Shuhei Yoshida, Head of PlayStation Indies, recently announced their new Indies Initiative, a program to support indie developers and promote some of the best indie games submitted to the platform. Although the program doesn’t allow anyone to upload whatever they want, Sony is putting forth the effort to establish relationships with promising studios.
The gaming industry has grown upwards and outwards. In the past, predictions showed developers desperately wanted their games to appear on consoles like PlayStation and XBox but now, with platforms like Steam, Itch.io, and Kongregate, small studios don’t need deals with those industry leaders. Indie studios have multiple options at their fingertips for getting their game out to an audience and are proving the power of small teams.
Additionally, the indie game sector is rapidly increasing in both size and quality. Indie games such as Journey, Dead Cells, and Hollow Knight have enjoyed massive success, and there are hundreds of others with similar stories. As these teams prove their abilities, it’s no wonder Sony wants them on their side.
Yoshida stated, “Our goal is to make PlayStation the best place to develop, find, and play great indie games.” However, the Indie Initiative isn’t completely new to the platform, either. Having already published games like Shovel Knight and Celeste, PlayStation has shown it’s support for indie developers in the past. The Indie Initiative seeks to further that relationship and continue to provide support for innovative developers.
The program will add a new indie title to the PlayStation Now service every month, beginning in July. By supporting indie games, PlayStation shows trust in developers to bring new concepts to market that AAA studios may not be able to risk investment in. It also strengthens the business relations between large and small developers who all create products they are passionate about, regardless of the resources.
Although competition is necessary for a healthy market industry, it’s refreshing to see the top dogs lifting up some of the newcomers. Of course, PlayStation benefits from this decision as it’s an investment in public relations and capital but so do the smaller studios. Since you never know who will come out on top, it pays to support the growth of others.