October 11, 2010

Fight! – Competition in The Indie Game Industry #indiegames #gamedev




Competition. If you are in the private sector, you know what I am talking about. Coca Cola vs Pepsi, Activision vs EA, Toyota vs GE. And I am all for having a healthy dose of competition. After all, without competition, there would be no need to improve, and no room for innovation. And the world would be a lot less interesting without different companies one-upping each other trying to impress you, the consumer.


But the benefits of competition only exist when the competition is healthy, meaning that companies compete for your dollars by improving the quality of their offerings, solving a new problem, or providing you with better and better customer service. Unfortunately, not all industries fight the right way. Copying competitor’s products, bad-mouthing the competitor, lying to the customers…etc. These vicious behaviors are infectious. If one company does it in your industry, wait for it to spread until everyone is doing it.


The best way to compete is to increase the value of your offering, while the worst way to compete is to do the exact opposite – to create an illusion of value for your products, and blind customers the value of competitors’.


I’ve been in a few distinctively different industries – foreign exchange, investment banking, books, machines, electronics, PC / console games. Not all of these industries have healthy competitions.


Good thing is, the indie game industry is different, at least from what I’ve seen so far in the last six months. From Indie Fund, Indiecade, to all the forums and blogs dedicated to the indie game industry, indie game developers compete by supporting each other and sharing resources, ideas, and opportunities. Maybe it’s the nature of being small, you know in order to compete with the big guys, you need to work together with other small guys like you. Maybe it’s the nature of games (without the huge corporate structure and pressure to please shareholders), it is a playful industry full of people who love to have fun after all. Or maybe I’ve just been very lucky to not see the dark side of indie game competition yet.


Build better games, attract more people to enjoy games, and discover new ways to have fun. There, our healthy does of competition.

Posted via email from Next Level with Brandon


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