Saturday, August 6, 2011

So Many Indie Games

I hadn't really thought about it much before today, but there are a lot of Indie games out there at the moment.  That are getting publicity, I mean; since I imagine at any given point of history since video games became 'a thing', there have been a number of indie games pushing the total towards the definite area of 'a lot'.  But you didn't really hear much about them unless it was sort of a "this guy, who went on to make this big game, got his start by making this game" and such like that.  All after-the-fact stuff, definitely not the inside looks we get nowadays, if not actually being able to -play- the games before they're done.

Indeed, exposure seems to be the key here, and that's what it's getting thanks in no small part to the rather large success stories out there.  Minecraft for example, a game I've talked about at length here before, started out as the quintessential Indie Game story:  One man, one game, one dream.  It gets to hold the title of the game that sold more copies than any other game before releasing officially, I imagine.  I'm calling it like that, at least, since it's been downloaded over 3 million times and all.  I'm pretty sure that's just, y'know, paid versions since the free version I think is just an in-browser game.

And they're not the only ones, as the above-pictured Cthulhu Saves the World proved last month when it, bundled with Zeboyd Games first game Breathof Death VII, released on Steam and outperformed an entire year and a half of revenue in one week.  Less than a week, even!  And they were even selling the games cheaper than on XBox Live Indie Games, the former exclusive home to both, as the two are bundled together for $3, which even had a discount on that.  Because Steam likes them some sales, you know.  (And we do too.)  The first game, Breath of Death VII debuted on XBLIG for $1, XBLIG's lowest price, where as Cthulhu Saves the World came out at the next lowest price of $3.  You see, games on the XBLIG (I'm getting sick of typing that already) service can only be sold for $1, $3, or $5, which also limits how big the download can be on the developer's side - The lowest price obviously affording the lowest space cap, so the developer really has to think about the content wisely, as you don't just want to bump up to $3 because you were a few MBs over $1's cap.

They're not the only studio looking to jump from...the Indie Game service (phew) to something else either.  The above video (for as.....different as the guy pitching is) shows off three games that are only exclusive to XBLIG (sigh) for a short time longer.  They'll be hitting PSN in the ever-helpful time frame that is 'Soon' for $2.50 a piece, once again priced lower than they have been.  It's pretty easy to say they're going to be PSP PSN Minis, given the price and where they came from, not to mention the publisher, Sanuk Games already has experience putting out Minis, but we'll see.  I guess it could be one of those "Release the same game on PS3 and PSP as separate things and see if anyone notices" deals, though.

I've even sort of touched on indie games before and hadn't noticed the trend until today, which I don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing.  I certainly don't think I'll stop noticing these up-and-coming games from now on, since games worth noticing, regardless of Indie or Studio developed, tend -to- get noticed, some obvious examples notwithstanding, but the obvious fear is that I'll just eventually go "Oh another indie game" with some 'bleh' attitude about it, but I don't think that'll happen with me.  Still, I did think it was interesting enough to point out as a trend after thinking about it for a bit.

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