Sunday, May 22nd, 2022

The term “indie” has lost its meaning, but it’s probably a positive sign.

During the holiday season, we’ll republish some of the best features, interviews, opinion pieces, and issues of the last 12 months. From staff and contributors — The articles we feel represent our best in 2021.Among them is our usual combination of thoughtfulness, frivolity and retro. Expertise, The nostalgia of the game, and, of course, the enthusiasm for everything about Nintendo. fun!


Console’Bit’ Wars Internet / Download Store Going back to the pre-era, the way we bought and enjoyed games wouldn’t have changed anymore. Video games were expensive store purchases and often relied on renting games that they couldn’t afford or promised to buy. There are no downloads and there aren’t many discounts. In the market, a relatively small number of companies owned all the cards.

For example, releasing a game aimed at successful sales in the 90’s was a logistical challenge that only major publishers could meet. Every step of manufacturing, distribution, retail, and process required staff, contacts, and a lot of money. Like everything else in the entertainment industry at the time, without corporate weight and resources, there were multiple gatekeepers and locked doors. Nintendo is certainly one of those gatekeepers, and when the PlayStation went on sale in the mid-’90s, some companies eventually had strict licensing agreements that prompted them to work with Sony. did.

Today, games can be created by a few people, released with little help, and can sell hundreds of thousands or even millions of copies. This is also a recent development, and the big picture is that it will occur in a little over 10 years. Back in 2012′Indie games: movies‘Behind the scenes, it got a lot of attention because it showed the early pioneers and the shocking success of the time: Super Meet Boy’s Team Meet, Blade’s Number Non, and Fez’s Polytron. Of course, there were other early successes, but especially those examples show a wide range of game viewers, as well as a growing community of small developers.

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Image: Polytron

The term “indie” was meaningful at that time. After all, it stands for “independent”. These are actually individuals and small teams, and were brought to court after platform holders such as Xbox, Nintendo, and Sony revealed that they needed a relatively new download store to attract players. .. In addition, these independent developers were working on it. The kind of game that many have never seen: small, smart, sometimes emotional, especially impactful. Just because you don’t have a big budget doesn’t mean that the actual gameplay experience is appealing. It seems obvious now, but going back more than a decade, this felt like a revelation.

Just because you don’t have a big budget doesn’t mean that the actual gameplay experience is appealing.

This was, in fact, an advance to the mainstream of the scene, which was always present in the game, but rarely had a chance to shine. “Bedroom coder” actually created the industry with pre-Famicom game systems. The PC / early internet scene was the home of this kind of game. What changed was the fact that the owners of the console platform, the most powerful gatekeeper of all, were interested in these small independent teams and their fascinating games.

Even today, some of these indie games are still there today. We’ve created great games that small teams will hit, and we’re doing it ourselves.That group of talents to go to it very Still there alone, it’s worth noting.

However, over the last decade, we have also seen the rise of indie publishers. Many download-only or small games have not yet been picked up and supported by the big players in the traditional retail scene, but new aspects of the business have spawned these publishers of download-only games. Of course, a limited release physics edition.

These publishers, of course, vary greatly in size and resources. In some cases, we spend a fair amount of money to help small games evolve and reach the next level. It also focuses on everything that some developers can’t or don’t want to work on, such as marketing, public relations, quality ratings, and key points when sending and releasing games on platforms such as e-shops. in some cases. The idea is similar to all the powerful publishers of the 90’s, but usually the price is low and most small games are mostly digital businesses. Smaller, more flexible, a natural evolution of the Internet age.

GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon is made by Guru Guru, a small indie studio with Konami.
GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon is made by Guru Guru, a small indie studio with Konami. (Image: Konami)

But now, the general usage of “indie” as a term has evolved to the point where practical indicators do not really mean “independence.” Nintendo’s indie world broadcast is one example.Some of the publishers involved are Thunderful, Devolver Digital, Team17, and even Konami.. To say this in advance, this is not a criticism, but the problem is that applying “indie” to such companies makes little sense. Given the size of their business, what exactly are they “independent”?

Taking Thunderful, Team17, and Devolver Digital as examples, it’s important to say that you’ve achieved great success as a publisher and developer through savvy business, investment, and, more importantly, great games. Thunder was born from the story of the victory of Image & Form, which was the first success in the SteamWorld series. Devolver has become synonymous with eccentric, bold and imaginative “boutique” games. This is a company with an outstanding eye for top-notch titles and impressive viral marketing techniques. Team17 has become a game champion by small developers while modernizing its own iconic brands like Worms. Still, they are all as entities, good Beyond being “indie” in the true sense of his word; they are powerful in their own right, with different departments to suit the traps of large corporations, many employees and many. Influential.

In the pre-Internet era, developers needed help from Capcom, Electronic Arts, and more, but now dozens (perhaps hundreds) of publishers New indie scene.

In my previous job, I attended multiple gaming industry events from a business standpoint. This will move you to a different area from the main show, with many meeting areas and some suits. Devolver Digital often had meeting spaces the same size as Nintendo and Microsoft. The scale is impressive. This year, there are reports that the company may go public, which could reach £ 1 billion.

But the point is that we’re not saying this as a negative, but as a sign that the gaming industry is evolving. Such companies aren’t exactly indie, but they often help small team games to get mainstream attention. Like the social media platforms that once appeared, the “indie” scene has grown and monetized over time through more traditional patterns.In the pre-Internet era, developers needed help from Capcom, Electronic Arts, and more, but now dozens (perhaps hundreds) of publishers New indie A scene where influence and influence do not secure the shelf space of the store, but realize prime billing in the showcase of media and platform holders.

Combining the influence of these wealthy publishers with a small development team creating innovative and engaging games, it’s an exciting time for download / non-triple A space fans.Technology and tools Indie Developers provide a way to create beautiful games as well as impact. Some projects with careful budgets and good contacts can achieve production value that you wouldn’t have dreamed of other than on a large scale 10 years ago. -Budget title.

The only negative thing at this point is that “indie” can be hijacked as a term of degree “cool”. Konami is clearly eligible for indie world broadcasts, which seems extraordinary. We also have a relatively large and resource-rich development studio that forms and brands ourselves as “independent”. I recently received a press release promoting a new independent studio full of renowned industry veterans. This ended with thanks to our partners Google, Tencent and 505 Games.

Among Us, developed and self-published by Innersloth, has been incredibly successful from 2020 to this year.
Among Us, developed and self-published by Innersloth, has been incredibly successful from 2020 to this year. (Image: Innersloth)

The problem with this and the problem of applying indie tags to major publishers like the one above is creating a new gatekeeper. actually Stick to an independent route.Between us Walheim Although shown, the success of a relatively small amount of breakout should not be treated as an indication that the problem does not exist. If Devolver, Team17, Annapurna Interactive, etc. are new generation gatekeepers, it is important that their indie spirit is not restored as their wealth and influence grows over the years. Right now we’re in a great sweet spot where we’ve found a small team with significant support and ultimate success, but we’re also seeing developers drop out with their publishing partners. It keeps the balance.

Unfortunately, the “Triple A” industry has seen how profits and huge amounts of money contribute to ethics, worker rights, and the actual quality of the gaming experience.Expect it, like in this era Mega indies As the “indies” grow, these pitfalls can be avoided and the various games and experiences we have enjoyed over the last decade will only get better.