Starting last year I began doing a game-of-the-year list. I continued compiling games throughout 2014 for this year’s list. Something struck me. There was a prominent lack of indie games. Last year 6 out of my 10 games in the top 10 were indie offerings with ‘Guacamelee’, ‘The Stanley Parable’, ‘Runner 2’, ‘Proteus’, ‘Antichamber’, and ‘Gnomoria’. This year I’ve found myself debating between 2 or 3 indie titles to compete with some of my favorite AAA games. I’m afraid my horribly ill-thought-out moniker may be betrayed by my own tastes.
This also lead me to start considering what will be coming out in the next three months. AAA games bring ‘Civilization: Beyond Earth’, ‘Dragon Age: Inquisition’, and ‘Super Smash Bros Wii U’ to my table and those are by far the most tantalizing offers I’ve seen in gaming. Indie Games have me excited for ‘Hotline Miami 2’, which may or may not be released this year. But why, as a person who really enjoys finding indie games, have I been so devoid of indie content in my repertoire?
I’m starting to think the market exhaustion of indie games has caught up to me. I can’t believe that good titles aren’t being released. I’ve played many popular indie games this year including ‘Shovel Knight’, ‘Fract OSC’, ‘Deity Quest’, ‘Transistor’, ‘A Golden Wake’, and ‘Jazzpunk’ as well as many others I’m sure I’ve talked about at length on the podcast. Most of those games were fantastic and I’d highly recommend them, but occasionally I feel as though I’ve missed something.
This could be my own fault. I screw up often. But Indie Games are in danger of succumbing to the same syndrome that the app store suffers from; there’s too much and nowhere reliable to siphon out the good ones. I find other indie sites often give out free positive publicity because they want many indie games to be better than they actually are. I’ve worked in this business for a bit and I know that often times people can discourage an indie journalist from writing negative things about an indie developer. But that’s their bit and not mine.
I simply hope that indie games don’t die out due to the exhaustion of the market place. For as many steps as Steam, PlayStation, and Xbox have taken for Indie Developers, it feels harder than ever to find smaller indie games. Personally, I play everything that comes into our press inbox, and I’ll talk about it on the podcast. Hopefully that keeps you informed. I’ll keep working on my personality crisis, but most importantly, I’ll keep playing what I enjoy playing. That’s the best I can do for our readers and listeners.
If you have any opinions or have felt similarly please don’t be afraid to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll probably talk about it on the podcast. Any opinions, no matter how divisive, would be appreciated.