News Article

Shuhei Yoshida Doesn't Understand People Who Don't Like Indie Games

Posted by Kell Andersen

Neither do we

If the last two E3s are anything to go by, Sony's continued efforts to court indie developers are paying off. What's more, the Japanese giant seems pretty chuffed with this outcome, as Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida stated in a recent interview. "Almost every week you see an indie game coming out digitally on PS4. Some of them are really, really interesting, beautiful games," he said. "We're fortunate that they're creating games on PS4, and some of them are choosing to launch their console versions on PlayStation first."

However, some people aren't as huge fans of the indie offerings. Indeed, they lament the lack of strong AAA titles, particularly when it comes to the firm's PlayStation Plus instant game collection. In the same interview, the affable executive expressed confusion over this stance.

"I do realise that some people are only interested in big-budget AAA games. I don't really understand those people. I don't know if they've tried some of the indie games and decided they're not interested. Maybe they haven't even tried," Yoshida continued. "That's a key question. With Resogun, which we offered for free for a long time on PS Plus, not every PS Plus member downloaded it, and that's a great, great game."

For our money, indie games serve as the perfect bridge between larger titles. As games become bigger and more time consuming to develop, it's nice to have something to fill the software gaps that are inevitably going to appear every so often. But what do you think? Are you a fan of smaller download experiences, or is AAA the only way to go? Jump around in the comments section below.


User Comments (53)



Punished_Boss_84 said:

Because we're not you Yosp! Some people prefer big meaty experiences. Plus those same people don't like swimming in a indie sea, while waiting for Driveclub or LBP3 or Halo 1-4 or Smash Bros U or insert game of your choice here. And to lesser extent that applies vice versa.



MadchesterManc said:

Agree with Yosp. A game is a game to me, regardless of its budget. I don't understand the mentality people have of not wanting to play games that haven't had millions spent on their production. I do prefer Indie & Niche titles myself though as most AAA releases these past couple of years have felt a little 'hollow'. You only have to look at Ubisoft & the template they seem to employ for almost all their AAA releases to see what I mean.



get2sammyb said:

@MadchesterManc Couldn't agree more! It's fine if you don't enjoy a particular game — be it 'AAA' or 'indie' — but to discredit something just because it was made by a smaller team or doesn't have a multi-million dollar marketing budget is ridiculous in my opinion.

I understand people want blockbusters on their expensive new console, that's fine, but the presence of indie titles doesn't prevent those from existing. The more content the better as far as I'm concerned — why can't we have both?




Love the way the fanboys automatically assume if you complain about indie games on your PS4 you automatically hate indies. Absolutely not true! Indies have their place. The problem is there seems to be nothing but indies on the PS4 at the moment. Where are the AAA games? When Sony advertise the PS4 on TV they don't use games like Shooter to show it off. No they use AAA games. Sony are attempting to hide the current lack of quality AAA games on the PS4 with indie games and a lot of gamers don't like it. The fact that Yoshida can't understand that is very worrying. He's clearly out of touch with his customer base.



Gamer83 said:

And as somebody who's not a huge fan of indies, I can say 'I don't understand people who don't want AAAs.' But then I realize, we all have differing opinions, it works both ways. Some people are totally fine with the flood of indies and pretty big lack of quality AAA experiences, particularly exclusives, on the PS4 right now. That's fine. Me? I didn't spend $400 with Resogun, Contrast, Outlast and Octodad in mind. But as far as people who complain about lack of AAA games in PS4's instant game collection? Pretty laughable to expect that not even a year into the console. Yeah, Sony is just going to make inFamous or MLB The Show, two of its bigger releases this year free, or The Last of Us Remastered, free when it launches later this month. That makes perfect business sense.


It's a particular problem at this website. Anytime a positive article about an indie game is posted, there always has to be some snide remark from one of the Indie fanboys about 'indies don't count' to take a shot at those of us who prefer AAAs and sadly the writers here, who I hold in pretty high regard, get in on that too and it just leads to more arguments. I can honestly say I haven't seen one person here claim indie games don't count, that bs theory is brought about by the indie fanboys who want to shove their favorite style of game down everybody else's throat.

