Posted in: Technology

Are Independent Studios The Future of Gaming?

Evan is a guest writer for The Inquisitr and is currently preparing to launch www.fuhso.net.

Thanks to the muscle of the Playstation 3, Xbox 360, and to some extent even the Wii, games have been about who could do the most. Most enemies on-screen, most polygons for character models, most advanced AI, most advanced physics. While not totally the case with the Wii, games are really in a bit of a rut. How many times will people buy the same Madden each year? As much as titles like Gears of War may be popular, there will always be a place for truly innovative, good and different games. Games like Katamari Damacy, Shadow of the Colossus, Rez and Ico have been cult favourites for good reason – going against the traditional grain.

The recent resurgence of old-school titles such as the Bionic Commando remake as well as the popularity of 2-D titles thanks to the Wii Virtual console and XBLA are proof that people like a bit of nostalgia as well as innovation. Why else would I enjoy some Metal Gear Solid 4 and still love playing Metal Slug?

Enter: Fez, a new 2-D/3-D game brought to my attention from the Independent Games Festival where it won Excellence in Visual Art. Looking at the video, the game looks like a total trip. The idea of changing perspective to enter a door, or to make two far apart platforms close enough to access is interesting and innovative, though comments over at Kotaku claim Sega’s Crush for the PSP and Paper Mario are similar.

Even still, it’s great to see small teams of people doing games like Fez and Gish that get people excited over their simplicity yet complexity at the same time. While Fez isn’t out yet I’m actually quite excited to get my hands on it. No word on a release date or price, so keep your eyes on the website if you’re interested. As with movies, certain concepts just may not get out the door with the bigger companies and may take the success of a small company willing to take a risk to really catch the attention of the bigger guys. So, are independent studios the future of gaming?

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2 Responses to “Are Independent Studios The Future of Gaming?”

  1. curiouslypersistent

    As you point out, independent studios have much greater flexibility in innovating and coming up with new ideas. But while the top-selling titles are the franchises, and with the amount of money needed to develop high-quality (if not high concept) games, the EAs and the Vivendis won't be too worried. But that doesn't mean there isn't a strong market for cult games – which by definition have a limited appeal – and like you I hope that the indies continue to produce new and exciting titles

  2. alexis

    Entirely agree with you, graphics, 3d and animations are over rated. A game can look amazing and be boring after 5 minutes. We are taking a totally reverse approach with http://www.erepublik.com allowing us to be a lot more creative.