"It's the tortured artist," he mused.
But being that "isn't a great place to be" although it's "aspirational" in some ways. Being turned down by big digital platforms can be a "real finishing blow".
Hello Games released Joe Danger on the PlayStation Network.
"Well it’s a funny one, indie games, isn’t it? It’s the tortured artist. The tortured artist isn’t a great place to be but it’s also an aspirational place to be in some ways. Everyone wants to be the tortured artist because it implies that you’re producing great art," said Murray.
"It’s almost people glossing over the realities of being on the breadline and starving. That kind of thing. Chopping your ear off. It’s seen in a whimsical way, in a fantasy way. The reality of chopping your ear off is probably quite grim.”
Ultimately for a lot of indie outfits it comes down to landing exposure on one of the big digital platforms: Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, Steam or the App Store.
“I think without the support of at least one of those outlets, the chances of success are reduced from tiny to almost non-existent,” he continued. “I think that if you talked to other indie developers, they might say, we’ve been turned down by Steam, or XBLA or PSN. It’s a really common thing to hear, but it’s also often a real finishing blow for any studio."
“There’s nothing more reassuring than hearing from somebody who has had success. Who has made it through a problem. That they were where you are right now."
“I think that’s the most helpful thing that indies can talk about. I don’t want to de-romanticise it or anything, but I think it is important to tell people that, if you are going to cut your ear off, it’s really bloody painful.” Check out the between Hello Games CEO Sean Murray and GamesIndustry.biz where he talks about the indie way of life.