Just one...little...indie game m'sieu

If there’s one thing that has surprised me with this generation of upcoming gaming, is that indie developers are getting a lot more of the spotlight this time around. And there’s a good reason why the Playstation 4 will have so much indie content on the way.

Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida and Mark Cerny spoke to Famitsu via VG247 about the influx of indie talent, a strategy they say will help create a buffer between bigger game releases. One of the primary Sony goals right now though, is to make development easier for any studio.

“We asked assorted creators what kind of functionality we should put in, and we used their responses as a base when we finalized the hardware architecture,” Cerny said.

We’re aiming for not just performance, but also an environment setup that allows for smooth PS4 game development.

This will help smaller studios with less experience get a better grip on the PS4 architecture, an issue that the PS3 was notorious for when it first launched. ”Small-scale projects don’t even take a month [to reach that point], and even big titles can get rolling in two or three months,” Cerny explained.

As a result, I think we’ve built one of the neatest launch lineups in game history. With our PS3 experience, we understand the factors needed for powerful, effective development, so that’s why we treated our twin goals of performance and ease of development so seriously. Thanks to that, I think we were able to reduce development time on Knack by around a year.

Shuhei Yoshida then responded to a question about the Playstation 4 playing its launch line-up hand too early, possibly leading to a shortage of games until new ones could come along. According to him, this is where the indie games come in handy.

“That’s why we’re trying to give our help out to indie titles. Huge titles from large makers take time to develop; they can’t just be brought out immediately. However, with the indie scene, especially in the West, we’re seeing really neat games coming out from there pretty much every week” Yoshida said.

I’d like to get that indie flow going in the Japan market as well, with unique titles coming out one after the other. More and more users are making digital purchases these days, so even studios making games with small teams can make it into a business.

It’s a solid strategy. The way I see it, indie games are pretty much play and throw away games. Disposable games that scratch that itch until something bigger comes along. And this is a strategy that I can get behind fully.

Last Updated: September 12, 2013

1.1
was reviewed on PC

14 Comments

  1. Yay, more indies!

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      September 12, 2013 at 13:52

      If fills the gap already. August was all about indie games and PS2 on my PC while almost zero playtime on my PS3 while waiting for Diablo3 and GTA V

      Reply

      • Admiral Chief of Rivia

        September 12, 2013 at 13:58

        PS2 ftw

        Reply

        • Hesperus Phosphorus

          September 13, 2013 at 09:15

          It’s only wafer thin.

          Reply

          • Admiral Chief of Rivia

            September 13, 2013 at 09:16

            What is?

  2. Umar Final Fantasy 15 Hopeful

    September 12, 2013 at 13:44

    Good strategy, they are doing the same with the Vita, this will benefit Sony a lot

    Reply

    • John on trial

      September 12, 2013 at 13:48

      Yes. I think so too. Indie games might not be huge but Sony will get a lot of support from doing this.

      Reply

      • Umar Final Fantasy 15 Hopeful

        September 12, 2013 at 13:52

        Indeed, as an interim between major games it works out really well, AS LONG as it is of good quality

        Reply

  3. Martin du preez

    September 12, 2013 at 14:00

    More sweet words from Cerny and Yoshi. I knew I ran this bubble bath for a reason.

    Thank you Sony.

    Reply

  4. Jakster

    September 12, 2013 at 14:53

    PS4 AAA titles are going to be so expensive that most gamers won’t be able to afford indie games. Would Indie games cost the same on P$N as on Steam? I don’t think so. Cerny has Yoshida brainwashed like he did with Cell CPU and Emotion Engine.

    Gosh, you two should get a room.

    Reply

    • Brian Murphy

      September 12, 2013 at 20:32

      Couple thing wrong with this.

      “PS4 AAA titles are going to be so expensive that most gamers won’t be able to afford indie games. ” Inflammatory claim, with no supporting data.

      “Would Indie games cost the same on P$N as on Steam?” – Considering console games rarely, if ever cost the same on Steam as on XBL, PSN or retail, it’s a straw man argument.

      “Cerny has Yoshida brainwashed like he did with Cell CPU and Emotion Engine.” – Mark Cerny was not involved in the Cell Broadband Engine, or the Emotion Engine. Cerny approached Sony with the idea of spearheading the development of the PS4, however, prior to that he’s mainly an extremely respected games designer, Executive Producer, Producer, and Design Consultant. If anything, he broke reality to Yoshida that the Cell Engine was simply not the economic way to go, if the PS4’s design was to be more developer friendly.

      “Gosh, you two should get a room.” – Gosh you should use the internet to first substantiate your claims, then comment on articles.

      Reply

  5. Pieter Kruger

    September 12, 2013 at 15:56

    If that’s their reasoning behind the 1000’s of Indies what does it say about their own AAA titles replay values or do they plan on releasing 1 AAA title per year only? A good games like GTA V or BF will keep you busy for months if not years!

    Reply

    • Brian Murphy

      September 12, 2013 at 20:39

      Not sure if you realize this, but people rarely just play one game, regardless of how good it is. They may obsess over it for ages (I have with a few games), but they also play other games in between. It’s called filler time, break time, whatever. Sometimes you just want another flavor.

      As far as the quality of their AAA titles are concerned? Considering a great deal of them match or exceed the quality of other AAA titles, not sure there’s really any reason to suggest there’s a quality issue. Unless of course, you’re saying that all AAA titles have a quality issue in which case, I’d say you have a point (for some games).

      I’m not really sure it makes sense to conclude that they’ll only have 1 AAA title a year, given this statement. He’s simply saying they’re going to have more indie games sprinkled in between the AAA titles, so that there’s simply more for gamer’s to choose from in the downtime between blockbuster releases.

      Reply

  6. giddieon

    September 13, 2013 at 05:30

    Indie development is key, it will become the public funding high risk area for others willing to do all the hard work and risk it all… Once a game makes a hit… you will be sure to see publishers like EA and activation step in and gobble them up as well as the rights…. Just like they did before… with all the family owned small development houses of old…

    This is all set up by the larger studious and publishers… they all want it… and why… so they themselves take no risks… and cherry pick the top indie people….

    This of it this way…. Indie teams are farm teams for the large companies MS SONY Nintendo EA activation…

    Indie teams are easier to relate to as well I mean… who here would support EA on kickstarted???

    Anyone??

    EA was labelled the worst company in America twice in a row… Now indies the public will fund but in the end… once the series has got the funding and made a game and is popular enough in swoops EA and turns it into their own brand…

    Look at Planets vs Zombies… Now I know POP CAP was their own company and that… but now EA is controlling everything…

    everything from look, economic plan to genre…

    This will happen with indies, maybe not at first but you watch a year or two from… you will see an indie game do well and then the next game will be owned and published by EA or the other large publishers…

    Since all the small developers have been bought up time and time again..

    Example… do you notice any of these developers… Bullfrog Productions, Maxis, Tiburon Entertainment, Westwood studious, Black Box Games, Criterion games, Play Fish, PopCap…

    Many of these started off like indie developers do… some groups of developers getting together and making a game… or most times often then not… Families…

    Just these developers were bought by EA… these small developers make a game then get swallowed up…

    The problem now is there are not enough little fishies to feed the bloated publishers…

    So to fix that problem you restock the pound and a wise investor never invests with his own money but with other people money…

    Incomes the feeder fish… Indie developers… funded BY gamers… to bought by publishers and then milked… like the developers of old….

    sorry… I am usually more cheerful to talk to….

    Reply

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