The enormous budgets of A-list video game titles, and the risks they bring, along with huge successes by indie publishers like the successful Threes! game written about here earlier, have encouraged game companies to think smaller when it comes to a portion of their release schedule.
A smaller project with a core, committed group can not only unlock creativity and perhaps identify franchises of the future, but also heavily lowers risk, while increasing the potential reward for a breakout hit, due to its smaller budgets. It also encourages diversity amongst the games being worked on, as they don’t have to fit a “guaranteed success” formula that forces people to follow certain criteria to ensure a return on investment.
Mobile has offered another chance to reset the metrics, as console games increasingly have enormous budgets that have to pay off, leading to more sequels to proven franchises and less original creations. With guerilla-style development, this shifts the tide and offers another opportunity to innovate in the gaming space.