Margin Makers: Guide to indie merchandise

Small but mighty, indie games have become a hot point of interest for players, publishers and platform holders alike in the last few years. So much so, some even have merchandise. MCV takes a look

Indie games are big news.

Once moderately prosperous passion projects, independently-developed titles have been brought into the limelight by financial success stories such as Braid, fl0w, Super Meat Boy and the biggest indie game of all
time, Minecraft, which was purchased by Microsoft last year for $2.5 billion.

Indie games have been consistently popular on PC, bolstered by the ease of digital distribution.

Digital distribution platform Steam has nurtured the PC sector via the introduction of its Steam Greenlight service, which gives up-and-coming titles the chance to score a spot on its storefront by attracting consumers’ votes.

Crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter have also helped to boost interest in indies, with donators pledging money for projects that often wouldn’t have achieved funding otherwise.

Crowdfunded indie titles can also snowball – upcoming space simulation Star Citizen has raised more than $72,700,000 to date.

One need only look at the marketing approach of Microsoft and Sony surrounding the launch of Xbox One and PS4 to see how smaller titles are now often attracting as much – if not more – attention as established triple-A franchises on console, too.

Microsoft introduced the ID@Xbox programme to encourage developers to create and self-publish on the console.

Games to have emerged from the campaign to date include SUPERHOT, SMITE, Goat Simulator, Below and #IDARB.

Sony has similarly invested heavily in bringing indie developers to PlayStation through its PS3 and PS4 home consoles, as well as the Vita handheld.

The efforts have resulted in updated versions of games like The Binding of Isaac, Fez and Hotline Miami, plus deals for new titles such as OlliOlli and sci-fi epic No Man’s Sky.

Shovel Knight Foam Shovel

This full-size replica of the ShovelBlade weapon from Yacht Club Games’ retro throwback title is crafted from EVA foam. This makes it an ideal cosplay or toy accessory for those wishing to take up the chivalrous life of a Shovel Knight.

SRP: $19.99 (13)

Manufacturer: ThinkGeek

Distributor: ThinkGeek


Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number – Collector’s Edition

This special edition of visceral top-down title Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number includes both a code for the game and its soundtrack on three vivid vinyl discs. The 180-gram discs contain 28 selected tracks from the title’s intense soundtrack. The download code provides a Steam version of the game, and is printed on a custom phone card design. A digital version of the soundtrack is also included.

SRP: $60 (39)

Manufacturer: iam8bit

Distributor: Devolver Digital


Transistor 8 GB USB Flash Drive

Modelled on the in-game weapon from indie title Transistor, this USB key features a removable ‘blade’ and up to 8GB of storage.

SRP: $19.99 (13)

Manufacturer: Supergiant Games

Distributor: Supergiant Games


Luftrasers T-Shirt

Aircraft from Vlambeer’s fast-paced dogfighting title Luftrasers adorn the front of this minimalist shirt.

SRP: From $17.99 (12)

Manufacturer: Level Up Studios

Distributor: Vlambeer


Velocity2X CertifiedBadass Poster

This 60x90cm poster featuring Lt. Kai Tana from FuturLab’s acclaimed PlayStation title Velocity2X is printed on 170gsm silk-finish roll.

SRP: From 12.99

Manufacturer: FuturLab

Distributor: FuturLab

Contact: +44 (0) 1273 747 534

Shovel KnightAllstars Mousepad

Measuring 16×21-inch, this mousemat features the entire cast and crew of retro-styled side-scroller Shovel Knight.

SRP: $32 (21)

Manufacturer: welovefine

Distributor: welovefine


Goat Simulator Dovahgoat T-Shirt

This top features the titular hero of the cult zoological title, fully equipped with a jetpack and skull helmet. Like every goat.

SRP: €19.85 (15)

Manufacturer: Spreadshirt

Distributor: Coffee Stain Studios


Bastion CaelondiaMasons T-Shirt

This shirt proudly displays the logo of the mythical Masons society from Supergiant Games’ acclaimed action RPG Bastion.

SRP: $19.99 (13)

Manufacturer: Next Level Apparel

Distributor: Supergiant Games


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