A few weeks ago, Indie Megaboth, a conglomeration of indie game developers who come together to present their games at large expos, announced they were holding a public event at E3 2017. This year’s E3 is notable in that it’s the first ever open to the general public. Before, the event was only for the industry professionals, lucky contest winners, and sneaky folks that conned their way in. E3 is the biggest gaming convention in the world already, so going to the first public show will likely be hell on earth.
The first step on the road to bitterness and crushing disappointment is Indie Megabooth’s cancellation of its public showing. This year, indie publisher Devolver Digital was going to host the public show at the convention center’s parking lot. However, holding it out in the open like that required permits from the city of Los Angeles, something Devolver was unable to obtain.
“Unfortunately we received word that Devolver Digital is no longer able to host the fan-badge portion of the Indie Picnic at E3 in the front lot. Those with E3 industry badges and by-appointment press are still welcome to join our developers showcasing in the MEGATRAILER and the six titles on the MEGAPOD demo stations in Devolver’s usual back lot location.”
This is one less event for the public to enjoy, or not, depending on how much you like standing in lines. Still, there are some low profile games being hosted by Indie Megabooth this year. YIIK: A Postmodern RPG, Songbringer, and Sumer all desperately need as much attention as they can get. They’ll get their love from the gaming press, but for developers to not get these games out to the general public is a huge blow. The best marketing for indie games is word of mouth, and that’s something that can only really come from getting as many hands on the game as possible, no matter how good the previews are.
Organizations like Indie Megabooth make it easier for indie developers to get their games out to the public, but when a planned event falls apart because of some technicality, it can be incredibly deflating. Lowered morale is the least of these developers problems though. The marketing opportunity lost thanks to this is staggering, not to mention the time and resources wasted. These public demos don’t happen overnight, they take time to plan and put together, even with a game that’s nearly finished. Not to mention the developers flying out to the event, costing time and money.
Hopefully these developers will get another chance to showcase their game somewhere else, maybe GamesCon in August or PAX West in September. While those are a much smaller stage than E3, they’ll also have less competition from AAA games, and a more concentrated focus on indie gaming overall. Maybe that can help offset this loss.
For more coverage on these games, and complete coverage of all things indie gaming at E3 2017, keep your eyes on Cliqist.