Did indies kill the B-game?

Capybara Games president Nathan Vella says rise of indie and downloadable games may have played a part in downfall of middle-market titles.


The fall of the B-game market can be attributed, in part, to the rise of indie and downloadable games, according to Capybara Games president Nathan Vella.

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"We've already seen the bottom drop out of the B-game market. I think a big part of it is why would I play something OK for $40 when I could play three amazing things or two amazing things [for less]," Vella told GameSpot at PAX Prime.

"Maybe independent development killed the B-game. I don't know. I don't think that it's directly [a reason], but I think that it probably played a part," he added. "Like downloadable games in general, because it provides a better experience for a smaller price point."

Vella and Capybara Games are currently working on Super Time Force (2013) for Xbox 360 and roguelike Below as a timed-exclusive for Xbox One in 2014.

Indie and downloadable games may be stealing marketshare from B-games because even the smallest of teams can now match the quality level of much larger developers, Vella said.

"I think one of the most exciting things about now, is that smaller teams can make stuff at a quality level commensurate with 300-person teams," he said. "They're tinier games, they might not last as long, they might not have as many features, they might not push as many polys. But that doesn't matter, in my opinion."

Vella pointed to SuperGiant Games' role-playing game Bastion as an example.

"Bastion is a very AAA indie. It's so polished, it's so tight," Vella said. "If you knew it was made by seven people mostly in a bedroom of a house, you'd be like 'no.'"

As reports surface of big-budget games like Tomb Raider falling short of sales expectations, the indie market can be more regularly profitable, Vella said.

"I think on the independent side, the opportunities are wider than they've ever been to be financially successful."

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