During the 1980s, a large part of the video game industry was actually fuelled by the efforts of geeky teenagers that loved mathematics and technology and sat in their rooms coding video games for such machines as the Commodore 64 and the ZX Spectrum. This was the rock and roll period of video games, where creativity was oozing from every corner and games had such wonderful titles as Nodes of Yesod and Quazartron.
And then, tragically, video games became a hot commodity, and creativity and independence was sucked from the industry. Far from being able to be made by a high school kid in his spare time, titles needed teams of hundreds of people and budgets that ran into the millions.
With so much on the line, the higher ups that ran video game publishers only saw one choice: the safest bet. And so the industry became drowned in a torrent of first-person shooter wannabes and sequels to games that sold well. Recycle, reuse, regurgitate. Is anyone really surprised that Bioshock 2 is on its way? It seems that the days of the independent developer are dead.
Or are they? Indeed, while big budget developers might be proclaiming the PC scene to be dead, the PC has proven that small independent titles such as Fashion Star can flourish thanks to digital distribution.