Peter Molyneux is at it again, this time saying that the recent indie game boom of the last few years isn't going to last. Sound the doom sirens! Speaking to CVG, Molyneux explained, "These things go in cycles, what I'd say is, enjoy this time, because it won't last." Whilst that seems like a dire warning, it seems good old Peter sees the current indie movement as part of an on going cycle in the industry, where AAA and indie games will jostle for superiority.
"Don't think we're going to be all indies for the next five years -- these things go in cycles, just like in the music business. You have a time where punk is big, and then you have times like now where everything is manufactured." Whilst comparison with the music industry seems apt, it's worth remembering that major companies still dominate the market.
Peter still thinks that it's a great time for indie games and I'd agree with that for sure. "We used to have these very defined ways to create a game, which resulted in Halo, Call of Duty and all of that stuff, but now we've thrown all of that away. The games that we're celebrating now are stuff like Papers, Please - which is brilliant."
In his book Rip It Up And Start Again, the critic Simon Reynolds said the "true sign that you're living in a golden age is the feeling it's never going to end." He wrote that in relation to the music industry but the sentiment is the same in the games industry right now, as the games I'm really keen to play are outside the traditional triple-A sector. I can understand Molyneux's point that as indies start to make more and more money and become bigger, that growth can stifle creativity.
As our exquisitely moustachioed Conrad Zimmerman (who edited that lovely header graphic) pointed out, both EA and Activision started out as small-scale, independent publishers before becoming the behemoths they are today. Could a publisher like Devolver Digital or Double Fine become as big in 10 to 15 years from now? Probably not but it'll be interesting to find out.