Indie developers to lead the charge?

I just came across this really interesting write-up on GamesIndustry.biz, about how the gaming industry may very well be seeing Indie developers being the trend setters for future “next-gen” content. In an interview with GI, Freestyle Games commercial director, Chris Lee, said he believed that, “tightly knit teams have the advantage over mammoth development studios.”

“I don’t see any reason why a really talented group of people who are ultra-focused with a very efficient tool chain couldn’t deliver a triple-A product with a team of 30 people. There’s nothing in the world to suggest that’s not possible.”

Of course, the major difference between Indie developers and big, established studios is the state of their finances. That said, it’s safe to assume Indie developers would also require to be more innovative in order to stand out from the rest of the crowd. Judging by what he told GI, Chris seems to realize this.

“I hope we teach based around two things – the fact that you can innovate with a small team and you can really deliver something that’s truly exciting. That’s something the industry is craving for.”

“We’ll do it with less people and we’ll have a hell of a lot of fun doing it at the same time. I’m not sure you could say that for a lot of the bigger teams. If you walk into a group of 120 people and you actually only have a handful of friends because you don’t know the names of half of the team it can be soul destroying.”

I’m already in love with this guy. But he doesn’t stop there. Here’s what totally got my heart throbbing for him:

“The industry isn’t necessarily craving for more polygons, better physics and prettier visuals. All that is going to come, but it’s going to be a secondary part of the next-generation experience,” added Lee.

Yes, god damn it. Yes. I don’t give a tiny rat’s @$$ about 1080p or interlacing, or progressive scan (although, widescreen is still nice to have). I just want to have fun. I’m inclined to agree with Chris on this. There’s so much the bigger, arrogant, and better financed studios could learn from the upcoming ones. What do you guys think? 

Will Indie developers be showing the pros the ropes this time around, or will their precious advice simply be shunned by the bigger studios? (Oh, and please. No Wii spamming in the comments. We know Wii games are cheaper to make and Nintendo has been sending out devkits to Indie developers for free. Let’s make this a clean, unbiased, fanboy-free discussion.)

Ishaan