independent companies; that won't stop those companies from making games whether they are labeled or not. I'm sure the game industry will come up with a new word to replace or spawn off the word indie once they get bored... just wait.

Zombie_Barioth

#87

Zombie_Barioth said:

@JaxonH
I don't know about that, people might be more tolerable of indies but people can still find one too many duds and decide they're done with them. It all depends on how easy it is to sort through everything, especially since not everything is obviously shovelware.

What I'm hoping for is indies eventually lead to a new middle ground. We need more companies like Atlus or Neverland that make their living on much more modest games. We need something in-between small indie games and expensive AAA blockbusters. Remakes and re-releases can't be all there is.

khululy

#88

khululy said:

@Plutonian Who wants to drink American beer anyway!

"Indie" games will always be there but the indie hype will fade and maybe big publishers will realize people like smaller experience with original ideas better than caucasian brawnybrodudes blowing up cities in the back ground and fighting monsters the size of skycrapers cuz they can render all that, yes, we get that!
Game are like cartoons the only limit there is is imagination. They are allowed to take liberties with physics, reality and all that is conventional and known.
But like with most industries where money is the ruler, the magic dies. I still love gaming as a whole but a lot of todays AAA big budget hype games leave the impression of a balloon on a granite surface. It's all like McDonalds food (or other fast food chains) It's tasty it's edible but lacks substance

gregrout

#89

gregrout said:

I think Pete's missed the bus on this one. Indie developers will continue to come out with new games. What's completely missing from Peter's diagnosis is the huge factor mobile games have on the industry. No AAA developer has been able to develop a huge smartphone hit. Indie developers own this industry. We're seeing a lot of these hits being ported to the PC/Console. There's no sign that this is going to change anytime soon.

Action51

#90

Action51 said:

@Spectator I agree and disagree.

  • I agree that the term and the gaming media focus on indie developers is a fad.
  • I disagree that the power of these dozens of smaller developers to leave a mark on the industry is a fad.

The reason is because the AAA mega-publisher model is crumbling and contracting everywhere you look. Sony...in the mist of a sales boom for their killer new home console...is laying people off and closing studios. Bioshock developers Irrational Games president more or less steps down and dissolves the company to make smaller experiences (whatever that means), as hundreds are laid off from Disney Interactive.

Indie games are generally cheaper, involve less overhead and bloated executive salaries, and aren't limited by having to make safe bets on multi-million dollar projects.

Blame the immature, entitled modern gamer and the bought-off games media who wouldn't want to anger the publishers that pay for all those giant ads on the very sites tasked with reviewing their games...but the Indie movement in games is here because there is a demand for innovative experiences.

Spectator

#91

Spectator said:

@Action51
I agree with your statement and where the current industry is at. I believe that the exposure and the demand for indie games has risen and continues to rise.I don't believe the impact of small developers is a fad on the industry. I just believe that small companies have been making an impact through out the lifetime of the game industry, there are just more small game companies now. My impression is that small companies are now getting more exposure because of technology, access to a wider audience to market their product, a changing consumer base, and a bloated mainstream game industry that has become less innovated over the pass 10 yrs when it comes to original IPs.

You are also right there is no way that companies can maintain themselves based on the million dollar budgets they put into games, and if they do they usually go the safe route because they know the consumer may not buy the new IP unless its a sequel to something already established unfortunately. The reality, like you said is that the game industry has turned into the movie industry and it is contracting on itself, at the rate there might only be small companies or at least medium sized companies that could be considered stable. Watching companies like Bizarre Creations, HudsonSoft, Radical Entertainment, and so on go bye bye makes me wonder if all the future next gen games will come from just a hand full of companies. It'll be interesting in the coming years what game companies we'll be talking about.

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