WKU POP 201

Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Independent Developing: The Good and The Bad

Posted by connorfrederick12 on April 12, 2017

I’ve said it to my friends that I play Xbox/PlayStation with many times; Independent (Indie) game studios and developers are the future of console gaming.

The essay by David Edery, “The Long Tail of Digital Games” stood out to me not only because it appealed to me as a hardcore (sometimes competitive) gamer, but it also relates to my previous blog post.

This all relates back, in the way I see it, to user generated content. For example: the highly popular game series Counter-Strike that was first released in 1999 by Valve Corporation. Counter-Strike was originally a user created mod for the highly acclaimed Valve hit Half-Life that Valve took notice of and bought from the creator. Counter-Strike has now become one of the world’s largest E-Sports with 2012’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and is continuing to grow every day. This is where independent creation is at its best.

With mammoth game studios such as Activision, Treyarch, Infinity Ward, Ubisoft, Valve, EA, Bathesda, Nintendo, Blizzard and Rockstar pumping out huge games all the time there is going to be problems. Ubisoft pushed out an Assassin’s Creed title every year for 5 years and they became more and more lack luster by the year, while studios like Bathesda and Rockstar will release huge titles such as the critically acclaimed The Elder Scrolls and Grand Theft Auto series every 4-5 years and those are huge successes. But there is a lot of down time between lackluster games that last a month and great games that only come out every 4-5 years. This is where indie developers come in.

Indie game studios produce great (and not so great titles) such as Mojang’s massive hit Minecraft and the not so great in Hello Games’ No Man’s Wky (which I personally enjoyed for awhile). People flock to these game studios because there are so many niche studios that appeal to every type of gamer and they release fantastic titles towards that certain group of people.

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One Response to “Independent Developing: The Good and The Bad”

  1. Sean Hull said

    Though indies being acquired by larger companies can be good for their creators and for the games’ popularity, it’s also interesting to consider when it is detrimental; Though the name of Valve still holds considerable sway, their tendency to shoehorn loot boxes into their games can grow tiresome, particularly in cases such as that of DOTA 2, in which a war of attrition over which cosmetics can become the most gaudy has been underway for the last couple of years. Thankfully in Valve’s case, the games subject to their sometimes questionable decision making are derivative of the original fan products, and do not directly affect the original media. The same goes for Minecraft, for which a new Windows 10 edition was developed in C++ after being acquired by Microsoft. Though this does leave the fate of the Java version uncertain, it also means that MS isn’t focusing their attention on it, which some are probably considering a good thing considering that MS just announced an online store exclusively for the Windows 10 edition.

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