Is Every Indie Game Independent? Towards the Concept of Independent Game, Maria B. Garda, Paweł Grabarczyk
In this paper, Garda and Grabarczyk argued about the importance of the word Indie, the many things it represents, where it came from and what must change for it to progress. I think it is important to try to clearly define what "Indie" actually means but also feel that now, and in the future more than anything this will become much harder to do.
I would have looked at Indie as being graphically different, or emotionally different in some way but even this is changing with Epic Games recently purchasing Quixel and giving everything in their line-up completely free to users of Unreal Engine 4. Either we have to accept "Indie" as an ever changing and evolving term, or we have to try to move away from calling Indie Games, Indie.
[Updated to include additional thoughts related to Epic Games purchasing Quixel on 12th Nov 19]
Examining Indie’s Independence: The Meaning of “Indie” Games, the Politics of Production, and Mainstream Co-optation, Lipkin, Nadav
I understand why the term "Indie" only became popular recent to when the article was published and agree wholeheartedly as well with the rather sad conclusion that the same term has lost its meaning. I remember when the only games I could really play were on the PS2 or Wii and were published by the likes of Sony and Nintendo.
Compare that to today where the Indie movement has changed the gaming scene so much that the majority of games I play now would come under Steam's "Indie" tag, or are made by unknown entities who just happened to create a gripping experience published through one of the many self-publishing programmes (Steam Direct, ID@Xbox, even through Nintendo on the Switch) without many if not any of the AAA hallmarks.