The Italian Indie Game Industry. An Interview with Antonino Truisi
It has been known throughout history that Italy is a center for the arts, including art from the Romans, the Renaissance period, and the Baroque art movement. Video games are currently the most popular form of contemporary art, and they are taking over the globe as one of the most popular forms of entertainment and expression. Yet despite this, we hear very little about the Italian indie game industry, let alone the Italian AAA industry. As game development becomes cheaper and more accessible, new studios are cropping up globally, resulting in a brave new frontier for indie games. Italy could be the next big player in the European game scene.
Italy is host to a handful of studios, including a division of Ubisoft (Ubisoft Milan) that has provided its talents in creating several popular titles such as Rainbow Six, Just Dance, and a couple of Assassin's Creed titles. The most successful native Italian studio, Milestone, has been producing games since 1996. Milestone is best known for SBK, MXGP, and WRC, all of which are racing games. Aside from racing games and outsourcing from larger companies, the AAA Italian game industry is pretty stagnant in terms of anything truly original. It is now up to local indie devs to fill in this gap by producing new titles that will create something we have never seen before. We had the chance to speak to Antonino Truisi, an up and coming indie game developer working on Lost Paradise, which is shaping up to be one of the most visually impressive indie games to come out of Italy. During the interview, we delved into the state of the independent game industry of Italy, giving us insight into the culture of Italian video games.
What is the Indy Game industry like in Italy? Can we expect to see more games from smaller studios coming out of Italy in the near future? Italy has such a rich history and culture, what do you think Italians can bring to the game industry that has not been seen or done before?
First, I want to say that I love my country, but I can not hide it behind them, unfortunately, beyond the artistic and historical culture, we still carry with bigotry. It is also difficult for me to have a general idea of the Italian indie scene, so I will try to express what I perceive in Italy about the indie game scene.The sensation is: there is but at the same time there is not, the view is very divided into Italian, even the term "indie game" is often confused. Currently, the indie scene is almost totally focused on making 2D games or mini games for the VR.
This is mainly because of two factors. First of all, these types of games have lower development costs. Secondly, these games are a fertile ground catchment. This type of initial approach to indie in Italy is present because there is very little, absent support from our state towards these types of concepts. It is bad to say, but in our country, indie games are there for indie developers, but at the same time they do not exist for others! Many Italian publishers prefer to play safe by funding small 2D games or 3D game projects, but not so complicated 3D projects or as large as LP because they are afraid that it can never be done, and they are afraid of the long development time.
In fact, what we are doing with Lost Paradise in Italy is something alien in the indie landscape of our country: the first game created by an indie team, in 3D, without funds, and with a small team. Many do not believe us, and just start laughing. We can therefore make an stronger example and change the idea of indie in Italy. Indie games in Italy are seen by many as a "slot machine" or "scratch and win," a middle way where you can spend little time in development, but will try to make a lot of money. Only a few see indie gaming like a painting where you spend a long time working, without thinking of the monetary success. Yes, I believe you will see many small indie Italian teams emerge very soon, but they are unlikely to be similar "complicated" titles to Lost Paradise.
Italy is one of the most culturally rich countries in the world, we have a large number of new generation artists. Unfortunately, paradoxically, in Italy they all get exploited, so they tend to go abroad, I think so. I think that Italians can bring something never seen before.. but I do not think they can do it in Italy!