We continue to summarize the results of 2023 together with the game teams. Next up is an interview with Ilya Maksimenko, founder of the FlyinDogs indie studio.
News and articles about indie development (primarily about small independent teams working on premium games).
Despite many great releases, 2023 hasn’t been all that good (to put it mildly) for people making games. Here are the prevailing sentiments among developers about the current state of the market and the possible future.
Shortly after Valve announced the OLED version of Steam Deck, its handheld PC has become the top-selling product on the store. Here are all the notable shifts that have occurred on the charts over the past week.
The cooperative horror Lethal Company, created by a lone developer Zeekerss, has become a hit on Steam. It took the third place in the chart of the highest-grossing premium products on the site for the last week.
On October 27, two indie developers Joe Henson and Joure Visser released the horror DON’T SCREAM for early access on Steam. In a conversation with gaming expert Simon Carless, they talked about the success of the game.
Roguelite survival/mining game Dome Keeper has managed to spawn a new wave of interest from users a year after its launch on Steam. Here is how the latest update impacted the title’s metrics.
Thronefall is a minimalistic urban planner with Tower Defense elements. Indie studio GrizzlyGames, consisting of only two people, shared the success of the game in a conversation with gaming expert Simon Carless.
Indie developer David Szymanski, best known for his work on games like DUSK and Gloomwood, has shared some thoughts on Game Pass. He believes that the dominance of one subscription service could hurt the indie games market.
Canada-based indie developer Sabotage Studio has just released Sea of Stars, a turn-based RPG in the style of classic Japanese titles. Let’s take a look at its launch numbers.
Magic shooter Immortals of Aveum has just been released globally. The initial metrics for the AAA game, developed by Ascendant Studios and published under the EA Originals program, don’t look promising.
Consultant and experienced developer Rami Ismail has shared his thoughts on the state of the games industry, while expressing some fears and concerns. He tried to outline the issues of the existing system where funding decides what gets made.
Gwen Foster, who is engaged in business development at indie studios SUPERHOT Team, Well Told Entertainment and Sad Owl Studios, decided to help colleagues from other studios. She posted a sample presentation online for pitching the game.
The founder of the studio UnifiQ Games Seyed Nasrollahi (Seyed Nasrollahi) compiled a table with investors and publishers of indie games for consoles and PCs. There are 150 companies in it.
Microsoft has celebrated the 10th anniversary of the ID@Xbox program. In honor of this, she shared a number of numbers.
Last year, independent Kazakh studios made games more actively than indie developers in any other countries. The number of new games from indie studios in Kazakhstan increased by 115.7% compared to 2021. This was reported by Unity in a recent report on the gaming industry.
The Canadian Dynasty Loop has not paid its employees and contractors since January, four employees of the indie studio told the Polygon portal. To date, the company’s debts exceed $2 million.
The organizers of the Indie Cup competition told about plans to launch the Ukrainian Games portal. They want to collect all the information about Ukrainian games and developers in one place.
Take-Two‘s “daughter” named the Private Division Development Fund. She said that the foundation will offer independent developers financial assistance and advice, but they will have to publish the games themselves.
Such data was shared by game marketing expert Chris Zukowski. He analyzed the revenue of paid indie games released on Steam in 2019.
One of the most striking indie games of the past year, many industry publications recognized Unpacking, a cute game that reveals the story of a girl through the things she carried through life with her.
RedManta Games and Sonar Studios have announced a merger. Now they will work under the name Twin Atlas.
The fund is called the Indie Games Fund. Small teams (maximum 50 people) who have already released games on Google Play or on another platform will be able to receive investments from it.
videogamedunkey stated that he has been making videos about video games for more than 11 years and has played a lot of titles during this time. He considers the launch of an indie publishing house to be a “harmonious continuation” of the YouTube channel.
Jeronimo Barrera, a former vice president of Rockstar Games, also joined the board of consultants of the platform.
The South Korean company announced that it will support local indie developers who want to enter the global market. Kakao Games will invest in them through a fund created by Kona Venture Partners.
Indie developers will start receiving free PS5 devkits. Sony hopes that thanks to the new program, it will be able to improve the publishing process and lower the entry threshold on the PlayStation.
In March, the Australian state-owned company Screen Australia opened the Games: Expansion Pack fund to support independent game studios. Yesterday she announced her first investment. Immediately 31 indie developers received a total of 4 million Australian dollars (2.7 million US dollars).
A new publisher has appeared on the gaming market. Italian Digital Bros has announced the launch of a subsidiary company Hook, which will publish indie games.
The organizer of gaming exhibitions Media Indie Exchange (aka MIX) decided to launch its own publishing brand — MIX Games. The new publisher will work with indie developers, helping them with the release and promotion of games.
