Indie vs. AAA Developers Poll

For awhile now I have been wondering about this particular matter within and at the same time from what I have seen/noticed as well as gathered about the overall gaming industry:
As a whole do indie developers/development teams tend to do AND be better overall in making/creating video games than AAA developers/development teams do (again) as a whole in the overall gaming industry?

  • Definitely so, yes
  • Not exactly, no
  • Oftentimes
  • Hit-and-miss
  • Depends

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There’s a lot of AAA game devs that seem to put out the same ■■■■ every year, following trends set half a decade ago in an attempt to sell as much as possible. They don’t break any boundaries or show any cool new ideas, and generally try to be as safe and broad as they can with no rough edges whatsoever. That’s why when an Indy dev releases an original idea that breaks away from the norms set by big companies it’s really cool, and it shows why Indy game developers are important.

However 90% of Indy developers release unplayable, untested, unfinished garbage that just tries to rip off Minecraft And DayZ. And by the same token, there’s been plenty of cases when big, well funded studios put their heads together to make some of the most spectacular and well realized games ever made.

Saying that Indy developers are better than AAA is like trying to say hamburgers are better than cake. Not all burgers are made equal, and the same goes with cakes and by extension video games.


It’s tough to say. You can have a situation of Shovel Knight vs Mighty No.9(not exactly AAA but you get the idea) or Minecraft vs the 9001+ Minecraft clones.


The problem here is that both Indie developers and AAA developers can both make good and bad games. All in all its all about talent and creativity. The only thing AAA developers have above indie is resources in the form of funds, but that’s it.


depends man, there are some real killer AAA games out there (zelda botw) and some really strong indy games. id say shantae 1/2 genie hero being one of em, it was kickstarter and is a very strong 2D platformer with great visuals, and awesome soundtrack.

now both sides of the fence have skeletons in the closet. in recent times for AAA it was mass effect andromeda, which was a complete disaster leading to a studio being shut down and a modern day classic IP thrown into a burning ditch. there are many reasons why if you research it other than the obvious.

indy games is also full of trash early access titles. however the largest and biggest ■■■■ up of them all is hardly getting coverage. thatd be star citizen, an indy game that has suckered 155 million out of gullible backers with no game in sight. many are asking “where the ■■■■ did all our money go?”. one guy invested $17,000 (yes seriously) and got it refunded after coming to his senses. i think its a case study in sunk cost fallacy, and cult like behavior. the hardcore backers are ■■■■■■■ batshit lunatics in many ways. prime example being advocating rape (yes seriously) as an ingame mechanic. yeah.

so yeah, its not a matter of who is better. its more of a matter in your personal choice in what games you want to play, and what to enjoy. both sides have their gems, and both have their crimes.


I prefer AAA

Horizon Zero Dawn
Dark Souls 3
Uncharted 4
Injustice 2
The Surge
Tomb Raider
Last of Us
Forza horizon 3

Just to name a few…how can you argue with that?

Indies have my support almost 100% (except for cases like mighty #9 and maybe yooka layle)

AAA developers most of the time are only not supported if they’re jerks or I don’t buy there game. Rarely ever happened though


It depends entirely on the games and studios in question. Both these parts of the gaming industry fulfill different niches and there’s a good and bad side to both.

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Every online platform storefront is full of scams, cash-ins, and unfinished garbage made by devs who are technically indie, bringing the average indie game quality down to roughly terrible. This was also true for indie development of consoles like the NES and Commodore 64.

Triple-A games are simply, on average, not as bad. A triple-A dev team will not have every single member completely uncaring of the game’s overall quality, nor able to just drop development based on their interests. And they make more money, because everyone is aware of their game. Some publishers can decimate their game’s image with anti-consumer practices or promises, and the game may have no interesting concepts, but it still had a lot of well-directed work put in.

You could compare whether (good) indie or triple-A devs are more successful at innovating or making their games’ core concepts shine, but I’m not sure if that’s what you’re asking about in your poll.

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