by Marcus Estrada
[dropcap]D[/dropcap]id you watch The Game Awards? This brand new video game award show could be considered the spiritual successor to VGX and previous Spike TV offerings. This time around host Geoff Keighley took the reigns and helped assemble a far more respectable event. Sure, it still feels heavy-handed and a bit too advertorial, but it’s far better than most other awards ceremonies for gaming. One award category was for Best Independent Game which is an incredible honor to bestowed upon some small studio. Who won? It was none other than Shovel Knight by Yacht Club Games!
This was a huge win as other nominees included Broken Age Act 1, Monument Valley, Transistor, and The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. Each of these had great critical and fan acclaim but Shovel Knight won. In many ways, this simple award has helped to legitimize the crowdfunding landscape. Many people have started to view Kickstarter and IndieGogo as good places to get scammed – or, nearly as bad, to be provided with a terrible game. These things do happen, but they happen outside of crowdfunding as well. However, the best indie game of the year (according to The Game Awards) is a game which first saw success on Kickstarter.
Indie games are no small sector of the market anymore. If you take a look at most new Steam or console releases you’ll find tons of indies among a few established developer releases. Much of this has to do with money. Rockstar and Bioware practically spend zillions to make each new title which takes years. Oftentimes indie games take just as long but with far less money. When Shovel Knight was Kickstarted it raised $311,502. This is just a drop in the bucket for a big name developer but was huge for Yacht Club Games. They took that money and created a wondrous 8-bit action adventure that appeased both retro and modern fans.
By being recognized on The Game Awards, which was streaming practically everywhere, it validated that indie games deserve representation among the big guns. But also, with a Kickstarter game winning, it helps to show the validity of crowdfunding as a whole. Basically, crowdfunding is not a hindrance or all that different from typical forms of money because it can obviously lead to amazing final products. If your team has the passion and ability then it can happen!
Perhaps funniest about the Best Independent Game award is that two of the five candidates were Kickstarter alums. If you for some reason believe that crowdfunding is a fad then this should shake that mindset as well. There will be a change in the indie landscape. No, the types of games launching won’t be different, but it seems that far more will be crowdfunding graduates. Some will be good, some will be bad, and a few just might be the next Shovel Knight. Thank you The Game Awards for helping to prove that crowdfunding does not tarnish a game. It’s just another way to fund wonderful new titles that we can’t wait to play.
[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]