Why Indie Games Matter
By Tadej Kupčič, Project Director, Programmer
A couple of days ago, I was getting so hyped up and excited for this year's E3, I couldn't even sleep. It's the first E3 after all three major consoles were released and I was hoping for some new IPs (intellectual properties) since now is the best time to announce those. New consoles are more powerful, meaning you can implement mechanics you weren't able to before, and new IPs are perfect for that.
After the shows were over, I was feeling a bit... disappointed. Yes, sure, they showed a couple of great looking sequels and we did get a few new IP announcements, like Bloodborne (which is technically a spiritual sequel to Demon's Souls) that got me pretty excited, even though they didn't show any gameplay. But nothing spectacular, nothing I would go and say damn, I must play this right now! It seems like the whole industry is playing it safe, creating the same old cinematic cover shooters and MOBA clones. Am I just getting old or was it always like that? Am I growing out of gaming, becoming like all the other grown ups who say that everything is going down the toilet?
So I took a look back and saw what games were released one or two years after the launch of last generation of consoles. There were games like Bioshock, Crysis, Stalker, Dead Space, Crackdown, Overlord, Lair, Stranglehold, Witcher, Assassin's Creed, Mass Effect and more. All of those are more or less decent games, but they promised something new or exciting. Destroyable environments, being an evil overlord, travelling through space as a space ship commander, becoming a medieval assassin and so on - it was fresh and exciting. Developers were promising new features that would either improve the current gameplay mechanics, create imaginative, amazing new worlds or just try something that hasn't been done before. And even if the game wasn't anything new, it was still made with love and attention to detail, which gave it a special atmosphere.
It seems that I was right. Developers are just playing it safe and sticking to the same dull mechanics and turning game making into nothing more than a straight forward, soulless business. Even worse, each sequel is usually dumbed down and simplistic to cater to lowest common determinator, abandoning the fans in hope of gaining the players of whatever game is the most popular at that moment. And finally, if the game is successful, they shower us with season passes and expensive DLC that should've been in the main game. If the game isn't successful, they blame piracy. I'm unhappy with what AAA games are turning into and every time I mention this to someone, I get spat on and called a hater, an elitist. People just accept this, without thinking what it will do to consumers in the long run.
Now to get to my point - this is why indie games matter. They create games with love, worrying more about the quality of the final product rather than profit. Also, big publishers used to ignore smaller genres that were once popular, like the survival horror genre for example, but now we've proven that those games can indeed make a profit. Not the same kind of profit like Call of Duty, but still enough. It seems like they noticed and now we're receiving quite a handful of AAA horror titles again, like The Evil Within and Alien: Isolation. I'm sure indie game developers are going to continue with innovating gaming - hopefully enough for the mainstream publishers to follow our lead and once again lovingly create amazing, fresh experiences like they once did.
Day 12 | Cowardly Creations