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What is the definition of an indie studio? Is Larian an indie?

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by Politician, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. Politician Lurker King

    Politician
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    Implying that DO:S2 is indie. It was more expensive than these three games put together.
     
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  2. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

    Roguey
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    It was not garage dev, but it was absolutely independent. Larian had no publisher funding it.
     
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  3. Politician Lurker King

    Politician
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    The studio has around 130 employees. That's not indie by any stretch of the imagination.
     
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  4. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

    Roguey
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    Indie simply means not-owned or funded by someone else.
     
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  5. Politician Lurker King

    Politician
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    The point is that it doesn’t make sense to put Larian Studios in the same bracket of other medium cRPG studios (e.g, inXile) because it is bigger. Whether the use of the word “indie” in these comparisons match the dictionary definition is another question that is not relevant in this discussion. Moreover, if that is the official definition, it should be modified because it doesn’t reflect the actual use of the word.
     
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  6. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

    Roguey
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    30, 130, both are on the big side of indie. Use garage dev to describe games studios of roughly a dozen or fewer.
     
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  7. Politician Lurker King

    Politician
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    Everyone uses indie to refer garage dev. We can't simply pretend the term means something else because of some definition somewhere. Language is convention dictated by the force of numbers.
     
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  8. Mr. Hiver Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck

    Mr. Hiver
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    The word Indie specifically means independent from other parties influence, ffs. An independent studio means they finance everything themselves. regardles of how much money they have.

    You are the one trying to change the definition and basic obvious meaning because you cant admit you made a mistake, dumbass.
     
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  9. Kyl Von Kull The Night Tripper Patron

    Kyl Von Kull
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    By this definition, Electronic Arts is an indie outfit. There needs to be a size component, too.

    Larian in 2013, asking kickstarter for a million dollars to make their next game: indie
    Larian today, has 300 people working on a single title that they're self-financing and self-publishing: not indie
     
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  10. SenisterDenister Novice

    SenisterDenister
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    I believe indie more corresponds to the lack of a publisher, in this instance, for both distribution and finance. If a company is self publishing and financing they are still independent, regardless of size, because they do not play ball with publishers like EA, Activision, or Ubisoft for distribution. A company like EA is made up of lots of smaller development teams but are under the EA umbrella for publishing. Another example of this would be Paradox, I would qualify them as independent as well because they develop and publish their own games. They're perhaps one of the most successful independent publishers but they are independent nonetheless. Yes they are a publisher in their own right but they are much more limited in scope than major AAA publishers. As long as a company does not rely on those AAA publishers for distribution I would qualify them as independent.
     
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  11. TheSentinel Arcane

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    Dude, what? EA is a publicly traded company.
     
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  12. Mr. Hiver Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck

    Mr. Hiver
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    And they are a publisher, ... The Man!. They! ffs.
     
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  13. Politician Lurker King

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    Lots of naive arrogant fools in this thread. People who don't understand shit about language, much less about the meaning of the words. Let’s look at those thing called dictionaries, shall we?

    Oxford Dictionary

    ADJECTIVE
    1 (of a pop group, record label, or film company) not belonging or affiliated to a major record or film company.
    1.1Characteristic of the deliberately unpolished or uncommercialized style of small independent pop groups.

    NOUN
    A small independent pop group, record label, or film company.
    1.1mass noun Indie music regarded as a genre.

    Origin: 1920s (first used with reference to film production): abbreviation of independent.


    Collins English Dictionary

    indie
    (ɪndi )
    Word forms: plural indies

    1. adjective [ADJECTIVE noun]

    Indie music refers to rock or pop music produced by new bands working with small, independent record companies.
    [mainly British]
    ...a multi-racial indie band.

    An indie is an indie band or record company.

    2. adjective [ADJECTIVE noun]
    Indie films are produced by small independent companies rather than by major studios.
    [mainly British]
    ...the indie movie Happiness.

    An indie is an indie film or film company.


    So the size is associated with the meaning of the word and this contrived and artificial notion that Roguey is throwing around as a bait is obviously misplaced and unwarranted. But even if we ignore the use of the term, Larian is not really independent, is it? They used private investors, loans and kickstarter backing in the first game, and kickstarter backing in the second game, which ruins the definition. Maybe you could suggest that a company that receives private funding is indie if the funding doesn’t come from a major company, whatever that hell that means, but that is an abuse of the word.

    Whatever is the way you want to describe Larian studios, they are not AA level studio and shouldn’t be compared with them, both in terms of payroll and size. Calling them, or these other medium studios as indie, makes the term completely meaningless.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
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  14. Mr. Hiver Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck

    Mr. Hiver
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    What an imbecile. :lol:

    Look how he bolded the word "small" everywhere, hahahaha. In between explanations of "not belonging or affiliated to a major record or film company."
    What an ego makes out of people...

