A new survey of over 100 game developers pursuing or considering independent development finds "creative freedom" is the most popular reason for choosing to forgo a job at an established studio.
The non-scientific survey, conducted by independent developer Daniel Fedor from among readers of his blog
and of Gamasutra's blogs, found 73 percent of 121 respondents saying they "want more creative freedom" in explaining the appeal of indie development.
A majority of respondents also cited a desire to "share ideas with the world" and enjoy "improved working hours" as reasons to make the move.
In addition, 47 percent of respondents said "the chance to earn more than a salary and/or benefits" made independent development look good. A recent Game Developer
survey found salaries increasing for many independent developers and contractors
A majority of respondents (54 percent) said that the risk of losing steady pay was one of the main reasons preventing them from turning to independent development. Many of those currently working for a major studio said their need to support their family and their personal affinity for co-workers might stop them from making the jump.
Fedor offers his own analysis
of the survey's full results
on his Gamasutra blog, recommending that studios offer employees less crunch, more profit-sharing, and more opportunities to be creative to prevent them from striking out on their own.