At the time that this has been written, indie games are flourishing into new levels of popularity. In this month alone several indie games have been released digitally, with the majority of them receiving a large amount of press. Right now Hotline Miami 2 and Axiom Verge can be seen on not but the Steam homepage but also the PSN homepage and Xbox Store homepage. Indie games are receiving so much popularity that even big name publishers like Ubisoft have begun to start developing games that are stated to have an “Indie Developers” feel to it.
When Sony announced back in early 2013 that they would be releasing the PlayStation 4 for holiday consumers. Jonathan Blow, one of the most famed indie developers in history stood alongside some of the biggest developers in history including Ubisoft & Sucker Punch. This was the first time in the public eyes that an indie developer had been a part of such a large show. Sony announced at this show with Mr. Blow that they’d be making their first huge push into indie games for the first time ever. Since then, Sony has been the publishing house behind some of the most popular indie games to date. This push came truly when the PlayStation Vita wasn’t making the money that Sony expected. That’s why Sony initiated a new program that would have dozens of indie games released onto the Vita on a monthly basis. It’s currently the most popular mobile platform for indie games.
Microsoft, the main competitor to Sony hasn’t been slowing down on releasing their own indie games. Xbox Live offers the XBA Developers Kit which allows for anyone around the globe to craft their own game and release it onto the Xbox Store. Even though Microsoft hasn’t been making the same push that Sony has, the amount of indie games available on their store is tied together with Steam. Independent developers have begun to see the benefits to releasing their games on consoles instead of just Steam.
Steam still stands as the top of the mountain for indie game publishing. Even though they’re essentially tied with Xbox, the amount of people accessing these games from an Xbox or PlayStation is low compared to the amount of people accessing indie games through their personal computers on Steam. It also just so happens that the PC is the best way to play an indie game with consoles apparently taking away from their core experience.
The one thing that has changed the game so much for indie developers is instead of them begging the publishing houses to publish their games, they’ve now got publishers at their doorsteps asking approval to sell their games. It results in better income for those developers, a better future in the video game industry and it results in a better environment for players to explore.