Despite what you may hear about the Greenlight nonsense, Steam loves independent developers. Besides the fact that Valve are one, the Steam platform actually accelerated gamers’ acceptance of the indie developer as a noble profession with something to offer you.
I’d say that Valve legitimized Peggle to core gamers by including a free special edition of it with Orange Box. Valve also was one of the first prominent stores where indie games were given equal billing to AAA games. In the lull when consoles looked like the only obvious choice for the discerning publisher, Valve partnered with scores of independent game devs to bundle together their games and to provide value for the ignored PC customer base.
So, it’s not terribly surprising to hear yet another tale of woe about the XBLIG from ticked-off indie developers. As part of the Indie Games Uprising III, a discounted bundle of independent XBLIG games will be presented for the Xbox Live subscribers to obtain. The primary reason for this is that Microsoft is horrible at marketing XBLIG content to the public. This is another example of how Valve (and even Apple, to a lesser extent) get it right by focusing more on the service part and less on their platform.
When you combine that news with the recent release of Steam’s Big Picture mode (which transforms your Steam library into a gamepad-friendly console interface), it becomes very apparent that there is an ever-widening gap between what the current core game consumer looks like and the fronts that Microsoft is fighting on. Maybe it’s smart for them to just ignore Steam and mobile, and Games for Windows Live for the 10th time; just focus on making Windows 8 into a walled garden and wait for the money to grow within it.
But, if natural consumer choice is preserved, I think more folks would go over to the Origin swamp than the Windows Live/8/Metro Game Garden or however it will be monickered. It seems Big Picture Mode couldn’t have come at a more opportune time, then. And with OnLive’s trouble and this Agawi cloud-based competitor binding itself to Windows 8 + Azure, the PC gaming world will almost certainly look a lot different in another 3 years when the next consoles are rumored to be sold.
And the bridge from now til then is paved with respect for independent devs. I really believe that, not because people don’t want to pay for AAA titles (although, they are willing to pay less now than they were 15 years ago). But, because indie devs bring life to stagnant formulas and they do it for a relatively low cost.
Consumer lock-in is another reason. Once you have your first 50 games tied to a service, and the service isn’t awful, you tend to want to continue investing into that same service. It doesn’t really matter if those first 50 games were 20% AAA and 80% short indie games, it still looks to me like there are a lot of material goods in my list.
I’m going to start using indie love as a yardstick for digital game service respect from now on. Consider doing the same.Source: