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'EA Indie Bundle' ruffles feathers

'EA Indie Bundle' ruffles feathers

May 3, 2012 | By Mike Rose

May 3, 2012 | By Mike Rose
More: Console/PC, Indie, Business/Marketing

Publicly-held megapublisher Electronic Arts has ruffled the feathers of a number of indie developers by launching a bundle of games called the "EA Indie Bundle" via Valve's Steam digital distribution platform.

The bundle contains a selection of titles from independent studios whose games have been published by EA, and includes DeathSpank and DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue from Hothead Games, Gatling Gears from Vanguard Games, Shank and Shank 2 from Klei Entertainment and Warp from Trapdoor Inc.

However, Twitter has been abuzz with developers noting their distaste at the use of the word "indie" from a huge corporation like EA, with some accusing the company of trying to cash in on a grassroots term. The bundle's name once again opened up the old argument of what "indie" means today, if anything at all.

One developer against the use of the word is Minecraft creator Markus Persson, who tweeted, "EA releases an 'indie bundle'? That's not how that works, EA. Stop attempting to ruin everything, you bunch of cynical bastards."

"Indies are saving gaming. EA is methodically destroying it," he continued, reiterating that he does not consider his company, Mojang, to be "indie" any longer.

Elsewhere, Size Five's Dan Marshall commented with tongue in cheek, "We're simply going to have to come up with a NEW word for 'indie.' One that's clearly-defined and THE MAN can't take away from us."

He later joked, "Let's gather some indies together for a quick 'AAA Bundle,' then we're square."

However, some indies defended the bundle's name. Squid Yes, Not So Octopus developer Rob Fearon noted, "The EA bundle is EA Partners stuff. The studios/people behind the games are indie." EA Partners is a label that publishes third-party games from independent developers.

He continued, "It's dead easy, don't worry what is/isn't indie. Worry whether people/corps are abusive towards you. That's the important one."

Halfbrick's Ryan Langley had a similar train of thought, explaining, "To be honest I don't mind the EA Indie Bundle thing at all -- I mean, Klei, Vanguard and Hothead are all indie developers who EA published."

"I mean, would you be pissed if Microsoft made an XBLA Indie Bundle with Braid, Fez, Castle Crashers, Toy Soldiers & Limbo? All Microsoft published," he added.

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