Over the past few years we've seen the indie game rise in relevance. What was once a niche is now a viable, profitable part of the industry. The past few years have seen the indie game co-exist with the AAA games. The AAA game was always the piece that got all the attention, the multi-million dollar ad campaigns and the money. Though last year as more and more of those AAA titles were mared my bugs, glitches and botched releases, the indie game gained more relevance. Hell, the Game of the Year for many publications was Shovel Knight Shovel Knight , was a genuine GOTY nominee for many publications. Given this shift, it begs the question, will this be the year Indie games don't just co-exist with AAA games but completely steals the spotlight from them?
The picture above is (obviously) the logo for No Man's Sky. It's procedurally generated game that involves you traveling through a massive galaxy on a spaceship you build. The scale and scope of this game is nothing short of epic. The gameplay blending exploration, dogfighting and resource management. Graphically this game is a looker. You'd be forgiven for mistaking this for a big budget title from the likes of Activision. Instead it's a game that's being developed by the team from Hello Games, the same people who brought you Joe Danger 1 & 2. Crazy right?
We're starting to see indie games reach a little higher and instead of complimenting the AAA games, it looks like they're starting to compete with them. See, the word Indie is still synamous with the word small. Yet this year looks like it's going to change that.
We have games like Adrift coming out that, if we're going simply on graphics, look just as good as their bigger budget counter parts. In addition to looking good both Adrift and No Man's Sky are games that introducing gameplay mechanics that are complete 180's from what the major publisher's are shipping. Whereas Ubisoft and Activision are content to release sequels that just iterate on the genre, the indie is innovating.
Will this be the year the indie finally pulls ahead? Only time can tell.