Dave The Diver Director Denies Indie Game Label

The Game Awards 2023 created a buzz with its nomination of Dave the Diver for the “Best Independent Game” award. The game, which emerged unexpectedly, garnered significant attention in the gaming community. Despite its appearance and style resembling that of an indie game with its pixel art and relaxed soundtrack, there was confusion surrounding its inclusion in the “Best Independent Game” category.

This confusion arose from the fact that the developer, Mintrocket, is a relatively small team operating as a sub-brand of Nexon, one of the industry’s largest publishers. Before the awards ceremony, TheGamer had the opportunity to interview Jaeho Hwang, the director of Dave the Diver, who clarified the game’s status. Hwang expressed that he doesn’t consider it an indie game due to their collaboration with a major company.

He emphasized that while their creative work is independent, he respects other developers who face more challenging conditions and therefore, doesn’t want to be placed in the indie category. Hwang reiterated that Mintrocket’s association with a “big company” is a reason for not categorizing the game as indie. He acknowledged the independent nature of their work but stressed his reluctance to be viewed as part of the indie category, recognizing other developers who endure more rigorous circumstances in their endeavors.

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