Company makes derivative indie game, complains about poor sales

And this is news apparently.

As a short little post, in a lot of ways this doesn’t surprise me.

There are a lot of Indie games out there now, as I’m sure I don’t need to tell you, if you’re even remotely into video games. The problem is, most of these video games are incredibly derivative. Part of this, I assume, is the difficulty in making a game with limited people and funds, but the other side does also seem to be ‘this is the type of game people are making, so we’ll make it’.

Indie game list:

2-D
Side-scrolling
“Retro”/”Pixel art”/”Old school”
Challenging (as if that’s a selling point)
A re-make of… Minecraft, WipeOut, Super Meat Boy, (any of the few that were alarmingly popular)

There are many more “indie” game sins, but you probably understand what I’m going for. I don’t want to buy the same game over and over. Neither, clearly, do other people. You can’t make a game with ‘just that one simple mechanic, and the game’s awesome.’ Looking at the few Indie games I really like, such as Amnesia: The Dark Descent or Deadly Premonition (yes I realise there is a horror bias) these games are fully realised, complex games – they have staying power. I don’t suppose making it in anything is supposed to be that simple.

The last point I wanted to touch on is something I’ve read around here and there on the internet, that the ‘indie bubble is ending’ and to a certain extent this kind of game development is the fault. Re-making the same style of game that someone else was successful may have working at the beginning, but there are so many copy cats and so many indie companies starting up it’s become a bit of a joke.

Adding to that, much bigger companies (that are in no way Indie) are now funding “Indie games” to catch in on the phenomena that “indie’ is now beginning to mean what it does in the music genre sense now. Indie is becoming a game genre, with its own crowd and over-used tropes. For me, it’s really struggling to be about people wanting to make something great and get it out there. It’s just about getting out there.

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