Research FEZ

Published on October 29th, 2012 | by Nidde


What is an indie game?

Just what is an indie game?
If you want to look at the clinical term it would be a game that was developed, published and distributed with out the help of other entities than the developer. But there are a few flaws with that definition. For if that was the case, Team Fortress 2, which is developed by Valve, published by Valve, and distributed by Valve, would be considered an indie game; but it isn’t, because Valve isn’t considered indie, because it’s too big of a player. So that isn’t it, the definition is something else, but what?

Is it a budget-thing? That a game has to sit below a certain bar on a scale to be considered indie? I doubt that Mega Man 9 had a bigger budget than Bastion, even though Bastion was made by an indie developer and the return of the Blue Bomber had the backing of Capcom.

Some say that it’s a passion-thing. That an indie game is indie because the people behind have an idea and that idea is seen through to ’till the end. Limbo would be such a game. The developers sought out financial aid, but with every offer there was something that the team didn’t like, so they declined and struggled through on their own.

“Independent video games (commonly referred to as indie games) are video games created by individuals or small teams without video game publisher financial support.”

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say on the subject:




So could that be it? As long as there is no financial help from a publisher the game is considered indie? Because I’m pretty sure that Blizzard isn’t taking a chunk of money from Activision to develop the Starcraft games. thatgamecompany is also considered to be an indie developer, even though they have a backing from Sony.

I believe that the term indie can’t be defined at this moment, and it’s been diluted with interpretations that range from team size, to passion, to how true the final product is to the concept.

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About the Author

For 500 days, from January 1st, 2013, until May 16th, 2014, Nidde will set aside all AAA-titles and only play indie games to find out if the indie scene can replace the big budget landscape.

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