Is indie game development worth it? Opinion

You may be wondering if indie game development is worth it.

Here are 2 stances to take when considering the worth and value of making an indie game.

Some indie game developers by default, believe they will earn a fortune by making indie games. This is, perhaps somewhat naïve and over-optimistic! Many indie game developers do not make fortunes from indie game development. It should also be noted that financial success alone should not be the only basis and worth of indie game development.

The other stance is this. A passionate indie game developer who enjoys making indie games for the love of making indie games, should do so anyway. To this group of indie game developers – it is very much ‘worth it’. Indie game development can be a great way of exploring creativity and becoming part of a community and innovation in an ever-growing gaming economy. You never know where your indie game development journey may lead! ( why not get started here – Good Unity starter assets )

If you are asking if making indie games is worth it from a monetary perspective, eg you think you will become you millionaire, you have to be realistic with your expectations. Of the indie game developers I have met, very few have earned significant money – if anything at all. And if they did earn any significant money, they were good at keeping it quiet.

If you’re wanting to make indie games as a hobby or as a student, making indie games is absolutely worth it!

But making indie games is not quick money.

Is indie game development worth it | Pros & Cons

For your humble hobbyist, student, or your small-scale game developer, indie game development is worth their time. They are making games, for the sake of making games.

But if you are considering making an indie game with the aspiration of earning millions of pounds, or dollars, you should know it is a very competitive market. And for every successful game that you do see, there are thousands and more that don’t earn anything.

Some indie games do earn money, however many indie games do not hit the same financial success as the AAA studios. Although there is an exception, this is by no means the norm.

Setting aside the monetary gain, I want to discuss some of the pros of why it’s worth your time to make indie games outside of earning money.

“If you are making an indie game for the love it, it’s worth it”

is indie game development worth it

Pros – making indie game development worthwhile!

  • It can be a fun and very rewarding hobby, not everything has to be about earning money.
  • It embraces creativity and innovation.
  • Indie game development can lead to other things.
  • Making indie games is a great way for students and hobbyists to start creating games and potentially earn ‘some’ extra income.
  • Making your own games can be a gateway to bigger things.

You may also be interested to know whether you can make a game on your own.

Cons – Not making indie games is worth your while

It is not worth your time to make an indie game if you believe you will automatically churn out an absolute smash hit bestseller that makes you a millionaire overnight. Although this can happen, it is not regarded as the norm.

To manage your own expectations, I wouldn’t go into indie game development with the assumption you will earn nothing. Then build up your expectations from there.

Indie game development is not worth your time if:-

  • You struggle with code or game logic or any sort of technical development. You may find it too difficult to embark on an indie game journey.
  • Coming back to financial success. If you’re expecting to make a quick game that’s going to earn you lots of money, it ‘probably’ won’t happen for most of us. More so if this is your first attempt to make a game.
  • Indie game development is not worth it if you get bored easily.

Why are you asking if is indie game development worth it?

After reading the pros and cons if it is worth your while to make indie games, have you asked yourself why you want to make an indie game?

  • Are you asking if Is indie game development worth it because you are wanting to have financial success?
  • Are you wanting to make an indie game because you want the popularity and the accolades?
  • Do you hope to sell your game with thousands of downloads?
  • For marketing?
  • Or because you are hoping to get a game design?
  • Or, is it for the love of making games?

These are all valid questions to ask yourself if making indie games is worth the time. And, here are some other valid points that off some food for thought.

If you believe you will make millions, indie game development may not be worth it

You need to be realistic with making your first indie game, there is a very strong possibility that nobody will want to play it. Let alone spend money to play it.

Although you should not let this discourage you. We have to start somewhere!

If you’re expecting your first-ever game to earn millions & millions making perhaps don’t assume too much.

If you are making an indie game for the love it, it’s worth it

If you are making an indie game for the love of making indie games – because it’s a passion of yours, then it is 100% worth it. Do it because it’s something that you enjoy doing!

We need to do things that we enjoy is important for the mind and soul.

Besides, you never know where your project or experience can lead to in the future.

Build games if you are trying to break into the industry

Creating your own games can be worthwhile If you are trying to break into the gaming industry. Be it in making 3D assets, or indie games of models. You need to make something in order to show what you can do and get better.

Is indie game development worth it

Is indie game development worth it? – Where can it lead

When writing a topic around the ‘worth’ of making indie games, I assumed there would be two different groups asking the question.

Those who want to make money and think that they are the next big AAA studio in the making.

And those who are just curious and want to know where making indie games can lead.

Here is my perspective from personal experience on where indie games.

In the past, I originally studied Adobe Flash! In my course at University, this piece of software was used to create games.

With Adobe Flash, which is now Adobe Animate, I have used it to make animations, interactivity, and micro games for general marketing purposes and for odd applications too. These projects have been both used in a commercial setting and as personal projects. Although I don’t use Adobe Animate as much as used to, it is still something that can be used.

Screen grab from a very old project – created in Adobe Animate. Copyright JimmsdesignOpens in a new tab..

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