As some developers are realizing, indie development may be preferable to AAA game development, despite its drawbacks.
Working for an AAA gaming company often means long work hours, deigning to the wants of faceless publishers, and creating games that just aren't your "thing." Indie developers are no strangers to setbacks, either. From having to manage an entire company on your own, to a lack of steady income resulting in massive amounts of debt and releasing obscure titles that never see the light of day, there's a lot about indie development that isn't all too enticing. But some ex-AAA developers are seeing the silver lining. As an indie developer, they are in charge, from start to finish, of the product they create, and for them, that's worth its weight in gold. Cliff Harris, a developer who used to work for Lionhead, has this to say about his new career path:
I'm definitely happier as an indie because I like succeeding or failing on my terms. I can't imagine working for three years on one game again, or being detached from the business side of things. If I needed a fulltime job again, I'd try and get into marketing or some other area of programming, rather than go back to AAA gaming.
Many a developer have made the transition from big development company to small, indie development and welcomed the trials and tribulations that comes from such a major lifestyle change. Read more about their journey in "Going Rogue."