Activision may have been hoping to garner some good will thanks to its recently-announced indie game competition, but at least one developer isn't drinking the Kool-Aid.
Activision's Independent Games Competition has met with mixed reviews from the overall gaming community. Some people claim it seems like the publisher is taking some steps to turn itself around and be a friend to small companies. At least one indie developer, though, isn't buying into that argument, and has blasted the competition as being more than a little dubious.
Jeff Rosen of Wolfire was intrigued by the idea of a company as big as Activision suddenly getting involved with the Indie Games scene, so he decided to check out the nitty-gritty details. "The competition is pretty polarizing," he says, "Many stories see it and immediately laud Activision for helping the indie community, while many stories are quick to trash it, noting dubious clauses in the fine print. As an indie developer, I thought I'd take a closer look myself."
Rosen's take on the competition is less than enthusiastic, and for a number of reasons that make a lot of sense. The rules of eligibility, that applicants have to provide a definitive business plan and a development schedule (not exactly easy for many indie developers, who are often working on games in their free time), and the fact that entrants have to give Activision first right of refusal when it comes to publishing their game, are all points of concern.
Rosen may not be a familiar name to you, but he's a mover and shaker when it comes to the Indie Games community. He was one of the driving forces behind the Humble Indie Bundle, a name-your-price sale that featured a number of popular indie games. Shortly before the sale ended, it broke the million dollar mark.
Wolfire already developed and released Lugaru (which has sold more than 100,000 copies, including accounting for those sold during the Humble Indie Bundle) and is currently working on a sequel titled Overgrowth.
While Rosen isn't trying to tell people that they shouldn't get involved with the competition, he does want them to be aware of what they're getting into: "This is very, very different from the Independent Game Festival or other contests that you hear about on indie sites like TIGSource."
Source: Wolfire Blog