We apologise for continually bleating on about it, but Sony has changed. There’s a marked adjustment in attitude exuding the company that was once deemed anachronistic and arrogant, and that bodes well for the PlayStation 4 as last week’s Games Developers Conference proved. The firm’s positive treatment of indie studios evidences just how far it’s come since the PlayStation 3’s turbulent launch, and Velocity developer FuturLab believes that it’s down to a reignited passion running throughout the firm.
“It could be said that Sony has a killer strategy to build consumer interest, community support, and general good PR, which is entirely true, but it's not a strategy in the calculated sense,” the company wrote on its Facebook page. “The people behind the push on PlayStation Vita and PS4 are passionate people who genuinely understand what a good game is, and they've had their passions stoked to blast furnace temperature by the fibreless crap that is shovelled on iOS.”
Sony’s proved over the past couple of months that it’s willing to bend over backwards to support the development community committed to producing content for its platforms, revealing that it's cutting down its approval process and willing to loan development kits to studios with a good enough pitch. And, unsurprisingly, it’s not just FuturLab who’s singing the organisation’s praises at the moment.
“It's been absolutely wonderful working with Sony,” said Dragon Fantasy creator Adam Rippon in an interview with Destructoid. “Everything that we need they make it happen, and I can't stress enough that Sony is fantastic. I know I sound like I'm just shilling; they're not paying me to say this. Seriously, it's awesome.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Rippon explained that he never expected his role-playing game homage to be picked up by such a big company. "At PAX East last year, I was a, believe it was, a ‘super indie guy’ over on the side of the hall and I was showing a very, very early version of [Dragon Fantasy: Book II],” he said. “Sony was sniffing around and they got wind that we were making a pretty cool RPG in the old-school style and they said, 'hey, you guys should talk to us.'”
Rippon figured that would be the end of it, but he was contacted a week later with the news that Sony wanted to sign the title to its popular Pub Fund initiative, which sees the platform holder contribute towards development costs in return for a small window of exclusivity.
“With Dragon Fantasy we've been talking to other people about things for years, and it was hard to even get a foot into the door,” he added. “There's another company we had been trying to talk to, [but that] just never went anywhere. They like to send rejection letters that say absolutely nothing. So yeah, I love Sony. I want to have their video game babies.”
Let’s just hope that that furnace remains stoked.