The Indiepocalypse and the struggles of being an indie game developer

Recent developments in software and game distribution have changed the world of video games. With tools such as Unity and the introduction app stores, nearly anyone with a programming background can develop a game.

There have been some rags-to-riches success stories in the world of indie gaming in recent years. Indie games such as Minecraft, Flappy bird, Super Meat Boy and Braid have raked in millions of dollars from sales.

Unfortunately for indie game developers, these success stories are few and far between. There were over 100 indie games released for PC & consoles in 2016. There were also many indie games released for mobile platforms.

Despite the fact that the amount of indie games being offered on Steam has grown quite exponentially, sales have seemed to drop by half. Median indie games sales in April 2015 were 5,400 copies and they dropped to 2,800 in April, 2016. The data seems to suggest that it is becoming harder and harder for indie developers to find success on Steam. The struggle for indie developers has become referred to as “indiepocalypse”.

Some accuse the oversaturation of games in Steam’s library to be the cause of decline in the indie game development community. Others point their fingers at freemium games and some blame the structure of centralized game stores to be a big factor.  Another factor that could be suspected is the lack of marketing and funds on behalf of indie games.

Indie developers tend to have a much smaller budget than big name studios and lack the marketing know-how to really get their game out there. Developing marketing and “buzz” around a project can be a “make it or break it” moment for many games.

Some sub-par games have been a huge success in sales due to the “buzz” surrounding the project. Many fans were strongly disappointed by games such as No Man’s Sky. Even though they were disliked in gaming communities, it did not seem to impact sales too strongly and those projects covered the investment costs.

Of course, the biggest problem many indie developers face is funding their project.

Game Protocol’s unique decentralized platform and GameStarter crowd funding center provides solutions to many of the deep rooted issues indie developers face. For developers looking to raise funds for their project, there is the Gamestarter crowd funding section of the website. Developers looking to increase sales will also enjoy the benefit of a decentralized game store that will not give preferential treatment to any studio. Last but not least, there will be a lively community of developers and fans, which will increase exposure to projects.

Game Protocol will revolutionize gaming and put an end to the "ïndiepocalypse”.