And I agree, these comments from Yoshida are somewhat concerning. I'm going to give Sony Gamescom and TGS but right now the balance between AAA and indie isn't great and eventhough we're looking good on multiplats, I want to see more first party AAA exclusives and maybe even some third party AAA ones, though those are increasingly harder to come by unless you have an MS-type wallet.



Bad-MuthaAdebisi said:

The same kind of people that say they like movies and think Michael Bay is the business and expect foreign films to be dubbed.

Most of the indie stuff on ps4 doesn't interest me, outlast, octodad, another world are probably the only ones I've taken to, I can appreciate resogun is a good game but its not for me. I do think there may become a huge back catalogue of average games, I don't think though that these will be disproportionately indie titles.



N711 said:

He just said he doesnt understand people who are ONLY interested in big budget AAA
I think people could be more realistic (could they?) and the way to go is to have PS3 PS4 (and Vita too) and enjoy them all. specially for people who are very fast with finishing a game. There will never be enough AAA games for them whatever the console if they only play a new gen



artemisthemp said:

I think the issue is that people want big titles like Murdered: Soul Suspect, Infamous Second Son etc and not just play Indies.



get2sammyb said:

@voodoo341 This a problem with the industry as a whole, though, and is not exclusive to PlayStation. The reality is that the middle portion of the market has fallen through — the Murdered: Soul Suspect developer's closure is further proof of that — so you're going to get fewer and fewer blockbusters moving forwards. Publishers are ploughing ridiculous sums of money into titles such as Destiny and Watch Dogs, which means that the risks are much higher. As such, you're only going to see a handful of those titles in the future.

I think Sony's been smart recognising that, and it's managed to keep the PS4 well supplied with content by embracing smaller teams and indie developers. The reality is that we're heading to a point where the market is going to comprise of: smartphone/free-to-play games, console digital downloads/indies, and big AAA blockbusters. The days of titles like Dark Void, ModNation Racers, and Resistance — the middle tier — are long gone because it's not a feasible model anymore.

It's worrying, but it's something that we're sadly going to have to embrace — after all, we're partly responsible for driving the industry in this direction.

@artemisthemp Right, but what just happened to the Murdered: Soul Suspect developer? It wasn't the best game in the world, but there's no margin for error in retail any more.




When it comes to indie games there seems to be mindset among some gamers that they're automatically some kind of piece of gaming gold. That indie games are all just little shiny gems of games that takes us to a Nirvana of gaming perfection. Absolute rubbish! Quite a large percentage of the indie games on the PS4 aren't good. in fact they're often poor quality and short. If the indie scene is the hub of innovation why are there so many indie platformers? Of course there are some gems just as with AAA games but the rose tinted glasses some journalists view indie games with is a joke. There needs to be a good mix of AAA games and indies on the PS4 with quality being the goal of both. It's totally lacking on the PS4. Bumping up the games now available count on the PS4 with poor indie games isn't what I bought a PS4 for. Like it or not the PS4 is currently home to the indie and remake. There's no future in that.



Jazzer94 said:

I think there is a big difference between hating indie games and wanting more than just indies games that a lot of you are having a hard time seeing the difference. Two of the games I'm most looking forward to playing are indie games (Shovel Knight and Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number) but quite a lot of the indie games released recently on Sony platforms aren't very long, I just see it as people want to see more that justifies their purchase of their system.



get2sammyb said:

@voodoo341 I agree with you that indie games aren't always the bastion (?) of innovation — for every Transistor there are probably two or three, like you say, trashy puzzle platformers.

I also agree with you that there's not an especially even mix of AAA and indie right now on PS4 — however, I'd argue that your expectations aren't overly realistic. The system is barely six months old, and you could subtract every indie title from its roster, but that still wouldn't net you a larger catalogue of blockbusters. After all, by their very definition, they take longer to make.

Without meaning to sound rude, perhaps you shouldn't have bought a PS4 until it received the games that you wanted. They're obviously coming, but you're going to have to be patient.



Bad-MuthaAdebisi said:

Publishers should make smaller, more polished and original games then sell them at a reasonable price, there's a lot of trash selling for stupid money.



