E3 ’14 – Where Were the Crowdfunded Games?
By Marcus Estrada
[dropcap]O[/dropcap]ver the past few years indie games have been increasing their floor space at E3. Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo all recognize that they must allow creative new games onto their platform which lends to large segments of their kiosks being devoted to independent projects. One of the biggest trends in indie development as of late has been crowdfunding. So, why is it that so few of these games had a presence at E3?
Oh, sure, I noticed a few. Titles such as Chasm, Hyper Light Drifter, and Night in the Woods were displayed prominently (mostly) at Sony’s area. Other titles such as Read Only Memories sat around in the far too cramped IndieCade area which unfortunately meant I didn’t notice them. I want to spend tons of time pouring over this area every year but it is always far too crowded to make that an enjoyable experience in the least. Seriously, what a shame! Armikrog was also apparently touring around but I never managed to reach one of their meeting points.
You would think that at least half the indies on display would be Kickstarter or Indiegogo successes. Trying to discern why this isn’t the case despite increased attention to crowdfunding is odd. However, it does make sense when you consider the fact that each console developer is more willing to help out indie games than ever before. Each company has their own pathway to publishing on the platform, many allowing companies to self-publish, which only years ago would have been considered blasphemy on any non-Xbox Live Indie Games/Xbox Live Arcade environment.
Still, there’s no doubt that many independent developers today are considering crowdfunding because it is a very viable means of funding game creation. Perhaps the lack of these titles at E3 is simply due to a time lag between successful Kickstarting and producing playable content. If that’s the case, then we should begin to see a real takeover of these titles at E3 in the next two years or so. Then again, perhaps companies prefer to look at self-funded companies with the notion that they are stable – more so than developers who require the crowdfunding route. This is all speculation, of course.
Last year, Sony devoted a good amount of their annual press conference to discussing indie games. However, this year they dialed back down on more status quo topics. In the future I hope to see indie games presented not as a one-time highlight but as something that gamers can expect to see get a huge push at E3. Following along this train of thought, it only makes sense that games from in and outside of the crowdfunding scene will be easily accessible in the various booths.
Until then, fans of crowdfunded games can check out demos that are so often available alongside campaigns. We’ll see the games we care about (and fund) get even more attention as time goes on. Indies might never rule E3, but they’ll definitely stand proudly alongside triple-A titles!
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[author image=”http://cliqist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/marcus.jpg”]Marcus is a fellow with a love for video games, horror, and Japanese food. When he’s not writing about games for a multitude of sites, he’s usually still playing one. One day when he became fed up with the way sites would ignore niche titles he decided to start his own site by the name of Pixel Pacas. Writing about video games is something he hopes to continue doing for many years to come. Some of Marcus’s favorite games include Silent Hill 2, Killer7, and The Sims. [/author]