What with the last hasbro post and the recent software startups article, I would like to inject some optimism into the small indie developer community.
All I hear is people telling me that small indie games makers are not going to make money, that Hasbro will sue you, that you cant compete with EA, that the stores wont stock your products. Normally this comes from people with little or no experience of any kind of work other than being somebody elses employee.
Ive been an employee, contractor, self employed, and ran by own company, and the last option is by far the best for me. To all the people who rant to me about job security and how its easier to go and work for EA or Hasbro - Fine - you go do that, It just leaves less competition in the indie/budget section of the market for me ;-)
Don''t believe all you hear about the Doom and Gloom of the indie developer - If you have good ideas, good technical skills, work hard, are persistant and make sensible business decisions, you WILL make money and will do well.(Especially as the internet takes away a lot of the strangelhold of the big distributors) How does everybody think all these Hasbro/EA companies started? did God put them on the Earth? no - all companies start somewhere. :-)
I agree. As an "indie" myself, I don''t think things look that bleak. In fact, things are looking up.
But then, I''m also not trying to make money from obvious retreads of earlier games.
Part of what makes the Hasbro suit viable is that the games they''re protecting are incredibly simplistic. After all, these were games that used only 4 or 8 colors and took up less than 16K of RAM (less than 4K is some cases). That doesn''t leave a lot of room for complexity or variety, and clones of these games are going to be incredibly easy to spot.
Don''t get me wrong, they were fun games to play, and showed an incredible amount of creativity in both the gameplay and their graphics *despite* their technical limitations. If they didn''t, who would bother trying to clone them?
I seriously doubt that Hasbro or anyone else is going to recoup their legal expenses from these lawsuits in either damages or increased sales of any "retro" titles/packages they may release. But that''s their business and their call to make.
So, if you''re a new developer doing an obvious clone of a simple game, just do it for the experience. The legal climate at the moment precludes attempting to make money off it.
If you want to make a game that you also want to sell, make sure you keep it original and aren''t just slapping a new face (and a new backstory) on an old game and rationalizing to yourself that what you''re doing isn''t a blatant ripoff.
The future is bright. Don''t get stuck in the past.