Awakened is one of many projects turning to crowd funding after dealing with fearful and unreceptive publishers. The independent scene is only growing as major "AAA" creators shy away from new ideas, and according to Phosphor Games' Chip Sineni, their balance of power is shifting. Not that your EAs and Ubisofts are going away.
"It is getting easier for independents to do things without big publishers, but there will always be some larger mass market things that are mostly done by a large publisher," explained Sineni. "The big blockbuster thrill rides are nearly always going to come from a publisher, and publishers own the majority of Intellectual Property that gamers really like, and that isn't going away.
"We are doing a couple of projects for publishers right now based on their IP. But their influence and the being the sole power is definitely waning. Look at how all the recent success stories are all these smaller shops. Supercell beat every major publisher on mobile, and the profits Mojang is posting are crushing most publishers, many of which just keep posting loses. Besides those big successes, we are encouraged by all the stories you hear of where a few developers get 500,000 people to buy their game and then they can just keep making the games they want, never having to jump into the whole corporate game making machine."
It's easy to despair when looking at games "failing" their publishers are selling almost 5 million copies, and games like Dead Space 3 introducing microtransactions because it might not rake in enough cash on its own merits. Those armed with a decent computer and an eye on the indie scene, however, have a lot to be excited about. The great ideas in gaming aren't dead -- they've just moved house. There's plenty of solace to be taken from that.
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