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Veteran games designer laments the attitude some larger publishers take towards independent developers

Brenda Romero: ‘The indie vs publisher division is real’

Long-running games developer Brenda Romero has commented on the division between indies and traditional publishers, claiming that such stigmas could prevents some of the most creative games ever making it to market.

During her GDC Europe talk ‘I Outsider’, Romero discussed the various segregations the industry seems to place on itself that can make smaller groups feel like outsiders to the rest of the games market.

“There’s a lot of divisions in the games industry, whether its industry versus academics, everybody versus social, biz versus creatives – but with indies versus publishers, there’s an interesting thing happening there, because the vision is actually real,” she said.

“I don’t know if you know, but a few years ago if you wanted to be a developer for Nintendo, you needed to have an office – bit this industry started in people’s garages. Yet they would check on Street View where your office was, and if it looked pretty homey, they would ask for pictures of your house.

“But if that’s how everybody worked, the likes of Wolfenstein, Minecraft, Bastion and Super Meat Boy wouldn’t have ever been developed.”

Romero went on to question what the definition of indie really was, suggesting that while nobody had a concrete answer, some companies still feel able to use it to single out certain companies as ‘not indie’.

Her talk finished suggesting that the ‘outsiders’ of the industry – or at least those who feel like they are outsiders – are actually the ones pushing the boundaries of what video gaming can be.

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