Open Gaming Alliance Sees Potential in Indie Sector
A videogame-industry trade group is making it easier for indie studios to join and is expanding the group's offerings. The association's goal? To keep things "open."
A videogame industry group is making it easier for indie studios to join and is expanding the group’s offerings. The goal? To keep the association “open.”
News about a few expanded membership offerings might seem modest in comparison to the glitz and glamour of this week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), but trust us—it’s a big deal for the developers.
At E3, the Open Gaming Alliance—a trade group for makers of computer games for Windows, SteamOS, Linux, and Mac OS X platforms—announced a set of new membership options, as well as an expansion of the group’s committees into augmented reality, cloud-based gaming, and software tools.
The biggest beneficiaries of the changes appear to be indie game producers, who can take advantage of of a new membership tier that allows startup game studios to join the group for $250 per year—significantly less than dues for corporate members, which start at $5,000 per year. (OGA also added a $250 membership for professional service providers.)
The association is expanding its OGA Indie Collective special interest group significantly—partnering with game incubators to help build support systems, offering promotion and support at events, and giving small studios access to OGA webinars and other events. Justin Woodward, CEO of Interbang and the Media Indie Exchange, will chair the Indie Collective group.
“Not all indies have best-practice insight or expertise in the business aspects of the industry,” Woodward said in a statement. “It’s our goal to become a resource for such information, as well as a place where our indie members can discuss the unique needs and issues facing the indie sector.”
The goal of the shift in strategy is to highlight the many paths to success available to game developers, OGA says. Long story short: Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo get the headlines, but talented developers can still create great games without their platforms.
“An expansion of the gaming audience, the rise of the mobile platform, and an increase in digital downloads have opened the industry up for a multitude of platforms, independent developers of all sizes, and outgrowth sectors such as virtual reality and eSports,” OGA Vice President Wanda Meloni said. “The OGA is increasing its areas of focus to ensure we represent the wide range of needs, business practices, and opportunities of our members.”