Indy development is still going strong - Braben

Veteran game designer David Braben has said that he believes there's still very much a future for independent studios, despite a more cautious attitude from publishers.

Braben's comments came during a Q&A session following his speech at London's Science Museum last night. He argued that indy developers "essentially survive on the strength of our last games, but that doesn't mean there won't continue to be an independent sector. If anything, the independent sector will grow and grow."
Braben observed that big publishers often go through cycles of bringing games in-house in a bid to gain maximum control - but the projects can fail as budgets spiral out of control, and a return to independent developers follows.

"Saying there is no place for independents is like saying there would be no place for independents in the film sector or the music sector - there always has been and there always will be," he said.

However, Braben added, the success or failure of an independent developer can also have a lot to do with the studio's location. "I think there are a lot of difficulties relating to where those independents are based. Britain is a harder country for that; there are a lot of countries that are becoming ever easier, especially places like Canada."

Braben's speech, 'Gaming: Now and Then', focused on comparisons between the development of the games and film industries. He discussed his experiences in creating classic title Elite as well as more recent projects such as forthcoming PS3 and Xbox 360 title The Outsider.

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