Originally Posted by Claxon
Yaustar basically answered everything as I would have, but I'll just expand on #3.
People want to work in big companies for a number of reasons. Such as:
- Larger companies means they are more stable and less likely to go bankrupt (I have yet to resign from any games industry job, they have all either run low on money or been taken over by someone else)
- A bigger team means you can work on bigger games. Current AAA console games take a LOT of man-years to complete, and who wants to work on a poor game?
- In a bigger team there's more room to specialize. You could be just "an AI programmer", rather than having to program the Ai, the tools, The physics and everything else.
- Big companies have big marketing budgets. You can make a great game that is everything you wanted it to be, but if you can't effectively tell people about it, you're not going to sell much.
In response to your four points:
#1 - Making games independently means you can do it part-time, and supplement your income with other jobs and talents. Especially good for the self-starters out there. So stability isn't as big of a worry as it would be otherwise.
#2 - Big, AAA games are great, but in the big games it's extremely, extremely rare to actually work on a project that you're passionate about. When you make games independently you can make whatever you want, at the pace you want, without anyone telling you what to do. Calling indie games "poor games" is something I couldn't disagree with more.
#3 - I agree here, however, with a little creativity and interest in making games off the beaten path, you won't have to perfect every aspect of game design yourself. Just find a few like-minded individuals, or become a jack of all trades, and that's often enough.
#4 - Marketing online is easy thanks to all the social networking tools available, and by going indie, you have a billion different platforms to put your game on. And you can certainly get a ton of sales from these. Not along the lines of a Gears of War, but certainly nothing to sneeze at.
Overall, I feel that if you're smart, talented, and persistant you can succeed as , and even thrive, as an indie developer. But, I've got a way to go before I can test out this belief.