Going Indie — A New Developer Tactic?S

After getting a look at developer Arkedo's new venture today, CEO Camille Guermonprez told me something very, very interesting: more published devs might go indie.

"Pro studios looking at this marketplace with growing interest," he said in an email. "I know quite a few French studios for instance (but also some US and Canadian ones), with a great track records on published games, who are working on XBL Indie projects right now."

I don't think there's anything "wrong" with a published developer deciding to explore indie venues — but then, I'm not a struggling indie dev with no game titles to my name. Nor am I a middling professional game developer in a savage economic situation. So I can't really judge if it's "fair" for a developer with a wealth of professional design experience to put their product out on a platform where it's in direct competition with products from new-comers.

I guess it all comes down to what you define as "indie." Is it just that you're low-budget and off-beat, or is there some unspoken rule that once you "make it big" with a published title on a platform like the Nintendo DS that you've "sold out" and become mainstream.

From my perspective, the answer may not matter. All I know is I'm going to start seeing more games on the Xbox Live Indie service, and many of them might benefit from the experience a professional dev. And I won't have to pay an arm and a leg — so win!