Demi_God said:

Indies are the building blocks for developers and games you see today with all AAA games out there. All of those big developers started off small, making indie titles. People that don't like indie games really need to open their eye's. I understand if you don't like playing them, but those people should be aware of how games and developers grow.



k_andersen said:

@SimonAdebisi I agree 100% I think Child of Light and Valiant Hearts are two great examples of a big publisher making something smaller, but with a big publisher's budget. And even something bigger than that - like Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon - which looks and feels more like a typical AAA game, but is smaller, and more reasonably priced.



Gemuarto said:

@get2sammyb Uhmmmm..... There is place for middle games in industry. Last Ratchet and Clanck, for example. Yakuza Ishin or Tales of Something are also middle compared to western AAA games. Games like Outlast I consider as middle also. You can just make short blockbuster and sell it for less money. A lot of opportunities for middle budget games.



Gamer83 said:


Yes, I think getting the bigger companies into the downloadable scene to help supplement their AAA releases would be nice. Sony dabbles in this as well. With the 'B' market pretty much gone now though, I wouldn't mind Ubisoft, Sony, MS, Activision, EA, etc, assembling some teams at their studios to do some downloadable games, even if they're just spinoffs of existing franchises. I'd gladly pay $20-$25 for a 4-8 hour downloadable game with a bigger publisher's budget that could maybe start filling the void left by the losses of companies such as Hudson Soft and THQ. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon was one of my favorite games in 2013 and it did have an 'AAA' feel. It had enough hours of gameplay, it had really good graphics, polished controls and it actually felt like a much different game than the original FC 3 which was nice, it stood on its own. No reason other big companies can't deliver something similar. inFamous: Frist Light will be very cool but I am a bit concerned it will be over in the blink of an eye.



eLarkos said:

@get2sammyb "after all, we're partly responsible for driving the industry in this direction."
We as consumers are COMPLETELY responsible for this! In a creative industry demand drives the market. There is no resource constraint (besides money!) creating a shortage of supply which is effecting the market. It is purely that we as consumers are not purchasing these middle tier products.

I feel for the devs. How many articles on this website gloat about the graphics of a game in the headline? Many. The reality is that people care a lot about visual fidelity of a game, and for some it is the most important part and for many it is a deal breaker. Middle devs simply cant afford to keep up with consumers demands.

Unfortunately for me the middle tier games are generally my favourite - unique, often creative games with the funding to see them fully fleshed out gameplay wise.
Fortunately for me the indie space is maturing and growing to a place where you would swear some of these games are middle-top tier.



rjejr said:

Yeah, his arguement just seems like a weak cover up to me. I play all types of game depending on my mood and time of day and circumstances, from casual FB to free apps on my tablet (don't own a smartphone) to AAA games on my Wii U and PS3. But I bought my tablet and PC for other reasons, the games are a freebie bonus. $400 PS4 and $200 Vita purchasers require AAA games b/c thats why people spend the big bucks, for big games. Sure some people hate indies, I hate FPS, but most people are complaining about indies b/c thats what the PS4 and Vita are predominantly getting. If those systems had more AAA games - the main reason people bought those systems - nobody would be talking about indies. And the Vita as $200 indie machine might even be ok if it was oroginally promoted that way, and included a 64GB card to hold the DL only games. People buy a PS4 for $400 for DriveClub and The Order, they dont want to hear about all the indie titles, even if they enjoy playing them.



Gemuarto said:

I like good indies =). But the truth is that most indies are not good =). Resogun is one of those indies that shows that others are not very good. It's like The Last of Us or Shadow of the Colossus. After playing them, other games feel like there is something missing.



Gamer83 said:


And even with a great indie such as Resogun, I'd still take a great AAA like The Last of Us over it without hesitation. That's not sh*tting on indies, it's just the way I look at gaming and going back to what @voodoo341 stated, it is a bit concerning that Yoshida can't understand this. I wouldn't care so much, except he's one of the people controlling the future of a console I spent $400 on. And this isn't 'doooooom' or 'Sony isn't getting any gamez!' it's just stating, I don't like quotes like this coming from a guy who needs to have his finger on the pulse of the fanbase. If there are many-and there are- who don't care for indies and are complaining about the lack of AAAs you need to fix that, period, he shouldn't be saying 'I don't understand.'



adf86 said:

