‘Indie publishing is dead’ says Hello Neighbor franchise co-founder

TinyBuild’s Hello Neighbor franchise has hit 30 million downloads.

The indie developer/publisher says its audience consists of chiefly of children aged 8-16 years old all across the world, including the US, China, Russia, Germany, France, and South America, and sold two million books, generating $16 million (£12.9m) in book sales.

Examining the lifespan of the franchise, CEO Alex Nichiporchik said that “the current trend of the video game market is not in favour of publishers” and insisted publishers “[need] to be more creative and focus on building the long-lasting IPs” in order to succeed. Nichiporchik also believes publishers should listen to audiences and not critics, as while “early review impressions from critics were far from perfect”, “understanding the game’s audience made the next steps forward more clear”.

TinyBuild infographic

“Indie publishing is dead,” said Alex Nichiporchik. “It stopped being a sustainable business model the minute the number of mid-size publishers exceeded the number of good games being developed. Instead of focusing on one-off publishing deals, it’s better to build strong and entertaining brands. That means a large in-house development infrastructure that can support both internal games and external studios.”

TinyBuild is a Seattle-based indie label with 40 games in its portfolio, including Graveyard Keeper, SpeedRunners, and Party Hard. It also boasts additional development offices in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and Riga, Latvia and Boise, Idaho, and currently employs 150 staff. It was co-founded by Alex Nichiporchik and Tom Brien in 2011.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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