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State Of Play

Updated: Feb 13, 2023

Games and movies share a similar dichotomy - you have a few enormous studios who have enough money and big enough teams to make blockbuster movies which can bring in record profits at the box office. These films appeal to a mainstream and are full of special effects and eye candy.

Then you have indie films which are produced independently of the major studio system and they're often more story driven and tend to appeal to the audience's emotions and sensibilities. They allow the filmmaker's vision to be realised in their own signature style.

Similarly in the games industry we have the AAA Studios like Microsoft, Sony, EA, Ubisoft, Epic and Rockstar, who can make huge games such as Call of Duty, Gran Turismo, FIFA Assassin's Creed, Fortnite and GTA.

Microsoft clearly has the biggest chequebook and whatever they cannot make themselves they will buy. There's no doubt that franchisable games are needed in the industry and they're even a lot of fun. Big studios essentially are the industry and they provide the jobs and motivation for a lot of developers out there.

However, Indie Games provide something different and they're also an essential part of Gaming. They are the other side of the coin, if you will, and can even go so far as to take the approach that video games are a form of Art.

Cloud Jump by Jack S, Level 2 Student

Games are an amazing way to tell a story because you can immerse every individual who plays your game as the hero in their own story. Nothing brings together art, music, design and storytelling like a video game. The truth is that we need both the big studios and space for Indie devs to shine.

It's incredibly hard to make a game, and that is why when you have a hit you tend to stick with a winning formula. Hence the endless sequels, reboots and remakes we see coming out of Hollywood and the seasons in fortnite and cycles of Call of Duty.

There's a lot of narrowing happening in the top end of the games market. Big studios are buying their way to get bigger and companies like Apple have an incredible war chest. Is it inconceivable to see them buying EA or even Nintendo?

The big are getting bigger and it may be that breakout titles like Death Loop will become rarer and rarer. It's likely that we'll see more blockbusters dominating and ambitious expensive ideas being increasingly avoided in favour of safer bets. Titles like vampire

survivors tend to Buck this trend though, and they should give a lot of hope to Indie


Its graphics are antiquated and its controls are simplistic. It's an action game that seems utterly primitive and that's exactly what makes it so special!

Santa Recovery by Jack S, Level 2 Student

As the wider gaming industry moves towards bigger experiences, Vampire Survivors takes a step backwards and focuses on what actually makes the game fun. It emphasises impactful decisions like weapon upgrade choices and basic movement over complicated attack combos and complex RPG systems. One stick is all it needs to create something that feels both classic and unlike anything you've ever seen before.

Whatever happens it's going to be a great year of gaming and game development.

- Robert Henning, Games Development Course Leader

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