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Sony: Indie Drive Is Not Just an Angle, It's Truly the Strategy of PlayStation

Posted by Sammy Barker

Platform holder betting big on rising stars

Sony’s open approach to indie developers may have earned it a number of headlines over the past six months, but the company’s vice president of developer and publisher relations Adam Boyes has admitted that the strategy is not just a gimmick. Speaking with Game Informer, the likeable executive explained that the company is not merely looking for goodwill – it truly believes in the direction that it’s taking.

“I think a lot of people think that with the pro-indie developer thing that it’s a cool schtick and a cool story, but the reality of it is that it’s super real,” he said. “When great things happen to great people, I well up a little bit because I’ve been there – I’ve advocated for developers and I’ve been on that seat. And we are empowered by our company – we’re allowed to give these people permission to succeed. It’s not just an angle or a story, because it’s truly the strategy of PlayStation.”

Despite striking a number of deals with smaller studios over the past six months, though, the company is still very excited about its roster of large publisher collaborations, too. “I’m really proud of our big partnerships,” Boyes continued. “Like, getting Blizzard over to the console with Diablo III was a huge feat, and our relationship with Bungie on Destiny is phenomenal. Going up there to meet with the development team and talk about the project has been a dream come true.”

He concluded: “Cooking up the whole The Elders Scrolls Online deal with Bethesda was great as well. That game was never planned to come to consoles, but we just kept sitting with them and asking, ‘Why not?’ I’m a huge MMO fan and I love the franchise, so I was like, ‘Why don’t you bring it to the PS4?’ And they were like, ‘We’re not planning that.’ And I was like, ‘What if we built a plan to make it happen?’ Knowing that a game is coming to the console that was never going to is hugely awesome.”

Are you satisfied with the types of titles that PlayStation is partnering with – both big and small? What studios would you like to see the firm align with in the future? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


User Comments (20)



DirectAim said:

I like this guy and think he could do great things for the platform.

Adam Boyes, if your reading this..... Star Citizen needs to come to PS4.



Bliquid said:

This is on spot.
I don't think all the indie talk these days is just to get the favor of the crowds.
In the indie landscape there are many BEATIFUL and complete games, and by complete i mean full fledged gaming experiences.
AAA titles are costing waaay to much to be made, nowadays, so who can't survive in that kind of mass industry environment can go back to the old " 2 guys in a garage" and still come out with awesome games.
So yes, i don't think all the indie love is just for show, i think we are going to get back a big chunk of games made with love and not with wallets (in mind), because it is the only way this market can survive today.



odd69 said:

Personally Id like to see the what the smaller studios can do.



Lionhart said:

Personally, I'm all for a level playing field for both large developers and small indies but I don't like shovelware and cell phone type games. If an Indie studio is creating high quality core things like Cosmic Star Online, Bastion, Spelunky, Wakfu, Road Not Taken or Shantae then I'm all for it but if they're going to make baby stuff like Angry Birds, Tiny Monsters, another stuff from Google Play then they can go to an abyss and never return. I don't buy dedicated consoles like PS Vita, PS3 or WiiU for sucky flash player looking games. I buy them for real diehard AAA titles like Assassin's Creed, Castlevania, Prince of Persia, Tomb Raider, Legend of Zelda, Battlefront, Battlefield and Uncharted and this sudden influx of indie titles has me really unsettled. However, Indie games have the potential to rise up and created a new level of quality for smaller budged game development as has been proved by things like Mineraft and Transistor.



PMasterTy9 said:

@Lionhart I don't think you have to worry about too many cell phone type games. If you look at the indie lineup currently on the PS3 you will see there is a variety of games types. Also, I think the only reason we saw cell phone type games on the PS3 like Angry Birds is because of how successful they were.

One of the things I love about indie developers is that they are willing to think out of the box or push the envelope further than a AAA developer. More than likely we would have never seen a game like Journey come from a AAA developer. I think with the new hardware that the PS4 brings we will see a great selection of new and fun indie titles.



Gamer83 said:

So essentially I shelled out $400 for an indie machine, f'ing awesome.



shingi_70 said:

It's an angle alright. Let's be honest why the guys behind the program are legit, Sony's marketing for indies is totally an exploative angle since the events leading up to launch are focused on us the core who like indie tiitles.

