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Mnementh said:

Yeah, but that's kinda the point. Back in the day there were not much indies if at all. There is much more variety in the gaming industry - once we stop looking only at the big ones.

This isn't true. A few decades ago the cost of making a game was within the ballpark of what a current indie developer could do today (even less, actually). The most famous example of this I think would be Doom. Three guys started up a software company, id Software. Their first game was created by just four people and created in just three months (meaning it likely didn't cost much money). There first few games were published by Apogee Software, but they were never bought out or anything. After a few titles they were able to start self-publishing their own works, starting with Doom (made by five people within nine months). There are many other stories such as this (Insomniac, Epic Games, Bungie, Blizzard, etc)

Basically, back in the 80's and 90's indie development was a significant portion of the market. Very popular developers today were getting their very humble begins as independent developers well into the PS1 era (Valve, Bioware, Treyarch, Gearbox Software, etc). Most of these companies were created by a handful of people with very modest budgets. The definition of "indie" just didn't exist because it didn't need to. Most developers (or at least a large sum of them) were already independent. 

When games became to huge to develop many companies started getting purchased because they just couldn't afford to do otherwise. Eventually the indie label started showing up because most developers were no longer independent. 

Also, I wouldn't be so confident in saying we have so much more variety in the gaming industry. We have more developers than ever, but way less publishers. Embracer group alone owns like 103 studios. It's the publishers that really get control over a product. 

Last edited by Doctor_MG - on 09 July 2022