The lights are on
A new distribution service for indie games is on the horizon, and it’s called IndieCity. The new digital distribution channel will be packed with indie games and nothing else. It also presents a promising new venue for game makers to get their projects to the masses without stressing about deadlines or publisher pressure.
"There isn't a single one-stop destination that covers enough of the indie gaming scene in our opinion," said co-founder Chris Swan during a chat with Gamasutra. "We all found that we were browsing numerous blogs and forums to try and stay on top of the scene, and knew that IndieCity could do better than that."
“We wanted to do something that really celebrated the diversity and creativity that indie games have to offer, and ignore the generic mainstream behemoths," he continued.
Until now, Valve’s digital distribution juggernaut Steam has been the big man on campus for selling indie games. Steam’s frequent Humble Indie Bundles allow developers to enjoy increased sales while reaching a wider audience. IndieCity faces the daunting challenge of having to be a more appealing than Steam to indie developers, but Swan is optimistic.
"There are several [advantages to IndieCity]," explained Swan, "but the most important one is that only IndieCity will have customers that are there 100 percent to play indie games, so the ratio of page views to trial/purchase should be high."
IndieCity will also include personalized game recommendations, a more relaxed approval process for games, and no-holds-barred section called The Underground. The service offers creators a whopping 85 percent share of revenue. Swan says this will be made possible by maintaining a smaller crew and reducing the cost of running IndieCity.
Swan acknowledges defining what’s indie and what’s not is a tricky process. For now, the IndieCity team has settled on asking themselves “What isn’t indy?”
"I think an indie game is one that is created without an unseen guiding hand,” explains Swan. “It's the purity of the game making process that is indie in my mind."
According to Gamasutra, IndieCity will be releasing in beta form “in the next few weeks,” and will start by focusing on PC and Macs.