Happy holidays! As you’ve no doubt noticed, I’ve been fairly quiet this last weekend. I was actually out of town visiting family and friends over the holiday weekend. Normally, I’d keep up with my normal writing duties, but internet where I was primarily inhabiting was spotty at best and non-existent at worst. Seriously, I’ve never been more frustrated with internet since the days of my 56k dial-up modem.
Anyway, given that I wasn’t writing as much, I took that time to get up to speed on all my video game news. Not just indie news either (like I usually do), but the mainstream news sites. There’s a lot of game development stuff that happens not relating to the indie world that are still very interesting to people like myself, so-called video game journalists. Not to say I am a game journalist, I would assume you’d have to write for a large website to claim such a title. I digress…
So, whilst enjoying the holiday festivites and catching up on my Google Reader feeds I found myself becoming more and more hostile towards the manner in which the mainstream news sites handle their content and how lopsided it seems to be for mainstream news.
Okay look, I get it, there’s a bunch of large video game companies constantly churning out news about the next greatest video game ever made in the history of time and space itself. I also understand that these sites were primarily made for this reason, particularly during a time in which independently developed video games were neither popular, nor being made in the amount they are today. But, come on guys…
Currently, as I see it today, there are three sites (with above average traffic) churning out consistent indie game news coverage: IndieGames.com/blog, TIGSource.com, and our own humble little website (a distant third). Between our three websites we churn out, maybe, ten articles on a good day. That’s roughly about a fourth of what a single mainstream website will churn out on any given day. You’re telling me, given all that content, there’s no room for indie games?
“But wait!” you say, “didn’t <insertgamewebsitenamehere> just write about Minecraft, Super Meat Boy, or other extremely popular indie game?” Yes, yes they did. And I salute them for it. Minecraft, Super Meat Boy, Joe Danger, Braid, Castle Crashers, etc. are all great games. Really. But come on, had those game developers not established huge communities unto themselves and essentially created their own news, would any site other than sites like us care? No, absolutely not. In order to get press coverage by the press gods that be a single developer needs to go to extensive lengths in order to build up a fanbase. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
Honestly, I don’t really know what I was expecting. I guess I just figured after 3+ consistent years of indie games really becoming a genre unto themselves and AAA indie titles being released on a consistent basis there would be more of an effort on behalf of the huge press companies to actually try and promote something that needs it, instead of telling us how many copies of “MEGA HUGE AWESOME GAME” was sold in 24 hours. Wouldn’t that writer’s time, talent, and content be better spent searching for, playing and writing about an amazing indie game nobody (not even us!) have heard about? Doesn’t that make more sense?
But then again where’s the traffic and money in that?
Thanks for putting up with my post-holiday rant. It’s probably mostly bullcrap, but sometimes you just need to vent and DIYGamer.com served as that outlet today. I should be back to my regular writing duties tomorrow in addition to a new writer joining the ranks. Should be exciting!
P.S. This is in no way a rant against why you shouldn’t read those sites. That would be hypocritical of me given my current Google Reader. Just an off hand rant is all.