June 06, 2011 | Filed under: business0039
I just read about an indie games bundle where one of the main ‘selling points’ of the bundles was that you can get six games for just $5.
The implication is that the games are worth a dollar each (or less!). I get the idea that people try and make an offer that you’d be mad to turn down, and for a limited time, as a one-off way to grab some press that you can’t get any other way, maybe there is some merit to that, but increasingly it seems to be the case that people think that charging more than $5 for a game is ‘cheeky’ and that indie games should be $0-$5, and of course half of it goes to charity, but even if we get $0.01, we really thank you for your payment etc etc…
Lets just get this out in the open right now:
Indie means ‘independent’. It means you dont’ work for a publisher that controls your output. It means self-funded, with total control. It does NOT mean *cheap* or *low budget* or *desperate* or *hobbyist*. Granted, there are a lot of hobbyist indie devs, but that doesn’t mean some indies don’t employ a bunch of people, have nice offices, spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on development, produce high quality content, and you know what…. I think it’s perfectly reasonable for a lot of those indie games to sell big numbers, and *shock horror* for the developers to make some decent money without being made to feel like they are worse than osama bin laden.
A lot of indies give me a funny look because I have an advertising budget, as though indies are not allowed to advertise, because we have to do ‘guerrilla marketing’ or beg for coverage on hobbyist-blogs rather than run our business like anyone else. Some gamers flat out refuse to buy GSB because it’s more than $10, despite paying £34.99 for ‘non-indie’ games.
I know quite a few indies that make very good money. Better than anyone I know with a mainstream games industry job. I know a lot of them who run their businesses extremely seriously. They shouldn’t be ashamed of having a successful business or feel ‘too corporate’ because they have a marketing budget and use a PR firm. I can just see the howls of hatred and cries of ‘sell out’ the minute minecraft pays for some adverts somewhere, or refers to notch as CEO.
Most indies make no money. We get that. Lets not try to force all of them to stay tiny and huddled around a begging bowl though. There is nothing wrong with success, even in indie gaming :D