Sony: Indie is the future for the gaming industry
If you couldn't tell by Sony's press conferences or the PS4 launch line-up, indie is sort of a big part of the company's plans. Heading into the next-generation of gaming, Sony has made it clear that indie games are a big focus for the PlayStation 4.
"I don't think we purposefully decided we were going to release so many exclusive indie games on the PS4," SCE's president of Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida told CVG. "I think we decided some time ago to support indie developers - it's just that the indie games ecosystem has taken off since then.
"There were smaller digital games since the launch of the PS3, but nowadays there are so many that become huge hits. It's amazing how many talented people are now independent and make their own games," he added.
PlayStation 4 will have undoubtedly have its share of AAA blockbusters. We're still awaiting titles from Naughty Dog and Sony Santa Monica Studios, but for now, the company seems content to roll with the indies. And that may not be a bad thing; look at the success they've had with games like Journey and The Unfinished Swan. Sony is obviously hoping to replicate that success on the PS4.
When asked if indies are the future of the industry, Yoshida responded, "Yes absolutely."
"Because of the digital platform, and because everyone in the world can reach the same audience. That's pretty healthy. And these guys aren't interested in hiring PR agencies, or lawyers or sales reps! [Laughs] They want to focus on making great games, and that's really healthy," he said. "It's very natural for us [the traditional industry] to be very conservative with the games we make, especially at larger studios. So we need these small guys to come up with something unique."
Sony isn't just letting third-party studios work on these "smaller" digital titles. Yoshida acknowledged that while it's not necessarily the focus, "it's healthy for our developers to try something new - especially the studio has a franchise. Some people work on the same franchise for six years, so it's good that our teams can unleash their creative talent."
"So we don't limit what the internal guys do, so they can start some smaller projects," he concluded, "but they tend to make big things."
Hopefully, Sony Worldwide Studios has some big things up its sleeve. Not that I'm against indie, but right now the PS4 is sorely lacking in AAA blockbusters.
Would you like to see more AAA titles released on the PS4 or are you content with the current approach?