Life as an independent game developer has always been a lot of fun. It requires a lot of dedication, but it is hugely rewarding to watch other people happily play your game once it is finished.
Being your own boss also has its advantages. I love having the freedom to work whenever I want, as long as I want and wherever I want. I′m not sure if I could take my laptop and work outside in the garden on a beautiful summer day in a “regular” company.
Business-wise things have changed a quite bit during the last 4 years. Casual games have become a huge trend and lots of larger companies have entered the market. There is a lot more competition and both budgets and production values have increased dramatically, making it much harder for small developers to keep up.
For example, a VC funded games company outsourcing development to Eastern Europe can afford to produce 10 titles even if most of them don’t recoup the production budgets. As long as just one title reaches AAA status, this can still be a profitable business strategy. Most indie game developers cannot afford to do this.
There are still great opportunities on the casual games market for indie developers if you have a good innovative idea. It is not easy to succeed though and opportunities are not quite as good as they used to be a few years ago.
The rise of huge game portals during the last few years also caused a drop in (games-related) traffic to the traditional shareware sites. Indie game developers have therefore become dependent on the portals.
Teaming up with a publisher / distributor can be a good way for indie developers to get more publicity on the portals. This is the life as independent game developer.
Do you want more info about this topic? Check this Great Weblog where you can Listen to Music Online with a Talented Musician! Listen to Music Free while you read Music Posts and Articles about Poetry and Electronics!