The only place that I see that Indie is a genre is on Steam, and my teacher tells me that Indie isn't a genre of games.

What do you think? Can we say that Indie is a genre?

  • Steam isn't the only place where you can find Indie games. Xbox Live has an Indie Games channel. This week in fact a bunch of developers are promoting Indie Games Uprising (indiegames-uprising.com) showing off some real quality games. Commented Dec 5, 2010 at 3:56

6 Answers 6


Indie (comes from independent) is not per se a genre, but a paradigm of producing and publishing (here, games).

Indie game companies are mostly small and therefore more flexible, and open to new and crazy ideas than larger companies like Activision/Blizzard or Ubisoft, which concentrate on marketing one big product to a large number of customers.

An indie game is no different than non-indie games, but might have a larger scope in terms of genres. Some are indeed not in any genre one can categorize easily.


Indie isn't a genre in the strictest sense. It's more of a subculture of games, which can then be classified in genres. There are indie RPGs, indie arcade games, et cetera.

The term comes from music, where indie pop and indie rock are actual genres. (Sub-genres?)


Indie can definitely be considered a category of games, the same way independent films are. Similarly, these are low-budget or even no-budget productions undertaken by a small group of people with very limited funds, many of whom may do it for the fun of it rather than in the hope of striking it big.

Having said that, it's hard to see where to draw the line, since most game studios start out being 'indie' before becoming successful.

  • 2
    A category isn't the same as a genre.
    – user56
    Commented Dec 5, 2010 at 11:37

No, "Indie" is not a genre. "Indie" merely refers to the production of the game. You can have Indie puzzlers, platformers, shooter, racers, etc. These are genres.


Game genere is something that tells the consumer what the game is and what kind of mechanics it might include. Therefore indie isn't game genre because it tells consumer nothing about the actual product. Look at tripwire, they produce AAA grade games and they are under indie "genre".


Indie games are a genre. They are called indie because of the way the company's finances are set up, not because of the way the game itself is made. I found this out working as an independent game developer for one such company.

  • Hey there, welcome to the site! While this game looks really cool, I think the user asking the question was more interested in the definition of indie as opposed to any specific example of an indie game. Also, in it's current form, and I don't mean any offense by this, your answer seems somewhat like an advert, which I think it's best to avoid around here.
    – Mana
    Commented Dec 5, 2010 at 2:21

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