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Forget Innovation From The Indies 98

spidweb writes "RPGVault has an article from a long-time indie game author about how people who want innovation in games shouldn't look to the small developers. It is his view that innovation in games will come from big companies, if at all. From the article: 'Indie developers have a real purpose in this world. They make little niche products for markets too small for Activision. They make many new puzzle games for the casual audience. Or, at least, the same old puzzle game again and again. They rewrite Asteroids... because someone has to.'"
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Forget Innovation From The Indies

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  • by spidweb ( 134146 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:23PM (#14845934) Homepage
    The responses to my article weren't surprising. People have a lot emotionally invested in the whole "Indie idea."

    I appreciate the examples of innovative games from Indies. Even if many of them came from the days when dinosaurs ruled the Earth. SimCity and Doom are not relevant to a discussion about the world Today.

    But I'm still right. A huge chunk of the really innovative stuff is coming from the big studios. I'm thinking of The Sims/Sims 2/Sims Online. (EA) The Movies. (Activision) Spore, if it works. (EA) Guild Wars. (NCSoft) And I didn't even mention any console games. (I should get 2 bonus points for not bringing up Katamari Damacy.)

    Because of space limitations, I regret I couldn't mention Darwinia. (Incremental innovation in quality visuals.) Or Tale In the Desert. (Which is one valid argument against my point of view. I hope one day to see another.)

    I'm not saying Indies suck. Obviously. I am one. But I am saying that people shouldn't fetishize them. They're people with small budgets and bills to pay. And that's why they write 50 retro-arcade games and puzzle clones for every one game with any claim to creativity. Because they have to.

    - Jeff Vogel []

God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"