In the video game industry there are the ‘big gun’ developers – BioWare, Irrational, EA, Harmonix and others – and then there are the smaller, independent developers. Or, ‘indies’ as they are often called. Minus huge development and marketing budgets, these smaller studios are making super fun and often hugely innovative games. And, they are growing in numbers! According to the Game Developers Conference’s recent State of the Industry survey, 53% of respondents now call themselves “indie.” The survey also found that 51% of these indie developers have been indie for less than two years, indicating that 2012 saw a jump in the founding of new independent studios.
Boston is no exception to this trend and has a thriving indie game development scene with numerous studios based in the area such as The Tap Lab, Fire Hose Games, Subatomic Studios and many others. In addition, groups and organizations like Boston Indies and MassDiGI are dedicated to fostering the community of independent developers around Boston. There is even an Indie Game Collective based in Cambridge.
In addition, there is now a festival dedicated to celebrating the community and all of the great games that are created here – The Boston Festival of Indie Games (Boston FIG)! This year’s event will be held on September 14th on the MIT campus (registration currently open at www.BostonFIG.com) and is free and open to the public. The festival offers an awesome opportunity for everyone – whether you are a game developer or not – to meet local developers and play some amazing games, attend film screenings, keynote talks, and even make your own game.
Boston FIG is organized by an all-volunteer, passionate and dedicated staff (myself included!) and in true indie spirit, the committee is running a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to blow the event out even further in its second year. Over 2,000 people attended in 2012 and thousands more are expected this year!
If you are interested in seeing what indie games are all about, register at www.BostonFIG.com or to support the Kickstarter, visit: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bostonfig/boston-festival-of-indie-games-2013
See you there!
Elicia Basoli is
a communications and PR consultant serving the video game industry.
Born-and-raised in Massachusetts, she is particularly passionate about
the New England games community working for a number of local developers
and contributing to the MIT Enterprise Forum’s Games Circle, the
Massachusetts Digital Games Institute and the Boston Festival of Indie
Games. Follow Elicia at @EliciaBuzz or learn more at www.EliciaBasoli.com.