The end of the year is fast approaching, and that means another edition of The Game Awards gala. And while the eyes of the entire gaming world should be on the games competing for the title of Game of the Year, the biggest excitement was the nomination of Dave the Diver in the best "indie" game category.
Shortly after the nomination was announced, the web heated up, debating about whether placing the pixel RPG among indie games is right. The feature that, according to many, disqualifies the work of Mintrocket, is that the title was developed with the support of the multinational company Nexon. This, in turn, is at odds with the classic definition of indie games, which says that these are created by small teams without the financial support of large publishers.
As both opponents and supporters of the nomination of Dave the Diver in the indie game category, reached no consensus, The Game Awards event host Geoff Keighley was called out during a recent Q&A session (via VGC).
Unfortunately, Keighley did not take a firm stance. He stated that "indie title can mean different things to different people and it's a pretty broad concept", then proceeded to list the various elements that can determine whether a particular game deserves to be considered an indie production.
"You can argue, does independent mean the budget of the game, does independent mean where the source of financing was, does it mean the team size? Is it the kind of independent spirit of the game, meaning a smaller game that’s sort of different? I think everyone has their own opinion about this, and we really defer to our jury of 120 global media outlets who vote on these awards, to make that determination of ‘is something independent’ or not."
Keighley recalled that in previous years, the definition of an indie game also generated similar discussions. The presenter recalled the situation of Death Stranding, which is considered by many to be an indie game despite the fact that it was developed with the support of Sony.
"Some people have said Larian with Baldur’s Gate 3, that’s an independent game. Kojima Productions with Death Stranding, some people say that’s an independent game. And even though that’s an independent studio, of course it’s funded by PlayStation.
It’s a really complicated thing to figure out and come up with strict rules around it, so we let people use their best judgement, and you can agree or disagree with the choices," Keighley added.
The Game Awards 2023 gala will be held on Thursday night (December 8 at 10:30 a.m. PST). We will bring you all the major announcements and previews. We invite you to attend.