The average indie developer makes less than $12,000 USD per year. This is not enough to support oneself, let alone to support one’s art. Moreover, the market is huge – with game development code having become so much more widely understood, there are more games being released now than at any time in the past. That’s great for the gamers; we’re spoiled for choice. That’s not the best news for game developers, though, who are looking to those gamers to help them put food on the table.
And then you have all the game websites offering special sales and bundles. It’s during those events that the majority of games are purchased, which means the developers are selling them at a loss. To be sure, many of these developers don’t consider money their primary motivation – but at the same time, they want to make it clear that the indie game market cannot continue this way. It will become completely unsustainable if things don’t change, and the ones who stand to lose the most in that case are the gamers.
For this reason, a number of game developers have teamed up this holiday to introduce Indiependence Day. These indies are celebrating their independence from special sales. Dozens of developers have jointly agreed to offer no sales, no discounts, and no bundles. The idea is that fans of indie games can show their support for these titles by paying full price.
I know what you might be thinking, “How does this benefit me in any way?” Well, think about it like this: By paying the full price for the indie title you’ve been wanting, you’re providing that developer with a paycheck. By allowing the developers to earn wages from the production of their games, you free them from the need to find another source of income to support themselves and their families. This means they have more time and more energy to put into making quality games that you, the consumer, will then get to enjoy.
The list of games provided on the Indiependence Day website is by no means complete. Indie gamers are encouraged to show their support for developers by purchasing any indie game at the full price. The participating developers, however, are those who have entered the agreement not to offer a discount, and their work is available for almost every platform. They also hope you’ll promote their efforts by posting about your purchases on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #indiependenceday.