September 18th, 2013, 00:36 Posted By: wraggster
A lot has been written about PlayStation’s remarkable journey over the last few years.
It has turned PS3 into a winner after a tumultuous launch, and has seemingly denied Xbox an easy win on the start of the next generation.
But its real victory lately has been reengaging with the people making games for its platforms, not the platforms themselves.
At Gamescom, the firm spent 90 minutes building up to the PS4 release date by talking about 15 smaller indie games coming to PS3, Vita and PS4. No Uncharted 4, no VR headset. The focus was largely on games that were built outside of its empire of 14 internal studios.
Of course this is testament to the huge share of attention indie games are getting these days, and Sony’s the first to admit this sudden wave of talent has taken it by surprise.
After E3, the firm wasn’t planning to flex its development support muscle so prominently in Cologne, explains studios boss Shuhei Yoshida.
“As soon as E3 ended we started planning for Gamescom’s conference, but because we had a huge indie section at E3 I was not expecting we would have as much new games as we showed,” he admits. “But working with indies… well, they are so fast! We cannot anticipate everything because of how fast they move.”
"The immediacy and the quickness of these
teams is incredible – some of them are just
one person. They don’t have to go through
all the approvals or presentations we do.
They just make things. That’s the difference
between them and us."
Shuhei Yoshida - president, SCE Worldwide Studios
The wider step-change in the industry, with the ‘middle’ of games crumbling away to form a swathe of smaller studios (almost all of them opting for open platforms and their big digital stores like iOS or Steam) has prompted deep changes at PlayStation. Concept approval is gone, plus it is actively inviting indies to port PC hits to its platforms (and footing the bill). Plus, even if Sony always did work with outside studios, it has been more prolific in terms of its portfolio and PR to prove it.
It’s all for a good reason: fact is those teams can easily go elsewhere (and have previously) if PlayStation isn’t open for them.
Says Yoshida: “We are trying to make our platform more accessible because those studios have choices, right? If we make things difficult they can go elsewhere and find another place to put their games. The immediacy and the quickness of these teams is incredible – some of them are just one person. They don’t have to go through all the approvals or presentations we do. They just make things. That’s the difference between them and us.
“Nothing has changed in terms of our mindset – we have worked with small companies to release games like Sound Shapes, Unfinished Swan, Flow and Journey in the past. But what changed was that whole boom of indies. Many of them are experienced developers and many have years of experience. There are just more great guys making more interesting things than before.”
For more information and downloads, click here!
There are 0 comments - Join In and Discuss Here