At the videogame industry’s biggest stage, E3, it is very rare to see an independent developer have their own booth promoting their games. The Game Developers Conference, Penny Arcade Expo, and Independent Games Festival are the more common conventions for indie developers and having a booth at E3 is seen more as a dream. This year Ian Kinsey and Jesse Martinez, the creators of Ensemble Online, a browser based, online city building game, are getting a booth.
“It’s almost unheard of, an indie game developer having an actual booth at E3. Most of us can’t even attend,” explained Martinez. “It’s an exclusive event, meant only for gaming’s elite. We’re getting a booth this year to challenge that and sort of shatter the glass ceiling for other indies.”
These two indie developers don’t want to be the only ones there this year, that is why they have started a contest that can get indie developers a free ride to E3. The contest is simple, the ten most voted for developers will win free passes into E3 and the nominators will win one as well. The indie developer with the most votes however, will get their airfare and hotel all paid for and get free passes into E3. To nominate or to vote for your favorite independent developer click here.
“We’ve come a long way since our all-nighters at Denny’s. We finally have some resources at our disposal, but we still have to scrimp and save. I’ll have to sell my car for us to afford even one of the smallest booths at E3. It says a lot about how much the industry favors the big guys: if you don’t have money, you don’t get in.” said Ian Kinsey.
I think this is a very cool idea, not everyone is allowed into E3 and when I say “allowed” I really mean “can’t afford”. It’s very expensive to go to E3, trust me I know, and paying for a booth to promote your game can cost a lot. Independent developers usually focus all of their funds on the creation of their games and pulling together money for a booth at E3 can be almost impossible for them. I implore anyone reading this to go over to their website and vote for your favorite independent developer so they can have a chance to shine at the convention.