Nick Holmgren said:
You know that minecraft was made almost entirely by 3 guys in their spare time right? True independent development does not take a business plan. Also, you can't sell investors on your project with data from its release BEFORE you have made it, unless it is a copy of someone else's game in which case you are stagnating the medium.
The way it tends to go for devs is you just show how your sales are profitable for your last project (which was kinda small and WAS self funded because you enjoyed doing it) so the investors have reason to believe you can keep doing that. IF you are lucky you hit upon a great game and run with it.
I know all too well that Minecraft was actually made by one guy who hired others after its success was already secured. But I'm the CEO of an independent game studio of 5 developers, and I can guarantee you that a business plan is absolutely required for anyone serious.
Minecraft is a really nice success story, but it is first and foremost an incredibly lucky strike, a one-in-a-million. And this comes from a guy who spent a lot of hours in Minecraft building a whole village with his girlfriend. Truth is, you can't base your company on luck alone, this would be irresponsible (if you have a team behind you). Your comment on what "True" independent development should be is very naive. Any game fits into a genre, if only in the "experimental gameplay" genre. Having a realist idea of how much your game will sell is necessary if you want to know if you're just wasting the time of your team or if you're doing all you can to give yourself a chance. See it this way: you can go in a forest and follow the trails, or get outside of said trails to find your own way. But if you have people behind you, at least bring a map.
As for the comment "your project was self funded because you enjoyed doing it", that's somewhat insulting in my opinion. Indie devs aren't just having a blast, they are working hard, and making loads of sacrifices. True enough, some have more privileged situations than others. I've quit my job in a leadership position at Activision and invested 15000 hard earned dollars in starting my own business. Do you seriously think I'm doing this just for fun? I have a plan, a strong intent to make something successful and meaningful. Besides, I'm far from being the guy who made the most sacrifices to get into the game. But no matter what, no one would blindly sacrifice this much "just for the love of indie development". Unless they are one their own or incredibly egocentric.