If may I would like to list every Sony studio & what there making for PS4 (Some are a bit speculative)
Naughty Dog: The Last of Us: Remastered & Uncharted 4.
Santa Monica: Unnamed Cory Barlog title
Sucker Punch: Infamous standalone DLC
San Diego: MLB 15 & possible 2nd title
Sony Bend: Unnamed horror title maybe Kill Strain
Sony Online (I know there not a worldwide studio but they kinda count) Planetside 2, H1Z1 & EverQuest Next
Media Molecule: Unnamed title
Guerrilla Cambridge: Believed to be making a AAA game, heard rumours of Heavenly Sword 2
Sony London: Singstar & Possible AAA project
Evolution studios: DriveClub
Sony XDev: LittleBigPlanet 3 & Shadow of the Beast
Guerrilla Games: Unnamed open world RPG
Polyphony Digital: Gran Turismo 7
Sony Japan: The Last Guardian
PixelOpus of course just released Entwined. This is not including 2nd & 3rd party exclusives like Bloodborne, The Order, Deep Down & Let It Die. Hope this list helps you realise that there's more coming then you think, remember if your like me, you bought games on it for the next 6-10 years not just the first year. Be Lucky.



k_andersen said:

@Gamer83 Correct me if I'm wrong, but I feel like your problem is less "There are too many indie games!" and more "There are too few AAA games!" - which is a totally valid criticism. I feel like these smaller projects we've been talking about would probably be a fix for that. At the same time, though, I worry that diverting resources from the bigger games to make smaller ones, might mean that the big ones end up taking even longer. I feel like we're at this bizarre crossroads at the moment. AAA games are getting bigger and bigger, and therefore taking much more time (and money) to make. Sometimes I worry about how sustainable it is. At any rate, it'll be interesting to see how things develop.

And just to clarify, though I often come across as a bit of a pretentious AAA snob, I do enjoy a good AAA game just as much as a good indie



adf86 said:

@Gamer83 I think what Yoshida was getting at was people who play AAA games only and just dismiss indie games out of hand rather then something like AAA aren't important which some have interpreted on other sites.



Gamer83 said:


I guess you could say that's my stance on the matter. I'm certainly not against indies. Haven't gotten around to getting Transistor yet, but I will, and No Man's Sky, if the studio can pull it off, seems badass. I agree, it is an interesting time we're at in the industry, and being 100% honest, I miss the days of going to the story, buying the game and putting in the system, not having to worry about updates, getting online, etc. The advancements are cool but, and maybe it's just nostalgia, but on occasion, I long for the simpler times.

I'm sure he knows the importance of AAAs, I just don't know to what extent he knows that. Regardless, it's not a quote I like to read. If some people don't want to play a game like Resogun or Outlast, they don't want to play a game like Resogun or Outlast. There's people who haven't played The Last of Us and have no interest in it at all and would rather play Contrast. I could say 'I don't understand those people,' but at the end of the day it's all just differing opinions. He really didn't need to say what he did and all it really does it just add more fuel to the indie vs. AAA fire. And for all we know, maybe that's what he wants, to create discussion. Unfortunately it's a discussion that always goes nowhere because very few of us are going to change our opinions. I know until I play an indie game I hold in as high regard as games put out by Naughty Dog, Sucker Punch, Bungie, Nintendo's AAA teams and Rockstar, I'm not going to change my stance. It's AAA first, and can take indies or leave them. I won't skip a great free game like Resogun but it's not exactly a game that's high on my priority list either.



Heiki said:

Yeah, I was one of those. I didn't like indie games just because they were "indie".

But after I downloaded Shovel Knight to my 3DS, I completely changed my mind. It's a very polished game.
So there you have it. Games are games. I don't care much bout some 'AAA' stuff myself. I'd rather play a low-budget game with innovative gameplay than generic shooters like COD and BF.



