Rampant Coyote - Indie Roundtable #2
Indies of the Round Table #2 is up at Rampant Coyote, with Jeff Vogel, Steven Peeler, Jason Compton and others answering "What Does the Future Hold". The answers are varied, although I expected more optimism than I read. Here's Jason Compton:
I'm sure things will be different in some way, but I don't see any major breakthroughs on the horizon which would make things "easier" or "better". In my view, the amount of reach a true independent developer has into the increasingly preferred gaming platforms is tiny and shrinking. You may know friends whose faces are always glued to Final Fantasy or Golden Sun on their DS, but there's also never going to be an independent market on mainstream handhelds. (Yes, I said "never." I used to think that the industry was due for an early 80s-style crash which would flush out the excess and open things up again, but I think they've managed to dodge that.) Control over the downloadable content markets on consoles is only going to get tighter. And never mind the mobile phone market you'll never get a sniff of as an indie, either.
On the desktop, I expect library aggregators like GameTap to continue building loyalty and depressing prices with vast catalogs of paid-for content (the downside, from the perspective of contemporary creators, of the "long tail" phenomenon.) And even for hardcore desktop gamers, AAA titles on the high end and "hey, look at this funky Flash game I found today!" on the low end will continue to cover most of what's left.
So, no, I don't suggest banking your money now and waiting for the technology to change.