Title: who do you support?
Posted: February 27, 2009 (06:31 PM)
big gaming companies with their big budget money making franchises and small ideas or small-time companies with small budgets and big ideas? the fat cats who are cash-strapped and already famous or the starving artist who is penniless and looking for their big break?
i think more people should help support smaller game developers/studios... at least support them enough for them to continue to function and not be shuttered out like Ensemble Studios, but Ensemble were fairly high-profile, but small nevertheless.
i was looking up sales numbers for games i recently bought on vgchartz. the numbers are estimates more or less but couldn't be further from the truth...DJ Max Fever has only sold about 7,000 copies so far in a month. i've been a big fan of this series for awhile and i'd have to say these numbers are disappointing. makes me wonder if this is the only game PM Studios will ever publish. Deadly Creatures from Rainbow Studios only has sold 4,000 copies. it's a shame. the concept is novel and the production values are decent. it's a departure from all their MX ATV motocross games and *gasp* Disney's Cars games which i'm not a fan of. makes me wonder how much more successful it would be if THQ put this on 360 or PS3. both of those games i mentioned are not perfect by any means(some bugs, glitches etc.) but they are exceptional games that do something different than the norm. i've also noticed my buying habits have changed quite a bit this year because i would never be hesitant to buy Resident Evil 5 or Killzone 2 or name your blockbuster game on day one last year, but i don't know--times have changed. i've been let down by those hyped games last like Assassins Creed,GTAIV, Metal Gear Solid 4, Resistance 2 etc. and thus have lost some interest in those games but... what i am excited for is Devil Summoner 2!! and no more paying $10-20 extra for collector's edition unless it's free like Atlus always seems to do with their games! i've bought Legacy of Y's...but the reviews have generally been less favorable. if you never played Y's Complete or Eternal on import, this isn't too bad an alternative though.
Posted: February 28, 2009 (12:18 AM)
I will buy the games I want to play. It's that simple. If an indie developer makes something interesting to me, I'll buy and play that. If a big publisher does so, it's the same deal. I'm all for indie games, but ultimately I'm paying money and I want my money's worth. Sadly, that usually means I buy games from the big guys. Indie developers too often don't bring new ideas to the table, just easy ones or less impressive versions of the latest blockbuster. There are exceptions and I'll support those, but a game isn't going to get my money just because a starving artist made it.
Posted: March 01, 2009 (06:11 PM)
I'd have bought Deadly Creatures already if I hadn't stopped gaming :)
It occurs to me I'm less clear on the role of indie games publishers than on the role of indie artists in say film, or music (and I am one in music.)
Mainstream practice is usually led by the underground or indies in most mediums. EG - A big company is too conservative to take a swing at a certain kind of genre film, but if some indie guy makes a film in that genre that excites everyone, then the big guys start copying him and eventually his repertoire is absorbed, in diluted form, by the mainstream, and made acceptable to people who are only following mainstream stuff.
And of course there will be branches of material that will only ever be generated by indies because they may be too extreme for the mainstream to ever accept.
So there's a huge history of this in films, music and visual arts especially. In games... I don't know. There are economy of scale issues. In the 80s, most games were made by one guy. Now a dev team is as big as a film crew if it's going to be able to pull off something of a certain technical qualty (usually in 3d), and its members are even more specialised in knowledge. I'd say commercial game development is probably one of the most expensive, closed up and prohibitive to the layman industries there is, just because of the costs, scale and knowledge involved.
Because of that, gaming indie-dom doesn't seem to have a relationship with the mainstream like in the other industries. I don't see the indie game developers blazing the trails here. When you think of things that shook up genres (MGS, Resident EVil etc), it usually came from somebody big. If anything, then the indies went and imitated them. Again, I'm thinking of all those really cheap horror games for the PS1 that came after Res Evil.
So I haven't really worked out what all this means. In music, I would usually look to more esoteric or extreme artists to give me what the mainstream won't. But I rarely go into a game shop with such thoughts.