Woolfe wrote: ↑November 23rd, 2018, 7:01 pm
Welcome to capitalism at its finest.
I would say of capitalism what Churchill said of Democracy:
"Capitalism is the worst form of economic system except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."
I'm no fan of communism and socialism, because those suck even far more, but while I'm pro capitalism, I'm not under the delusion it's a perfect system.
As I see it, we seem to agree on a lot of things, with varying levels. The main difference being, I'm far less optimistic about the 'future' of indies being swallowed up.
You make a valid point asking how they would have fared else - but the problem is, that that is speculation of the past in a 'what-if' context, which can't be answered. It's like saying "what genius might have been born if abortion hadn't been legalized?"... well, maybe the biggest genius of all, more so than Einstein. Or none at all. There is really no way to be sure, and it's not even all that relevant to gauge what is current practice these days.
At the very least one could say, if they went down, they went down because of their own decisions and successes or failures, not because some else messed up and forced them to do stuff they did not want to.
As for you claim "MS changed"... that's been said every 5 years. I've seen some others (more obnoxious) people saying the same, but there isn't actually proof that the promises and assurances now are any worth more than they were 20, 10, 5 years ago. So one would to have to accept that 'on good faith' as an argument, which I'm not really inclined to do, since it's not rational assuming a sudden change of heart, when there is nothing actually backing it up in any definite way. Saying 'they're going the way of a service', for instance, in no way precludes they won't gobble up and meddle with indies they bought. One could claim it would be unwise and not rational of MS to do so, but that, neither, is an actual argument, since they've shown they do exactly that, even if they were irrational or unwise. So none of these arguments really have hard data to back it up, which means one can give very little worth to them, as of yet.
And I'm not saying there 'can not' be a good game being released by big companies. As said, they can. Only, in comparison to the cloud they got, the money they got, the marketing they got, the manpower they got, etc., it's comparatively FAR less than of indies. And that because big ones always play it safe. Novelty is the first thing to go. Because they're mainly concentrated on the money(grabbing), not the game.
And of course, you're right: everyone needs money, also indies. But the focus there is reversed. Larian first makes sure they have a good game, and the, publishes. They almost went bankrupt with the first original sin, but they refused to yield to make a crappy game much sooner. If it hadn't been a success, they would have gone under, that's true. But it's not like big ones can't fail neither. And indies bought up by big ones, even far more, and more often so. The bottomline is, that's you remain master of your own fate, even if there are always constraints (like the funding).
Now, all this is after the facts and won't change anything, of course. Inxile has been bought, that's it. I just think the overly-optimistic viewpoints of some here, are unwarranted, or at least unsubstantiated by the facts, as we know them thusfar. Claiming 'things are *really* different now', when we've heard that same line 100 times before, makes for a weak argument. Talk is cheap, as they say. Yes, maybe a wonder will occur, this time, but prior data shows one should be rather skeptical of such wishful thinking.
The really sad thing, as said, is that even if small ones succeed, if they get big enough, they also turn into the same thing: gobbling up and money-grabbing as primary concern, and slowly loosing the drive for making a real, novel and masterful game. I'm really wondering if this is inevitable. Is there now way to counteract this, except for what you said; staying small, consciously? Ultimately, I think it all depends on the nature/drive of the one(s) in charge, and that is EXACTLY the problem with big corporations: the CEO or the top management has often changed, and doesn't *really* care about any of it. If they get a better paid job tomorrow elsewhere, they're gone. You can't have a game-company with a true zeal that way.
Well: /snip rant. I guess we'll have to hope for the best, but imho, Fargo made the exact mistake he always warned against in his own promo-vids, with his son, snarking against those companies. He's now lost all the remaining IP of any renown and importance he had left. If they're getting screwed by MS, they're screwed for good, this time. Yes, devs will always find work, no doubt. But the indie game-company will be dead, the franchise will be dead - or unrecognizably massacred, a,d the original soul of it will be dead. I really wished he tried to do it like Larian, and tried to make it on his own. Even if it takes 10 years longer, it would be worth it, imho. "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - I'm pretty much reminded of this.