Indie Is Where You’ll Find The Spielbergs Of Gaming, According To Sony America
Over the past few years, the amount of indie game developers has increased dramatically. No longer is the videogame market dominated by big teams and big budgets, instead, gamers are enjoying smaller more ‘ingenious’ titles made by complete and utter gaming fanatics.
With a daily increase of indie games available to play, devices such as PCs and handhelds have benefited the most. PC gamers have an array of indie games to choose from, whereas handheld users are in a similar position. Furthermore, the amount of revenue generated for such games has allowed the market to blow open–leaving ‘official’ publishers on the back foot with AAA games that are not always as intriguing as they hope.
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However, publishers are not the only ones who have been caught off guard. Console makers, as you would notice, was not mentioned in my list of beneficial devices. The stance that console makers, namely Sony and Microsoft, took was very static and very publisher-orientated. These sort of practices do not help indie, and nor does it offer consoles the chance to benefit from the newly popular revenue stream created by indie developers.
As next-generation is currently in the pre-launch phase, companies such as Sony and Microsoft are rethinking their strategies and how they will approach the indie market. Sony, for one, has a completely new and open approach to the market. They are very excited about it and will try to benefit from it–and grow it–as much as possible.
The reason being, according to Jack Tretton, the Sony Computer Entertainment America chief, is that some indie developers are really talented and have a lot to offer the gaming market.
“Looking back, the fear was always that you’d have a few giant publishers making middle of the road games. But the opposite has happened. Thanks to independent developers and smaller studios, you have the Steven Spielbergs of our industry coming out of one- and two-man teams, out of university development projects, where somebody just has a really creative mind and they come out with a game that maybe doesn’t have $100 million, 300-person team polish but is absolute genius,” he said.
By pushing the industry, indie developers have validated that gaming is a mainstream entertainment market.
“You’ve got creativity flourishing. It’s great for the medium and validates that this is mainstream entertainment. It guarantees there’s going to be something for everyone,” he added.
Tretton feels that Sony is in a strong place with the PlayStation 4. The SCEA chief is happy that the entrance price is suitable for consumers, where it has the ability to offer a great amount of content as well.
Microsoft, on the other hand, has taken a more cautious approach to indie development. They have waived the fees required to patch a game, something that should have never existed–to be honest. Indie developers are now able to launch their game on the Xbox platform whereby patches can be applied without anyone having to bear unreasonable costs. If anything, it’s more gamer orientated–because indie developers will be more willing to explore, where if they make a mistake, it will not cost too much to patch and fix.