After having worked in the modding community and later as marketing artist at Ubisoft Blue Byte, I've founded my own independent studio Frame6 with three other former gamedesign students of the Mediadesign University of Applied Sciences.

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The games market is becoming more and more segmented. Several years ago, it's been basically the big publishers controlling the entire market. The constant increase of internet bandwidth and the development of affordable developer kits like UDK or Unity made it possible for the Indie developer community to flourish. Fun and beautiful games like World of Goo or Trine have made the offer of games a lot richer since then.

Parallel to this development, another market just started evolving a few years ago: the innovative interface concept of iOS and the AppStore spawned a whole new generation of smartphones that allow game makers to easily connect to their audience without high levels of investment.

A market in transition

But it's not just new types of games we see, we're also being confronted with new monetization models that the established industry would have never deemed possible. The Humble Indie Bundle introduced a quite successful "pay what you want" monetization model and the mobile market grew to success with in-app purchases through a microtransaction system.
While the Indie developers take away benefits from a very close and faithful connection to their audience, the major publishers struggle with a lack of trust due to problems with DRM, online availability of their services and privacy concerns, especially in Europe. Of course, these measures have been introduced with online piracy as a justification. But gamer communities are becoming louder in saying that these measures hurt the honest customers more than the pirates.

Lack of reliable research

Is that just a tiny fraction of the community that is very loud? Or are we facing an increasingly negative attitude towards distribution and monetization strategies? It's incredibly hard to tell, since the major publishers usually don't share their insights gathered through market research. And when they do, we're often being confronted with "copyright math" that does not give us any meaningful insights. At the same time, the large market research institutes like Newzoo are not quite affordable to Indie developers and at the same time aren't transparent enough to evaluate their methodology.

Public research hasn't really touched this topic yet with focus on the gaming community. As part of my studies at Mediadesign University of Applied Sciences, I've started a research project that deals with the very question of what different gaming communities think about different aspects of digitally distributed games - with focus on distribution and monetization policies.

As part of the research, I'm conducting a survey called 'Gamer Mentality 2012' that tries to quantify the attitudes present in different gaming communities. I'd be particularly interested in hearing the opinions of indie gamers, so I hope you all participate :)


I will keep you up to date on the progress of this project in this blog and hope to lay down some groundwork for researchers to investigate further in lab tests.

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Desura

Desura

10,144 members Entertainment & Press

Desura is a community driven digital distribution service for gamers, putting the best games, mods and downloadable content from developers at gamers...

Frame6

Frame6

4 members Developer & Publisher

Frame6 is an independent studio founded in 2013 by a student group from Mediadesign University for Applied Sciences in Düsseldorf, Germany and currently...

Invision Games

Invision Games

12 members Developer & Publisher

Invision Games is the developer team behind the Half-Life 2 mod "Star Wars: The New Era".

Realmware Corporation

Realmware Corporation

6 members Developer & Publisher

Visual3D Game Engine is Realmware's flagship product for Indies, Professionals and Serious Games, which is an All-in-One 3D game engine and tool set fully...

Source Developers

Source Developers

986 members Fans & Clans

For people and teams developing mods and games with Valve's Source engine.

Zero SFX

Zero SFX

25 members Arts & Literature

Welcome to Zero SFX. Created in January of 2006 by Garrett Lienhard, Zero SFX started out as an independent Indie and Modification community established...

Post comment Comments  (10 - 12 of 12)
Bosconian
Bosconian

Hey super, sogar deutsche an dem Mod beteiligt
Ihr macht das gut, weiter so ;)

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crazynutta
crazynutta

Hey i was just wondering whether u need any modellers for like characters/weapons/vehicles cos i nned sumwere to use my talent. Sorry i have no examples cos i upgraded my xsi andit asll gone cosi 4got to save it. plz reply.

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