"Egocentric" indies should accept mainstream, GDC told

"Why do we revile what they do so much? They're our family."

At the 'indie soapbox' session of the Game Developers Conference, Ben Ruiz of Team Colorblind told independent developers to "quit being so f***ing egocentric" and stop despising the mainstream game industry, which he said was like a "family member".

Ruiz - who previously worked at Flashbang on games like Off-Road Velociraptor Safari - accused the "independent games community as a whole" of egocentrism, which he defined as "regarding their own opinions, lifestyles and interests as superior to the opinions, lifestyles and interests of others."

"It's destroying our relationships and making us look really silly," he said. Indie developers were becoming unable to take ideas on from outside, and that threatened their survival, he argued. "My main concern here is about our rate of growth. How fast can we possibly grow when we behave like this? Nothing thrives in a vacuum."

Ruiz said he saw this "horrific behaviour" both between indie developers themselves, and between the indie community and the mainstream games industry.

"Why do we revile what they do so much? I understand from a petty emotional point of view - they oftentimes make games to make money, and they sometimes do creepy things in order to do that. I get it.

"What Zynga does is soulless, what Blizzard does is exploitative, what EA does is lazy. But, A - not all mainstream companies are these companies, which by the way isn't even a very good argument because all those companies I just mentioned have still brought us a tremendous amount of joy.

"And B - our parents and siblings aren't perfect either, which is what the mainstream industry is. Literally. they've been around a lot longer than we have and apart from the few things they do that we don't do simply because we're different, they still f**king rule, they're still our family member.

"It baffles me that we love and respect and adore our ridiculous family members so much that we'll make excuses for their behaviour, but we can't extend the same courtesy to the mainstream games industry. I think that's weird."

As for indies themselves, he implored for an end to the infighting that he sees, in particular, around the Independent Games Festival awards every year. "Please, open your minds. We've so much to share but a lot of it is hitting walls that don't need to be there."

He started and finished on upbeat notes, however, noting that this issue has improved in recent years and "it's not just you guys and i fully realise this... I promise I love you all."

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