Pros and Cons of Being an Indie Retro Developer in Today’s Marketplace

Games like Celeste, Super Meat Boy, Cup Head and Hollow Knight make the indie game scene look like complete fun and games. Have an idea? Just make a game and the millions come. Right? It couldn’t be farther from the truth. In actuality, the indie game scene is flooded with games that big publishers turned down- and for good reason. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a bevy of positives to being indie, especially if you’re developing a retro-styled game. 

In this exclusive Old School Gamer Magazine list, we break down the pros and cons of being a Retro-Indie developer and why it definitely has a certain allure to a particular brand of developers.

Smaller Teams: Want to develop a game the way the classics were made? Then indie is the way to go. Lock yourself in a space for as many hours a day as you like and get to work. By yourself or with a tiny team compared to today’s standards, you can create a game. The counterpoint here is a scary one though. You’ll often work for free with the hopes the game sells. 

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About Patrick Hickey Jr. 13220 Articles
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of and is the author of the book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

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