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October 16th, 2021, 18:16
I think of indie studios as being a bit like SMEs in general - very often they're run by people that are genuinely interested in doing the thing they do, and want to make a good living from it. These often offer products preferable to a large enterprise, where corporate thinking has taken over, and the pressure to become rapacious to please shareholders in the short-term and snag bonuses often results in something less than desirable. I think most of the big game publishers could be labelled "Exhibit AAA".

I think Sony and MS are somewhat an exception, in that they have different concerns than the likes of EA. They actually want to make straightforward, tentpole games to sell their platforms, and the indies that get bought up for that purpose probably face a better fate than those assimilated by EA and co.
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October 16th, 2021, 18:55
It's still complicated to define when an "indie" company is so successful that even though they are making the same kind of game, they also became so successful that their product is suddenly "mainstream" thanks to them being good at it, and because of it many can't see them as indie anymore - Larian is a good example of that.

Their DOS games were risky indie projects, especially the first one was almost made on a dare as the studio was facing bankrupt, and they completely hit the jackpot. But regardless of the success, those games are still not shooters with lootboxes or Battle Royales with skin gachas, they're genuine products that fit within their niche vision of entertainment, and Baldur's Gate 3 will too follow those successful formulas. Successful not because the mainstream dictates it, but because they made something indie into the mainstream with their own success (or at least, popular enough to have outgrown the "indie" label). It's a bit as if to keep being indie, you need to keep being just kinda successful to a niche audience but quirky and flawed overall - if you do too well and grow, then you lose the indie condition, even if it all that success came through operating as an indie studio, and creating indie products.

Also, I agree it's not a good or bad thing, it's just become a kind of label to say something is "worth sympathy" just for the fact that it was made in a modest environment or with modest resources, which to me personally does not have that much value.
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Last edited by Nereida; October 16th, 2021 at 19:06.
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October 17th, 2021, 01:51
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Most YouTube stars promoting the game do.

I just watched a video earlier were one of the larger channels clearly said despite Larian having 300+ employees they are still an indie developer.

He was making excuses for the slow development and lack of a release date.
Larian could be considered an indie developer because they don't depend on financing from a publisher. That's actually the more literal definition of "independent", with one of the main differentiators being that they have complete creative control. (Although for BG3 specifically, that wouldn't be the case since it's using a licensed setting)

But when it comes to games, a lot of people also expect "indie" to mean small/low-budget. Also, some people use it to mean non-mainstream.

All depends on what your personal definition is. Larian can go either way.
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October 17th, 2021, 01:59
Yeah I don't agree with the idea that to be indie you make a flawed less than ideal product with some redeeming features. All developers should be aiming to make a great product with value for their niche. If they have to make a shorter game to achieve that then perhaps they should. Better to be wanting more and if you make it good people will demand more.
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