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Kyl Von Kull The Night Tripper Patron

    Kyl Von Kull
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    That's my point! Roguey's definition is way too inclusive. "Not owned or funded by another company" includes all the big boys, which are self-evidently not what anyone would call independent.
     
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  16. TheSentinel Arcane

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    But it doesn't? Roguey's definition excludes companies like EA; who are owned and funded by a multitude of third-parties.
     
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  17. Bohr Arcane

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    'Bout time we had a successor to 'What is an RPG?'... 'What is an indie?' has potential :shittydog:
     
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  18. Kyl Von Kull The Night Tripper Patron

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    by that logic, you stop being independent the moment you borrow some money from your mom.
     
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  19. TheSentinel Arcane

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    If I have a job but borrow 10€ from my mom 'cause I don't have them at hand it doesn't mean I'm funded by her.
    By that logic, no studio would be an indie studio, because the majority of them have bank loans.
     
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  20. Politician Lurker King

    Politician
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    This discussion is running in circles. Look, it is obvious that the use of the term involves companies (or artists, etc) that are both independent and small. You can’t pretend that we use a hamfisted definition to talk about Indies having only the first aspect in mind. Besides, Larian is not indie by that standards either because they were never self-funded, so the whole discussion is pointless. Larian Studios is not indie. Period.
     
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  21. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

    Roguey
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    EA is a publishing entity. EA has its own internal developers, but they are not EA, similar to how Bethesda the publisher is not Bethesda the Game Studio. Interplay's RPG Division (the guys who made Fallout) weren't independent either, they were owned by Interplay the publisher.
     
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  22. Kyl Von Kull The Night Tripper Patron

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    We'll stick to equity then. There must be tons of small studios that take whatever investment they can get, whether we're talking friends and family or venture capital. I can see why owner-operated would be a very useful criterion here, but I suspect it would rule out many studios that we'd all think of as independent.

    I made this point because Larian is the test case, and Larian does many of the same things as EA, albeit on a much smaller scale. Let's say Larian restructures for tax purposes; now it's a holding company based in Ireland or even America. Larian Holdings owns the publishing business, which in turn owns the studios. Nothing actually changes aside from some paperwork, but now Larian studios is owned by Larian Holdings (of course the whole thing still belongs to Swen and whoever his co-investors were). Does this new Larian studios stop being an indie developer when the restructuring takes effect and it belongs to the publisher, even if it's not much more than a legal fiction?

    Or coming it at this from the other side: Interplay Productions was originally a pure play developer, not a publisher. As you know, they only got into publishing in the late '80s after being fucked over one too many times by EA. At what point did Interplay Productions turn into a publishing company with a bunch of production subsidiaries? Was it when they started publishing third party titles, something Larian is about to dip its toe into with Fallen Heroes, developed by Logic Artists? Was it when they started acquiring other studios? Was it when the publishing division had enough third-party hits to throw its weight around when it came time to decide what got funded internally? Was it when they changed the name to Interplay Entertainment?

    I ask these questions because people ITT have been saying that Larian and even Paradox (publicly traded Paradox!) are, in fact, more independent because they have their own publishing business. And while it's true that they're no longer at the mercy of other publishers, that's because they themselves have become a publisher. Larian developers may not have to report to Focus Home Interactive's marketing department anymore, but now they have to report to their own marketing department.

    Feels contradictory to me: does self-publishing make your studio more independent, or does having a publisher under the same roof mean that you're an integrated gaming company and no longer an independent developer? At the very least, it's a slippery goddamn slope, as publishing seems to take over no matter how things are organized.

    All of which is to say, if Larian's still considered an indie studio, it probably won't be for long. They're publishing third-party titles (admittedly licensed from their own IP), they're making a super expensive AAA game, if BG3 is successful they'll rake in hundreds of millions of dollars worth of revenue. The goal of these mid-to-large sized independent studios is either to be acquired or to grow into a AAA colossus. Larian's clearly doing the latter.

    edit: jesus fuck, this is what happens when I don't sleep and need to take way too many stimulants to get through the work day.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
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  23. IHaveHugeNick Arcane

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    Infinitron good sir, the world would be a much happier place if these autists had their own thread to furiously debate dictionary definitions, don't you agree?
     
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  24. ScrotumBroth Scrotal Projection Patron

    ScrotumBroth
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy
    Negro please, it's a WL3 thread. There will be no happiness here.
     
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  25. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

    Roguey
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    I'd say this doesn't count for Larian because their devs are doing all the writing. They're just contracting out everything else. If they were funding/publishing someone else's title with only typical publisher oversight (e.g. Bethesda with New Vegas) then they'd be a publisher of third party titles.
     
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