Video games as the next open source frontier

Open source has changed the enterprise software world. Can it do the same for video games?

After reading this article about indie game developers over on The Escapist, I'm seeing a theme similar to open source, where engineers get stifled by corporate development and start open source projects and companies.

Harris is one of an increasing number of mainstream video game veterans who have abandoned big-budget, big-business game development and "gone rogue" as small, self-funded, often self-published independent game developers, or "indies." Some see indie development as an entry point into a career in the majors. But for some jaded professionals who love gaming but are dissatisfied with the mainstream industry, indie development offers an escape - and a unique opportunity.

The video game market is dominated by large vendors, as discussed in this Portfolio article about Disney's efforts to lead Hollywood into video games. A bit of surprise to me was just how many games and studios Disney has acquired over the last few years, even creating a new business unit.

This isn't terribly different from what we've seen in the enterprise as big vendors Oracle have consolidated smaller vendors while frustrated developers (and business folk) have created open source companies to go against the corporate grain. Open source has flipped the enterprise market on it's head, can an open source-like model for game development help the growth of the independent gaming world?

I've written in the past asking why there aren't more efforts toward open source video games. Best I can tell is that console and downloadable games have some specific technical challenges that most people don't have experience with. It seems like there are some big opportunities in gaming right now.

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