Indies Vs. AAA Titles: Who Cares?


As the console wars bloom into a full fledged WWE ladder match, Sony and Microsoft have continued the fight at this year’s Gamescom 2013. Microsoft brought their big guns: FIFA 14, Titanfall, and CoD, with a surprise announcement that the next gen CoD will have dedicated servers. Sony showed off 15 new exclusives, a Vita price drop, and — oh yeah — more indie games. As a gamer who has played almost everything known to man in the AAA lane, I loved everything from both companies, but as a Sony fan since day one, I must admit I was highly impressed.indie1

I hadn’t played a lot of indie titles until a talk with fellow YouTuber, BrezzyTv, AKA Prince Kazama. We talked about Journey and The Walking Dead Season 1. My expectations for the titles were very low just because of how they looked. That was until I started to see the popularity around the games, but after a little pushing, I decided to give them a shot before I judged them. After playing Journey and The Walking Dead, I can say with a straight face that indie games are some of the best gaming experiences that I have ever had. Indie developers today bring out the gameplay aspects, and leave the million dollar budgets and great graphics to the big boys.


Sony’s line up of exclusive AAA games for the PS4 at launch include Knack, Killzone: Shadow Fall, and Drive Club, but what really interested me were all of the crazy-different indie games that Sony brought to the table. Games are games, no matter who makes them. Sometimes I think gamers nowadays have amnesia, and have forgetten that all of these developers had to start somewhere; most of the notable ones started out as indie developers. As a gamer who’s been playing games since the mid 90’s, I have seen many go from small studios to huge corporations. Sony in particular has given developers a lane to grow – which is why Sucker Punch, Naughty Dog, Japan Studios, and Guerrilla Games are some of the best development companies in the business. They all have proven themselves with the titles like Uncharted, Infamous, Killzone, and the like.

Indie3I believe that Sony sees where gamers today are looking for different gaming experiences; indie games are where it’s at. Fez, Hotline Miami, Minecraft, and the two juggernauts, The Walking Dead and Journey, have shown gamers that developers can make fantastic games without using million dollar budgets or AAA graphics, and still possess compelling stories or and great gameplay. It seems gamers have short memory spans, as for the last few years, indie games have competed head-to-head with AAA games, and have won at award shows from the D.I.C.E. Summit in Las Vegas to the VGA’s, where two indie games were in the Game Of The Year Category – something that has never happened before.

As a Sony fan, I was ecstatic about the indie support the PS4 will be receiving. Games like these showcase that gaming can be fun again and don’t have to look like the next Micheal Bay movie to do it. It’s all about people’s preferences and in my opinion, Sony is trying to give people a variety of things to choose from besides the normal AAA titles. For instance, Sony has a high profile shooter, Killzone: Shadow Fall, a friendly platformer for families in Knack, and a sim/arcade racer, Drive Club. Not to mention, previously PC-only free-to-play games in Warframe, Planetside 2, DC Universe, and Blacklight Retribution with the added plus of all the indie support. It’s safe to say that PlayStation 4 owners will have tons to do come November 15th. To a gamer, it shouldn’t matter if a game is AAA or Indie. Who cares, people?! They’re all games, so just enjoy them for what they are.

What are your thoughts on Indies vs AAA Titles?
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People in the gaming community believe that women and gaming don’t mix well. Jaleesa Foster, AKA Crunkgirl711, challenges this statement and brings "hardcore female gamers" to the forefront. Hailing from the small town of Lancaster, SC, Jaleesa has taught many old school gamers that it doesn’t matter what sex you are; we are all gamers, we love our addictions, and we could care less what outsiders think. She’s an open-minded gamer with a special love for sports games like NBA 2K, NBA Live, and Madden to the Uncharteds, God of Wars, and the Infamous series. She is a dork, gamer, artist, and geek by destiny, not by choice. Yeah, she’s awesome. Enough said.
  • I think people have forgotten that the most important aspect of a game is not the budget, but rather, the fun factor. I don’t care how much money you throw at a game. If it isn’t fun, then it’s worthless to me.

  • Good ish, Jaleesa! You’re right. Indie developers keep things fresh partly because they aren’t under the pressure of popular media (yet) to make “same-y” games like these bigger companies. They get to basically do what the heck they wanna do lol.

  • If they can afford it! 😛 Spending other people’s money comes with a lot of restrictions, but so does not having money to spend. There’s the dayjob thing, because you have to eat. If you can secure funds (and hence, go full-time as a developer) without having to cede creative control, you still have to budget carefully, and compromises are often necessary; your game won’t necessarily be everything you dreamed. Crowdfunding can get you there, or it can be a huge disappointment that sends you back to the drawing board. Being indie is a rough road.

  • Honestly Indie games are a hit/miss thing with me. There are some really good ones, but there are some pretty bad ones as well. As much as I like seeing more developers get their shot on a main platform, they have to make it count. Not only that, I don’t think it was that smart of Sony to base most of their system (as of this moment) around just indie titles. Reason being is that they can be hit or miss. You also need to have some main console titles as well to back it up, and that’s where I think they made a mistake. Later on it could work on, but that’s later on.