The thought of making indie games for a living either by myself, or with a group of close friends, without the meddling of big business politics and angst seems like a wonderful ideal. One which evidently some people are able to successfully pursue.
I can't see how it's possible though. Why would a consumer pay 19.99 or even 9.99 for a shareware game when they can purchase a 6 month old professional game at Walmart for the same price? A game where the content is likely to be much richer due to the exhorbant amount of resources and man hours that commercial development houses can provide.
I understand that Indies don't usually pull in the millions that the Big development houses can, but how do they even eke out an existence? I love games, and spend far too much time on them, but even I don't buy these games. I simply don't have enough time to play every game, so I tend to pick the ones with the most to offer. Occasionally an underdog like Tetris or Wolfenstein 3d rears it head, but the number of Indie developers leads me to believe that there somehow really must be more of a market for these games than I would believe. What am I missing? How is this possible?