Electronic Arts redefines ‘Indie’ for marketing purposes, or do they?

An indie development company is one which creates games without the support of a publisher. This could include one person teams working in their spare time, or small groups of developers. But the criterion for indie-ness is ‘not owned by a publisher.’

So it’s a bit odd to say the least that EA are releasing an ‘indie bundle’ on Steam. Given that they’re a publisher, and the defining criterion for indie games is that they produce their games independent of a publisher. However, it’s a good deal and the amount of press generated from journalists noting the irony in EA attaching its name to an ‘indie bundle’ may make this the PR coup of the year. (Because every article also notes, as I have, that it’s a pretty good deal if you like the games.)

But this isn’t an indie bundle in the sense of punters supporting tiny studios who let you pay what you want, have some donation to charity involved, no corporations involved, and so forth, which is the type of deal players have previously come to identify with an ‘indie bundle.’

Thing is, they are actually technically all indie games, or at least they do ride the line of the definition. EA distributes them, but didn’t fund the studios. The devs still own the IPs. EA is supporting independent studios (and vice versa) by getting involved, to some extent.

It’s just like the Indie music scene all over again …