Modes of independence in the Finnish game development scene
Sotamaa, Olli (2020)
Julkaisun pysyvä osoite on
This study sheds light on the different modes of independence in the Finnish game development scene by putting the focus on two games: Nex Machina (2017) and Baba is You (2017/2019). A contextualizing reading of selected games connects them to their relevant cultural and economic framings. Special focus is placed on funding schemes, production networks, and distribution channels that make these games possible in the first place and shape the forms they take. Through the two case studies, this chapter examines how independence and ‘indie’ get particular meanings in a North-European game development scene defined by small domestic market. In the past decades, features like digital distribution, accessible development tools, small teams, and game jams at some point considered central markers of independent game production and have become crucial aspects of almost all game development. The study shows how very different game projects can include different aspects of independence, highlighting the blurred boundaries between top-down corporate game production and bottom-up participatory indie culture. In most cases, the ability to quickly adjust to an ever-changing industry environment is crucial. Long-term sustainability is very difficult to guarantee, and most studios – large and small – are still pretty much one failed project away from insolvency.
- TUNICRIS-julkaisut