Still who cares if its an angle if the games are good.



charlesnarles said:

Look, I'm all for supporting the little guys, but not instead of franchises we expected to play on this/next gen. Battlefront is a good example. That franchise was huge. It even went portable, but there's not even a Vita game. I know there are lots of factors, but I just seriously don't care about indie games/music/film/etc. at all, at all.



PMasterTy9 said:

@Gamer83 It's not just an indie machine. If you do your research, Sony has said that there will be a balance and a variety of games. They are just getting a head start with the indies which is a smart movie. There will be plenty of games to play including AAA titles.



Ginkgo said:

As someone who has very little personal interest in indie games and plays very few of them, I think this is great. One of the great things about PS is the range of experiences on the platform.

The benefits of this will not just be a few cool games in the short term, but in the coming years the whole industry will benefit.Creative ideas that would never see the light of day otherwise, developers honing their talents and getting noticed and even new studios being formed. This is great for the industry.

I understand the cry of "not just Indies", but I don't see that from Sony nor in the interview above. Elder Scrolls online is not indie. Destiny is not an indie. Warframe, is not an indie. These are stella titles that are coming to PS4.

I do think, and have argued before, that Sony is 1 AAA first party exclusive away from where it needs to be at launch, giving MS a slight edge (maybe because I'm not interested at all in knack), Perhaps the overall launch lineup of Sony (including 3rd party exclusives) is just pips MS. Exclusives coming like : WarFrame, Blacklight, War Thunder, Contrast which all look great, and wouldn't call Indies.

My point being, supporting Indies does not mean not supporting AAA games or the big boys. Sony is courting both.



Shellybird27 said:

@Gamer83 Are you stupid? how is this not good, this means AAA + Indie games, like a Launch, tells what kind of games will be out for 8+ years, Do you know how many awesome PS3 games there are? Double that with PS4, jesus, people like you seemingly can't think into the future, besides we have Infamous,Killzone,knack, ?Naughty Dog unannounced game, Deep Down, all the other 20+ unannounced AAA games, and all the indies, that's a lot of games, but yeah you're right, "A lot of Indies announced right now, must mean that only indie games will be out for 8 years, and games like Last of Us will just not come out. just because it hasn't been announced yet"



PMasterTy9 said:

@Gamer83 It's not all indie but there is a lot of indies right now. AAA titles are being developed as we speak. Just let Sony focus on a successful launch then let the games come raining down. If you look at it, Sony has more options then Microsoft right now.

@Ginkgo, @Shellybird27 Exactly, Sony wants all types of developers and games.



Ryno said:

They way Sony talks about indies lately one may be lead to believe that they are the only ones courting indies. Big whoop, Nintendo and Microsoft are doing it too.



Gamer83 said:


Well, jacka$$, I do actually look ahead and right now there aren't a ton of big productions that I'm interested in other than inFamous and The Order in the first year. Obviously other studios will have games, I'm buying a PS4 expecting over the long haul it will be a great console but it took the PS3 three years to actually become worth a damn and it's looking like that will be the case with PS4 as well. Until studios officially announce games they don't exist and since Naughty Dog and several others have nothing announced, who the hell knows when we're going to get them? Could be next year or could be a few years off. I like that there are indie games because it means there will be something to play but for me they don't replace games like Uncharted, God of War, Twisted Metal, Syphon Filter etc.



Gamer83 said:


Nintendo gets a lot of good downloadable games, indie or otherwise. MS definitely doesn't have as big an indie backing as the other two and frankly has been too slow in cleaning up its act regarding these developers. But unlike Sony, MS is focused on getting strong AAA retail prodcutions. So it's really a wash between the two companies, simply comes down to if you prefer indie games or 'blockbusters.' I'd say Nintendo has the best balance, unfortunately the Mario and Zelda games don't click for me like they used to, otherwise the Wii U would be the most sensible purchase of the next gen consoles this fall.



Lopezdm said:

Hopefully this remains to be true in the next few year. I have a game currently in early development and would like to release on the PS4. So having this huge opportunity for my small team is just amazing.



odd69 said:

I don't see Sony dishing out AAA titles, its the bread and butter. Im sure they figure with the right indie game it could sale just as much

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