What is IOX?
In place of a feature on a specific game this week, I thought it’d be a good idea to go over IOX as it’s currently all over IO’s social media channels and I’m really excited about it. I not only want to explain what IOX is, but also go into why IOX is happening as I think both are equally important.
Jumping right in, the “IndieObscura x Direct” or IOX for short is a broadcast that IO and its parent company Greenlit Content are putting together to help indie games in the wake of event cancellations like GDC and E3. The loss of these events greatly impacts indie developers as it takes away key marketing and networking opportunities.
It also makes it harder to attract gamers via random discovery. I can attest to this personally as I’ve stumbled across many games while wandering through sections like the Indie MEGABOOTH at PAX East, West, and E3. It’s hard to replicate that organic “window shopping” aspect online.
As of right now, there’s no saying when these events will return and in what capacity. This has forced the gaming industry to piece together creative, remote alternatives in order to get by.
The AAA industry will always find a way, and it’s a console release year so you know Microsoft and Sony are focusing heavily on ways to market everything digitally this year. Outside of social media, indies have a harder time competing with the digital promotions of bigger companies given their smaller budgets and time constraints.
Creating a showcase for one game, or a handful of games, on your own without help is a lot to take on. For many indies, their time is better spent getting their games ready for demo or for release.
This is where IOX comes in
The goal of IOX is to give indie developers an easy outlet to show off their games in a digital space. The developers provide the content, we take care of the rest.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been reaching out to as many indies as possible asking whether they’d be interested in participating in the event. For those who say yes, I’ve been acquiring assets to show as part of the IOX broadcast. If you’re an indie studio who’s reading this and are interested in being part of IOX, DMs are open over on Twitter. We’d love to hear from you!
Adding to this, the incredibly talented team at Greenlit Content have been kind enough to offer help every step of the way. Greenlit has taken IOX from a simple concept to an event that I can see being an all-out success once it airs on April 11. I am very grateful, as I feel IOX is aligning perfectly with the site’s concept of supporting indie games and developers.
I always want the coverage that IO provides to be exactly what you’d see larger sites give to big games. The same goes for IOX. I want it to be an event for indies and indies only, similar to Nintendo’s “Nindie” directs and what you’d see from the PC Gaming Show.
With the world thrown into chaos, tragedy, and turmoil as a result of COVID-19, I felt it was important to not only give indies another way to show off their games, but also to give gamers something fun to watch from the comfort of home. In my experience, distraction is often the best method when it comes to riding out anxiety and depression, and what better distraction than a showcase featuring some amazing indie games and developers from all over the world?
I can confirm that IOX already has an impressive list of indie games who’ve agreed to participate, and the list grows longer each day. Even after IOX’s epic debut comes and goes on April 11, it’s something I could see myself continuing in the future. Heck, maybe even an in-person IOX gathering once the world returns to normal. Or as close to normal as it can possibly get.
Whether that’s next year or two years from now I’m all for a live IOX event – but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves here. IOX is going to be a must-watch broadcast if you love indie games and want to see them get more time in the spotlight. IOX debuts on April 11 and will feature dozens of indies, some you might’ve heard of, and others that you may be unfamiliar with.
Be sure to follow IO’s social media channels as posts are going up regularly announcing new IO participants. Updates will also be posted as to what time the broadcast starts on April 11, an introduction to our host(s), and a huge “thank you” to all of the participating indies and everyone hard at work behind the scenes on this project. It's going to be amazing.
Last, and most importantly, I hope that you’re staying safe and healthy at home playing indie games and spending time with your family. If you need anything, again, IO’s DMs are open on Twitter and we read all comments posted to the site. We’re here, and we’re all in this together.
~ Morgan ~
Editor-in-Chief of IndieObscura
P.S. - Here's a beautiful song from the indie game Journey to hopefully brighten your day! :)