Opinion Piece: Don’t Forget the Indies!

It was only recently that I’ve actually started putting more time aside to play indie games. With so many triple A titles coming out these days and limited time to play them all, it’s easy to forget about the smaller titles. And when I say indie, I’m not so much talking about studios like ours (Climax Studios). I’m more thinking more along the lines of FEZ, Super Meat Boy and Antichamber – games that were developed with minimal funding and by a few people (whether self-published or published by someone else). Indie studios like our or Telltale don’t operate the same way as these indie studios. Certainly we’re independent, but a 26 year old studio with over 100 employees that has worked with many major IPs (we made 2 of the Silent Hill games) and with many of the big publishers is not what comes to most people’s minds when you say ‘indie’. I think we do need to come up with a better term, but that’s a matter for another day. So what’s so charming about these truly small budget, but not always small scale indie projects? Why am I suggesting taking precious gaming time out for games like Antichamber or Monaco? I’m of course not saying you should stop playing AAA titles or bigger indie titles, only that these smaller titles deserve a place in your heart too. Continue reading

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5 Awesome Gaming Trends of 2013

2013 saw a lot of changes in the games industry. Some were good, some great, some awful and some fell flat on their faces. However, one thing that can’t be denied is that there have been a lot of innovations and a lot of people trying new things. Of course, it’s easy to focus on the parts of the industry that are not changing and are possibly even stagnating, like the release of sequel after sequel and the unadventurous attitudes to existing game genres, but you only need to take a step back and take a look at the year as a whole to realise that there’s been plenty of new and interesting developments too. With the launch of the PS4 and Xbox One and a ‘new generation’ of games on the horizon there are likely to many many more surprises in the future. So what better time than now to look back on the last year and see what trends really worked? There are tons of interesting trends which have developed or are developing as we speak, like second screens, cross-play, cloud computing and the resurgence of platformers and rather than try to pick the ones I think are the most important to the industry, I’ve decided instead to pick just 5 trends that I personally found the most exciting. What are you favourite trends of 2013? Are they anything like mine? Let me know in the comments below! Continue reading