Indie game developers who make games for consoles and PCs have been on the rise in the last few years.
Mojang's smash hit title "Minecraft" was bought for $2 billion dollars by Microsoft, turning its creators into millionaires literally overnight.
The example symbolizes the highly lucrative future waiting for indie game developers who can produce a runaway hit.
The Downfall Of "No Man's Sky"
However, the road to riches for indie game studios is also fraught with risk. "Hello Games" is currently the primary example of that after its "No Man's Sky" title severely suffered from scathing reviews after it failed to live up its hype. This in turn brought the company a very costly refund program.
The heavy negative feedback apparently affected the number of users playing the indie game.
Reports say the space exploration title apparently may have set the record for the highest number of players who dropped a game.
When the game turned gold Sean Murray, owner of Hello Games, celebrated on Twitter the massive number of users who played "No Man's Sky" on its release day.
It's pretty crazy for us how many people are playing. And how large a number even 1% of that user base is.
— Sean Murray (@NoMansSky) August 18, 2016
However, the celebration would prove to be short lived.
Highest Decline Of Players In A Single Game
According to steamcharts, which tracks users playing the game online, from an all-time high of 212,321 players, the game now only has 2,953 active players. It represents a steep 90 percent decline greater than any new game released this year.
The studio is under investigation by a U.K. regulatory board that was responding to thousands of user complaints who felt the game was quite different from what the developers showed in its advertisements and announcements.
If the investigation's verdict goes against the studio, the owners possibly might be tried for fraud.
As was previously reported, Hello Games has remained silent about the whole fiasco which has irked countless fans who initially believed in the potential of the game.
The Gamble Of Indie Game Developers
The tempest Hello Games faces is indicative of the gamble that both developers and fans put themselves in when they engage in a game created by indie developers.
Although some can succeed and get billion dollar deals, like in Minecraft's case, that does not happen on a regular basis.
Indie game developers face several challenges that large game studios do not have to contend with.
Indie studios due to limited resources tend to take different directions in game development and marketing.
Since studios need to market and promote their titles long before the game is finished to generate buzz that would impact sales, there are frequent occurrences when the final game is different from the one marketed by the company.
In addition, the announced released dates tend to be different from the reality faced by developers making the game which leads to delays that frustrate fans.
Another struggle of indie developers is the danger of misrepresentation. Major game studios associated with indie groups sometimes convolute the qualities of a game which sometimes create a false reality in the minds of fans.
This builds unrealistic expectations which the developers did not originally intend.
Wisely Taking The Pot Of Gold At The Rainbow's End
Despite the challenges experienced by indie studios, the prize promised at the end of a successful game title remains too lucrative to ignore.
However, as in also things in life, a pinch of prudence and a dash of foresight could help studios traverse the tricky path to success without crashing and burning later.