First, I’m playing Borderlands 2. The game is great. A true improvement over the first game. There are still some annoyances but that’s part and parcel of a RPG/FPS. It strikes the perfect balance of “just one more quest”.
This got me thinking about the small vs big development houses and by proxy, triple A games vs. indie games. The amount of effort (and money) needed to build a AAA game is staggering and success is not guaranteed. You need massive marketing and stellar gameplay to recoup the costs.
Indie games don’t have as much to risk but also tend to have less to gain. If their measure of success is 50K games sold, then that is something that is completely achievable in today’s distribution market. If they build an amazing game with awesome word of mouth – say like Legend of Grimrock – they might quadruple or more their sales projection.
Here we are with Torchlight 2 out in a day competing for a piece of the Diablo 3 pie (among others). I think it’s a safe bet to say that the dev costs for the former are much, much lower than the latter. They have different operating models too. It will be interesting to look back at Torchlight 2 in say, 3 months, to see how healthy the game is and its actual sales numbers. I think it’s a good thing that Diablo 3 has soured people, it will probably increase Torchlight 2 sales.
Looking forward to it!