The big names in the games industry may have left Chicago, but that hasn’t stopped independent developers from establishing their own thriving local industry.
In a blog on NBC Chicago local IGDA chairman Jay Margalus outlined his thoughts on the growth of an independent games industry in the windy city.
His thoughts echo those of some Vancouver indies, who see big studio departures as the beginning of something new and exciting.
Calling the past "romance" with game development "sordid", Margalus argues that the chief strength of independent game developers is their openness and spirit of cooperation.
"Since I’ve been involved with IGDA Chicago, I’ve spoken on panels where indies and established studios come together to talk about game development," he explains.
"Employees from the bigger guys and indies mingle at events like Chicago Industry Night; employees of studios like Phosphor, Robomodo, and Iron Galaxy are seen regularly at Indie City Games (the local Indie Meetup) meetings.
"This is what makes Chicago so special: Everybody is willing to learn from each other, and there are fewer and fewer people who won’t talk for fear of breaking an NDA."