BambooBushido said:

@adf86 Yeah i get what he means too i don't understand either don't understand why some people automatically dismiss indies



wookiee1shoe said:

My favourite game is hotline Miami no wonder it's getting a second game which is my most anticipated game it's not the best looking game but Damn good fun all the major AAA games released seem broke and need patches for this and that (looking directly at EA on that one) but I'd would rather have fun paying £5-£15 than £60 on a game that's broken and needs constant updates



Reverandjames said:

I love me some indie, but it does seem a bit odd now that PS Plus on PS4 is just indie games,. Maybe it's because there aren't enough AAA games yet, and devs feel like they can squeeze more sales out of new PS4 owners. I think eventually, it will be 1 indie game and 1 AAA game for PS plus, but people still wont be happy due to their absurd PS Plus wishlists.



iSillyBoiJudas said:

This is an opinion Shuhei could've kept to himself. I am an avid gamer & am not really a fan of indie games! Indies are fun to play but I enjoy games with more story and goes more in-depth into gameplay. I'm not saying I don't enjoy indies, but with my limited time to even play video games before having to deal with school, work, internship, volunteering, travel, going out with friends...I want to enjoy my time with video games & triple A games let's you experience this more than indies. If you like indies more than triple A fine. But these are all opinions of which should be respected. I love triple A games. I enjoy indies. I am a gaymer & that's that.



get2sammyb said:

@Gamer83 What if you could have Resogun and The Last of Us, though? It's not really an either/or, but I feel like some — not you specifically — are making it out to be.



N711 said:

lol seeing the amount of comments for this. Again I think thats an interview taken out of context and blown out of proportion for some to express their opinions about Indies vs AAA and lack of big games so far.
"I do realise that some people are ONLY interested in big-budget AAA games. I don't really understand those people. I don't know if they've tried some of the indie games and decided they're not interested. Maybe they haven't even tried,"
Im not native english but man I can understand he s only addressing people who dont like indies and (awkwardly) trying to tell those peope to give them a chance. The 'lack' of AAA is another problem that has nothing to do with indies



Gemuarto said:

@ShogunRok Yay, you are the man, OMG!!! AGRRREEEE WITH YOU!!!

But I really don't like that your site judge indies not as strict as AAA games. So it looks like a game is good, but an indie game is better =).



charlesnarles said:

I honestly didn't enjoy Resogun or any ps4 freebies yet. If I'm gonna waste my time, it's gonna be on something more "worthwhile" (read: interesting) than Escape Plan or Contrast. My time is simply more valuable than that, to me at least. Also, plot is important to me, so I'd rather read a book (!) than play an indie if I'm trying to relax and escape, which is the whole trip; indie games are less fun than a huge RPG. Sorry



Carl-G said:

When indie games were mostly all on the Xbox 360 last gen everyone loved them but now the PS4 has most of them everyone(well you know who) hates then, hmm odd that



Jaz007 said:

I wonder if the middle ground could come back if they made the games with a budget in mind, and priced at $40. From what I know, it worked for Sly Cooper, so why not try it out with other games? I think pricing at a lower point could help. I would like to see the return of Dark Voids, and perhaps even a sequel to it as I quite liked the first one.



Jo_Jo718 said:

I like the good looking indie games like Guacamelee! and Stick it to The Man! on my Vita, but I don't like the ones that look like a pixel mess or straight from the 80's, heck no, I'm not paying money for those because I already played those kind of titles back there, I'm in 2014!!!



tenderbeefcake said:

I like Indies however I don't have a lot of time to play when I do have the time I like to play a really good game. now some indies I do consider really good games like hotline Miami. but most of the time I don't feel like I have the spare time to mess around with little games.




The problem is Sony have marketed the PS4 as a super console with amazing graphics, fantastic social aspects etc etc then give us games like Contrast to play on it. It's like buying a Ferrari only to find the car has a 1 litre diesel engine. Same problem with PS+ on the PS4. It's sold as a premium service on the PS4 - an XBL beater. But you get very average indie games, regular network maintenance, broken store, crazy prices, no discounts or sales. Customers feel cheated and with some justification direct their anger at indies. I really have to question Yoshida's position at Sony if he can't comprehend that. It goes part of the way to probably explaining why Sony face some massive problems.



KelticDevil said:

@voodoo341 completely agree. If they give me indie games that I want or am.intrerested in, then I will buy them. But I don't spend $300-400 on a console to only play quirky indie titles. If you tell me ahead of time, that's all you are going to offer, then fine. My fault for expecting different. But when Sony promises AAA games & then doesn't deliver, that's on them. Same problem on the Vita. Except the situation will change with PS4.

