Sony has started an initiative of self-publishing for indie titles on the PlayStation 4. They are removing barriers that once existed for independent developers in getting publishing deals and they are giving out dev kits “like candy.” There Is worry that it could flood the store with clones, shovelware and other junk like on the App Store or Google Play.
Sony Worldwide Studios Boss Shihei Yoshida said that will not happen in an interview with GameIndustry International. Unlike the iOS App Store, he says Sony will have a direct hand in what becomes available for purchase on the PlayStation 4.
“It’s a much more hand-made, manual, labor-intensive process. We’re trying to make the actual publishing pipeline more automated and easier for everyone to use, but in terms of getting games made on PlayStation… Indie guys typically start on mobile or PC, so we have to reach out to them and say, no, we do want your games on PlayStation as well!
“Once these games are released on PS3 and PS Vita, once they experience getting their games noticed by PlayStation users, many of them say that it’s great – that people who have PS Vita, for example, play lots of games, play their games very deeply and purchase their games. Those stories will very quickly be shared because of the network that these people have, which will definitely encourage more indies to look at PlayStation because it could be good for their games as well.”
Sony has made a big deal of courting indie developers to diversify their console offerings at both launch and post launch. The sheer amount of games and variety of them that have been announced so far is impressive. So far they are only courting published games or studios with a proven track record, but it looks like they are also setting up an ecosystem where the next big indie hit can thrive.