The term indie game has become less of a development category and more of a stylistic genre. They are known to have gaming elements that set them apart and sometimes even above Triple-A games (which are supposed to be considered the best games of their kind). Popular YouTubers have been seen playing and enjoying various #Indie Games. It’s not uncommon to see Jacksepticeye and Markiplier playing titles like “Little Nightmares” or “Hello Neighbor.” However, all that makes a game independent is that it's published without support from a publisher like Sony, Microsoft, or EA. If that's all that defines a game as independently #Developed, then why are they becoming increasingly popular?

It's not all about the money

Ladies and gentlemen, believe it or not, it is not all about the money to some indie developers.

In the "What's Popular" tab for indie games on Steam, there's the game “Path of Exiles” developed by Grinding Gears Games. This game won Gamespot's PC Game of the Year award in 2013, beating both “Bioshock: Infinite” and “Tomb Raider” among many other games. It's also free.

That's right. This award-winning game is free to play.

Aside from the numerous free games, the price for most independently developed games is somewhere between $1 and $20. This is opposed to non-indie games such as the recent “Assassins Creed Origins developed by Ubisoft, which currently sells for $59.99. Indie games are more accessible to people who love video games but don't have a lot of money to spend. Of course, it's always an option to wait for the price to go down for non-indie games, but it’s potentially a long one.

Another problem presented with waiting is the inevitable spoilers that a player might encounter. One advantage is that if the game ended up being terrible, then no money was wasted. Even so, this gives indie games an advantage because they start cheap, so people don't have to wait for the asking price to go down, and people don’t have to worry about getting spoiled.

Innovations of the indie

Innovating means bringing new ideas to broad concepts that already exist. Indie games are the kings and queens of bringing new things to the Video Game dinner table because that's the only way they're going to get noticed. This can include any elements of a video game, from the music to the narrative to the core mechanics of the game.

Undertale" by Toby Fox is an example of video game #innovation at its finest. It presents a unique story about a fallen child in a world of monsters trying to return home. It also has a haunting theme: actions have consequences and starting over won’t fix them completely.

Along with its narrative, it showcases a beautiful soundtrack and neat 8-bit art. To add to this list, “Undertale” also has unique mechanics for its combat system, giving the player a choice to either destroy or spare every enemy. It's no surprise that this game was nominated for three awards at the 2015 Game Awards and that it won Best Game Ever in 2015 on GameFAQs.

With the easy access that indie games give players and the innovations they present that constantly wow fans, there's no doubt that indie games aren't going anywhere anytime soon.