Braid, Minecraft Prove Indie Games are Worth Your Time

They may not get the retail space at the local Walmart or Target, but independent developers are proving their games are just as worthy of your time as Halo or Mario.

Before the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, indie games were a niche market enjoyed only by those playing their games on the PC. All of that changed with Microsoft’s emphasis of online play and the Xbox Live Marketplace with the launch of the Xbox 360 in November 2005. The Marketplace allowed smaller developers to reach the console audience for the first time. As of September 5, Xbox Live Arcade, the section most desirable for indie games, hosts 522 titles.

In 2008, the platformer Braid became one of the first big success stories of Xbox Live, receiving critical praise upon release and selling roughly 55,000 copiesin its first week of release, according to developer Jonathan Blow. Braid is still tied for the 13th highest rated game on the Xbox 360, including retail releases, when ranked by Metacritic scores.

Braid

Braid is one of the most critically acclaimed games of all time.

Indie games are not just reaping critical success but also seeing big sales numbers.

Earlier this year, a port of the PC indie game Minecraft to Xbox Live Arcade sold more than any other title in the first 24 hours on the Marketplace. It has since gone on to sell over 3 million units on XBLA, a feat even more impressive when considering the game has already sold over 7 million copies on its original platform.

Independent developers are garnering critical and commercial success with their games and people are taking notice.

Check back next week when I introduce Drinkbox Studios, a talented developer that is leading the way on Sony’s newest handheld, the PlayStation Vita.

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