One of the most curious situations at Game Developers Conference 2009 was the treatment of Q Games (PixelJunk) by the independent game developers community. For various reasons, some independent developers resent Q Games. These developers feel that Q isn't "indie" enough. Some of the rumblings I heard at the show included:
- Q's PixelJunk Eden was nominated for awards in both the Independent Games Festival and the Game Developers Choice Awards. Some developers felt that being nominated for a GDCA should have excluded PixelJunk Eden from the IGF.
- Although Q Games is independently funded, some are questioning its relationship with Sony. This is primarily based on the fact that it designed the PlayStation 3's Cross Media Bar (XMB) and visualizers.
- Some developers feel that Q Games is big enough that it shouldn't be considered an independent developer.
In a literal sense, Q Games is absolutely an independent developer. Some believe that others are making claims against Q because they're jealous of its success and in some cases, that's probably an accurate assessment. Other people will argue that being "indie" isn't necessarily based on a company's size or financial success, but rather its spirit. That's where things get nebulous. How do you define what an indie developer is? Is it a classification that a company can outgrow?
I've heard people argue passionately against and on behalf of Q Games. Now I want to know what you think. Do you see Q Games as an independent developer? Why or why not?