Press Pass: Going Indie

Imagine that you’ve got the best game idea in the history of game ideas. You don’t work at a major videogame publisher, but you do have a modicum of programming and artistic skill, so you set yourself to many long nights of work in order to get your vision out of your head and into an executable file. Finally, after months of toil, you’re ready to share your wholly original, accessible and eminently playable creation with the world. You upload your creation to some free Web space and … despair as a grand total of 10 people download it in your first month. Hey, at least your mom said she liked it.

Independent games — generally, games released without the support of a major publisher — can’t rely on major marketing campaigns or months of hype to generate interest. For these games, the challenge of convincing people to download a demo or buy a copy only comes after the challenge of simply making people aware of your game’s existence. This is where the videogame press can help, turning readers on to the best under-hyped indie gems. So, how well is the press performing this vital function? Well, it depends on whom you ask.

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