Overheard@DICE: How do you define indie?

"I find this talk offensive." -- A half-joking independent developer listening to Chris Taylor of Gas Powered Games and Epic's Mike Capps discussing being independent studios at DICE.

But, how do we define independent? And is it different from being "indie?" We know that Mega 64 has a violent reaction about the latter question.

Now, it's hard to imagine Mike Capps, who swims in a pool of Unreal Engine cash, being defined as independent. He even dryly stated during the conversation, "We became Microsoft five years ago." However, Chris Taylor, whose company doesn't have an engine that runs many of the games out there stated, "My children will probably not go to college because of Demigod." He also mentioned that in 2008 the company went from 125 people to 45 and then had to build back up again. But does a company's bank account make it independent or is it a state of mind?

In fairness, Mike Capps was a last minute replacement for Double Fine's Tim Schafer, so the original pairing may have been less jarring. But, the indie developer got us thinking: what are the lines that define the perception of independence?

This article was originally published on Joystiq.