From a recent conversation with indie game developer and “games industry polymath” August Zinsser…
Question: How do you feel about the prediction that indie games are merely a “flash in the pan” and that the games industry at large cannot sustain this many indie developers?
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Or, read the transcript:
I think there’s some truth to that, but I think it’s an oversimplification. It comes down to the price of art.The price of artistic media, I guess.
For me, it’s kind of like music. Way back in the day when music was, like, new, I guess, it didn’t really have any value because it was ahead of culture and modern economies and so forth. Now, I’m talking, you know, tribal music and drums and that kind of thing. And then once economies became sophisticated enough, you had things like, you know, the classical music era. And you had some composers there that could start to make a living off of that, but they were really like performers. But then, with the advent of recording, that was basically an explosion in the golden age of music. And you had the relatively small number of people who had enough talent and access to recording equipment to produce these records and the records became this thing of really high value. Really in the last 10 to 20 years, as the cost of producing those records went down, so many people could do it and it flooded the market and then music became this thing that most people can acquire people. And a subset, well, a subset of some people even believe it should be free. And, I guess I don’t know where I stand on whether music is intrinsically valuable or not, but the fact of the matter is the market says that because the cost of acquiring music is really, really low, the price, if you want to actually charge people for it, needs to be about the same. I mean, this is basic supply and demand.