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Indie Games Are the Future, Say Ken Levine of Bioshock and Cliff Bleszinski of Gears of War

Ken Levine(Bioshock) and Cliff Bleszinski (Gears of War), join the list of AAA game developers who are leaving the ultra-commercial disc-based games space to find a new home in independent game development.

They’re far from the first AAA game developers to move to the indie scene. Robert Zubek (SomaSim Games), Thor Alexander (Lucky Puppy), Borut Pfeifer (Plush Apocalypse Productions) and Damian Isla (Moonshot Games) and many more AAA game developers have recently moved to indie games in the desire for more creative freedom. It seems indie games are the future for many AAA game developers.

“I’ll never make another disc-based game for the rest of my career,” said Gears of War creator Cliff Bleszinski, while Bioshock’s Ken Levine said, “To foster the most direct relationship with our fans possible, we will focus exclusively on content delivered digitally.”

cliff blezsinski gears of war

indie games are the future, says Cliff Blezsinski , Gears of War creator

Levine makes s good point. AAA game development limits the involvement of the fans. The problem is financial. AAA game require an investment of many millions of dollars, which is usually invested by producers and company shareholders who, in the interest of seeing share prices rise, place constraints on the game designer’s creativity.

The benefits of making games with smaller independent teams are numerous. Firstly, there’s the fact that by being independent, developers aren’t limited by the concerns of financial investors. This leads to more creative freedom, meaning more original and unique games. By having a smaller team, game developments become tighter-knit, the creations of a few people with the same vision, meaning a more personalised style of game design. Finally, by being digital-only, much of the manufacturing cost is removed, meaning less financial risk and a greater ability to take chances on untested gaming ideas.

What all this means, essentially, is that game developers are committing to making more creative games dedicated to specific fans. This can only be a good thing for gaming in general. Hefty financial responsibilities have led developers to be cautious with their designs. The move to digital-only indie games means much greater freedom and much more creative game designs. To put it another way: digital based indie games are the future.

Paul M Harrison

Professional esports commentator and freelance games journalist. Basically, gaming is my life. And I love it.

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