GarageGames (GG) – a game house behind Torque game technology and several games has been one “issues of the day” recently. Interactive Corporation (IAC) purchased a major part of GG stocks, and thus became big owner. This story has been covered on several sites such as game producer forums, Russell Carrol’s (Reflexive) blog, Gameset watch, indiegamer forums to name a few.
Basically this means: GG is no more independent game maker. There’s somebody else who makes the final decisions about the business and direction.
Will this mean GG is only a puppet serving its master?
No. Josh Williams clears the air by saying that “I want everyone to know that our deal with IAC was and is fundamentally compatible with our philosophies at GG, and the internal plans we had in place.”.
It’s pretty common that businesses change owners. It’s no big deal. I doubt IAC would want to somehow takeover GG just to drive their vision alone. I believe these guys noticed that GG has been doing fine stuff so far and it would make sense to partner with them. Sure, anyone who takes money from investors cannot be said to be independent – but it doesn’t necessarily mean they couldn’t continue doing what they’ve done so far. GG is one of the most well-known indie gaming companies in the world, and it would be waste of time and money to try to bend them to something else.
GG and selling games
Russell Carroll made points that GG hasn’t established an indie portal, and I agree with that. GG site isn’t the site for those who play games, but for those who make – and I don’t see a problem with this. Today’s indie needs to use all the distribution channel they have. GG is one option, but that doesn’t stop people going to sell through Reflexive, BigFishGames or Steam.
I think it all boils down to this: IAC wanted to pour money in the indie gaming field and help funding game development.
How bad that can be?