When a remake of "Flower" (a PS3 game) is the highest rated PS4 game on Metacritic, you're doing it wrong.



Heavyman99 said:

I love indies too, it's just that I have no idea how on Earth Yoshida expects to sell the Vita on ONLY indie games and Japanese imports, next to PS Now (which requires super internet) and Remote Play (which requires a PS4). I mean, that's great and all, but they're not going to sell the Vita/PS TV without big new games coming down the pipe.



Demi_God said:

Yet almost everyone in here forgets that those AAA games are from other studios, other than Sony studios. Games like Fallout, Oblivion/skyrim, GTA, etc etc etc. Sony is already creating games with some coming out this year and the beginning of next year, the rest is all on other developers. I mean, am I one of the few that see this because so far within this area I'm reading a lack of AAA when we already know when some are coming out. Or is this to rant just for the sake of ranting because some people don't like indies but would rather rehash the same game every year but then complain when EA does that? LOL



Punished_Boss_84 said:

@Demi_God I agree. People expect too much, too quick. Indies can achieve that, AAA devs can't pump out games like indie devs. I mean these consoles haven't even gotten to their first proper full Christmas. A sea of indies is just that, similarly to a sea of AAA, neither take away from each other.



JaxonH said:

"smartphone/free-to-play games, console digital downloads/indies, and big AAA blockbusters"

Exactly. And as you said, this is not platform specific- this is taking place on a macro level. Even Nintendo is seeing the benefits of hyped, big-budget releases via Mario Kart 8, and I'm sure they'll be keen to continue that strategy going forward. Basically all AAA games will get bigger and bigger, while everything else will be offered via digital download.

With that in mind, it would be rather ignorant to discount an entire bloc of games on a mass scale. There are SO many great games offered digitally- by writing them all off you're only cheating yourself. Ya know? Granted, there's a lot of crap digital/indie games out there, but the same can be said for retail releases. You just have to know how to separate the wheat from the chaff.



BrettHrin said:

A good game is a good game be it big budget or indie. Put a good game in front of me and I will play it. Keep em coming Sony.



Scollurio said:

@N711 Lovely. Exactly my thoughts, exactly what I'm doing.
It's not like any other competing console (at around the same time in its lifecycle) had/has any more AAA titles right? I'm perfectly happy with PLAYSTATION, the brand as a whole, enjoying games on PSP, PSV, PS3, PS4! Love it.



Gamer83 said:


Well, I'm going to take 2 good games (one for free) any time I can. Some people just simply don't like one style of the game, it is what it is. A lot of AAAs these days play things safe, which I think annoys people. Like wise, for every indie game that is a gem like Hotline Miami, Sine Mora, Resogun or Guacamelee, I find a bunch more that are mediocre and most of the indie games I do enjoy are retro in style. That's great, but after a while also become tiresome. I can see both sides of the argument though, There isn't much variety in the AAAs these days, I'll give indies that at least a lot of them try different things even if not everything pans out.



Shaolin said:

@voodoo341 Very well put sir, I particularly align with your quote:

" When Sony advertise the PS4 on TV they don't use games like Shooter to show it off. No they use AAA games. Sony are attempting to hide the current lack of quality AAA games on the PS4 with indie games and a lot of gamers don't like it."

I first started taking issue with this when Sony was putting out those ridiculous big lists where they mixed in the AAAs with the indies in the way that my mum used to hide the veggies under my mashed potato and hoped I wouldn't notice. In fact I actually feel that it's an injustice to indies to be used as padding like that.

For instance just quickly glance at the list on this earlier article:



ThreadShadow said:

The escalating nature of the "AAA" is the problem here. And people who only want "AAA" are going to have to get used to waiting and waiting and waiting.

We're experiencing the second "crash" right now. It's just playing out differently from the first. Indies are the start of the next "generation" of video games, and game devs/companies. The "AAA" bubble has burst/is bursting. But that is the "AAA" that is synonymous with ginormous budgets and staff. And in order to survive, the old companies are learning this. Some in harder ways then others.

I believe a AAA experience doesn't need the AAA budget. I agree with a lot of the other posters here that a good game is a good game no matter the budget. I certainly appreciate both. But the world is changing and we can't expect it to work the same way it used to anymore.

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