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How Do You Define an Indie, and What Does That Even Mean?

February 17, 2012 1 comment

Indie Fortress is a site completely dedicated to the promotion of the indie gaming scene, but how do you determine whether or not a game is qualified to be considered an indie title? What is it about these games and their developers that makes them so different from more traditional game studios, and why do they get attached to that increasingly popular buzzword, the indie? What does being an indie developer even mean?

The scene has really blossomed over these past few years, almost to the point where it’s in it’s own little market. The uniquely affordable bundles are one aspect of that, but to be honest, even without the bundles, many indie titles are already significantly less expensive than your average retail game from a ‘AAA’ studio. Oftentimes, the product is inarguably more creative than anything you’d get out of one of those big name studios as well. My personal gaming time is dominated nearly exclusively by these games that we brand as “indies,” but what does that really mean? Is an indie developer defined by how large the team is? What about funding, does it matter where their money comes from? If so, what about studios like Supergiant Games, who developed Bastion all on their own dime, then once it was finished had it published by Warner Bros? Does that final act of seeking assistance from a big name publisher somehow strip Bastion of the right to be called an indie game? Read more…