What does it mean to be an independent developer in the age of big publishers? Does it offer greater creative liberties? Next-Gen.Biz spoke to Insomniac Games, Pandemic/Bioware, Foundation 9 and Valve...
The term "indie" isn't just about not being owned by a publisher, although that does play an important factor. The word is an idea, a mindset and a culture that is often worn as a badge of pride and a sign of freedom and free-thinking by creative types. You have the indie musician, indie writer and of course, the indie game developer.
There's also this air of myth surrounding indies of all types, that, commercialism be damned, they'll create what they want, when they want and how they want, even if it means Ramen noodle dinners for the foreseeable future.
Not so, at least for the following big independent developers, who have seen success, growth and (major) cash money, while still managing to retain that creative freedom and way of thinking that can best be described as "indie."