Today I Found: Autumn of Indie Game Markets

Daniel Cook wrote an article called "Autumn of Indie Game Markets" back in 2016. I'm visiting his blog "Lost Garden" regularly and find his thoughts and conclusions very useful. In the linked article, he describes the maturing of the game market with seasons as a metaphor. The most interesting part:

There are three broadly successful long term strategies for independent developers in this newly competitive market.

  • Become a genre king: Have a hit game in a popular genre. Invest those profits in ensure that you have the best developers, community and marketing to own that audience. Set the standard that all others hope to achieve. Be what Blizzard was to MMOs. If you pick the right maturing genre, you can gain 10 to 20 years of stability.
  • Dominate a niche: Find a niche that only appeal to a wealthy but passionate audience. Become hyper efficient at serving that niche. This isn’t so different from being a genre king except no one cares about you. The press barely cover you. The broader population of gamers doesn’t really know you exist. But a small devoted community cares. So you scope your company to the tiny size it needs to be to serve a tiny market. Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator or SpiderWeb’s retro RPG games are good examples.
  • Manage a brand: There are a handful of companies that have a powerful brand they used to secure funding. During hard times, they essentially freeze dry themselves. This minimizes costs until the next deal comes along. Jackbox is the most common game industry example

'Today I Found' is a little series of games, pictures, articles or anything else which I think other game developers (or, to some extend, other gamers) could find interesting or inspirational. If there's any relation to the shown thing or its creators, I will state it right here.

Best regards,
Steven