In 2012, two British developers Ashley Gwinnell and Nick Dymond opened a studio called Force of Habit. She managed to release eight games, among which were Toast Time and Sinking Feeling, before she closed indefinitely. In the official blog, Gwinnell told why he had to stop working.
The funding round was led by the Hiro Capital fund. Together with him, Behind VC and Techstart Ventures invested in the company.
Now she owns 78.5% of the publisher’s shares. CI Games wants to buy out the remaining 21.5% and is ready to pay 18.02 zloty ($4.07) in cash for each share. If the deal goes through, the market value of United Label will reach 22.98 million zlotys ($5.2 million).
B.I.O.T.A is not only a tribute to the four-color retro games on the Game Boy, but also a unique title in the genre of metroidvania. We contacted its creator, Ivan Porrini, also known as small bros, to discuss his professional path and the process of developing B.I.O.T.A.
This decision was made today by the teams of Broken Bird Games, Gatera Studio, Moonatic Studios and Tapioca Games. The developers did not explain the reasons in detail, but, apparently, they could not agree with the organizers of the PlayStation Talents Games Camp.
Indie developers have a chance to have a hand in the famous vampire franchise. Paradox Interactive has launched an initiative to develop new games for the Unbound side project on the universe of the World of Darkness (World of Darkness).
As part of the GDC conference, Rami Ismail made a presentation in which he criticized indie developers, and at the same time gave them some advice on money and working with publishers.
The authors of the independent MMORPG TitanReach have already canceled the project for the second time — this time definitively. The reason may be the fraudulent actions of the lead developer. He appropriated part of the received investments to himself and spent them not on the game, but on the purchase of Tesla and cryptocurrencies.
The search for employees in indie studios is different from large companies. Valya Severin, co-founder of the Russian helpnode team, told about the subtleties of this process. Inside — personal experience and some basic tips for beginners.Sanek
Several indie developers shared with the BBC their concerns about the Microsoft and Activision Blizzard deal. They stated that a lot of AAA projects are already included in the Game Pass subscription, and after the purchase of the Call of Duty publisher, there will be even more of them. Because of this, small games can simply go unnoticed by gamers.
Owners of a store with indie games itch.io opposed the NFT. According to the management of the portal, non—interchangeable tokens are fraud, and the companies supporting them think exclusively about their own profits.
There was a discussion among developers about the dominance of indie games, which are released on Steam by the thousands every year. Two polar points of view collided. First, most of these titles are not needed by the market, because they have zero value. The second is that people should not be forbidden to express themselves through creativity and consider games only as a business.
The organizers of the indie developers Indie Cup competition have announced the beginning of the winter season 2022. The first stage — acceptance of works — will last until February 14.
Indie platformer Neko Ghost, Jump! generated over 17 thousand vishlist before the release. However, the launch turned out to be a complete failure — only 100 copies were sold on the first day. Developer Victor Burgos tried to figure out the reasons for the failure, and industry colleagues joined the discussion.
Nintendo has revealed which indie games sold best on Switch in 2021. The bestsellers included Subnautica: Below Zero and Eastward.
Indie developers are sometimes accused of deliberately inflating budgets. Mike Crassweller, senior product manager at Forward Game Studios, disagrees with this. He explained why today budgets from $1 million are a reality that we have to put up with.Please, Don’t Touch Anything 3D
Sony intends to improve its relationship with indie developers. According to the results of a survey for PlayStation partners, the company plans to fix a number of obvious problems of its platform. We are talking about slow communication, low findability of games and opacity of work processes.What prompted Sony to respond to the problems?
Kickstarter has announced plans to create a “decentralized future” for its platform. Next year it will switch to the blockchain protocol. The company’s decision was criticized by many indie developers, promising to switch to other crowdfunding platforms.Kickstarter told about its plans on the official website.
App2Top.ru I conducted a live broadcast with Kirill Zolovkin, an indie developer and founder of the Heart Core studio. We discussed the problem of the shortage of personnel in the Russian game market, the nuances of development for PC and consoles, and also talked about the pros and cons of the GameMaker engine.
Several successful indie developers have expressed complaints about the Metacritic rating system. They face a paradox: their games are sold in hundreds of thousands or even millions of copies, but the specialized media often ignore such projects. Due to the lack of ratings, small studios eventually lose some financial and business opportunities.Clone Drone In The Danger Zone
The other day App2Top.ru conducted a live broadcast with Alexey “Flazm“ Davydov, an indie developer and head of the studio of the same name. We talked in detail about the development of the Time Loader physical puzzle, the mechanics of the game and the difficulties encountered in the process. They also discussed working with publishers, the modern indie scene and budgets.
WN Media Group has shared the first details about WN Belgrade’23, the upcoming conference for games industry professionals. The event is expected to bring together more than 400 companies and feature talks from renowned devs like Raphaël Colantonio.