News Article

Yoshida: Indie Games Will Ensure PS4 Eschews Content Drought

Posted by Sammy Barker

Sprinkling water into the well

Content droughts are common alongside any major platform launch. Publishers tend to target launch day as the optimal date to release their wares, and that often results in a shortage of software over the weeks – and, in particularly problematic cases, months – that ensue. Sony’s already attempted to compensate for such a scenario by pushing inFAMOUS: Second Son into 2014 on the PlayStation 4, but Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida believes that a steady stream of indie software will prevent the next generation console’s content well from drying up entirely.

“By nature, publishers – especially large ones – see opportunity and will always be there at the launch of any platform,” he told EDGE magazine. “Large publishers typically target that date, not two months or six months after, so it’s natural that the first peak comes at launch and then there will be a drought. However, now there are many games developed by indie teams, and they will spend time if they need to. So these games will be continuously released through next year, that’s my expectation.”

While there’s certainly a lot of quality content coming out of smaller studios, cynics would argue that they don’t sell consoles. Yoshida, however, doesn’t necessarily agree. “We do believe that indie games can sell hardware,” he explained. “I think last year’s games like Journey and The Walking Dead sent a very clear message to the games industry and consumers when they swept the awards. Small games can make a huge impact.”

And there are an enormous number of indie titles that could have a similar impression for the PS4 next year, including RIME, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, and Shadow of the Beast. Couple that with the likes of Hotline Miami 2, Guns of Icarus Online, and Velocity 2X, and we reckon that Yoshida may have point. The big question is: will the wealth of smaller content keep your hunger for the next big blockbuster at bay? Let us know in the comments section below.


User Comments (7)



ShogunRok said:

We predicted that this would be Sony's strategy and it's happening. Makes a lot of sense with so much support.



charlesnarles said:

The line between indie and corporate is already smudging. I'd expect to see more than 8-bit sidescrollers and puzzlers for ps4 in any case. Droughts help build hype for upcoming stuff and gives time to catch up, so they don't bother me. But it would be cool to never have a "crap, what to play?" period again



Gamer83 said:


They have to be if PS4 is going to be the No. 1 console. That's the thing, while the diehard fanboys (not really here but at other PS based websites I frequent) can celebrate this indie focus all they want, because Sony is telling them how phenomenal it is, the absolute fact of the matter is, these games are not system sellers. The indie games will not make PS4 the top dog, they're nice complimentary pieces that if all goes well should give the console a very well rounded lineup, no question about that, but these games are also very niche in most cases. When the cross-gen stuff stops and the big AAA games start hitting the PS4 and Xbox One exclusively is when the consoles will take off though and which one offers the better content in that category is the console that will perform better. The good news is studios like Rockstar North, Eidos Montreal, Ubisoft, Bungie, Naughty Dog and Sucker Punch are still around to provide that kind of content. Just have to hope the third parties will bring their 'A' game to PS4 development right away because the vast majority of PS3 third party efforts from 2006-2008 were complete jokes. Destiny looks great and that's a huge plus for me since I'm a fan of Bungie. But I'm very unsure about some of these other companies. EA is clearly in bed with MS and Watch_Dogs didn't look nearly as good on Fallon's show this past summer as it did back in 2012. That's never a good sign.



Squiggle55 said:

This is great news for me because without question I am spending most of my gaming time lately on these indie games on my vita.



Ginkgo said:

Although there is an element of truth to the idea that indies will help avoid a content drought, I believe they will only help up to a point, plus I don't believe that it is most important benefit of indies.

Most/many console gamers love the big blockbuster AAA titles (just look at GTAV5). If there is a lull, indies will give us something to pass the time, but they are not a replacement, and if AAA titles are too few and far between, there will still be cries of "no games".

However, more importantly, I think that idea misses what is great about indies. They are games uncluttered by the need to sell "millions" or pander to marketing execs ideas of what will sell. i.e. They can explore ideas more freely. Therefore they will continue to be the birthplace of new ideas/styles and genres, which will eventually feed into the AAA titles, once it is shown to be less risky. They help offer a wider pallet of games/experiences available and keep the industry fresh which for me is the big win.



Sanquine said:

@Gamer83 Good points, but first we have to see what comes! I hope with this many studios and their past ( hopefully they learned from the ps3... Software equals more hardware sales)

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