The launch of the PlayStation 4 in 2013 marked a time of great support from Sony for indie games, which was lost as the company began to focus more on Triple-A games. According to Shuhei Yoshida, head of PlayStation’s indie division, the company’s current management believes that this was a wrong decision and wants to get back more into the indie space in the future.
In an interview with Games Industry, Yoshida said that this was an order from Jim Ryan, the current president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment. The executive reportedly noticed the excessive focus on big releases during 2018 and 2019, ordering his team to do something to reverse the situation.
“PlayStation was known for promoting many independent developers and games,” Yoshida explained. “But during 2018 and 2019, the company focused more on the AAA side, and Jim Ryan wanted to change that. He asked the global third party relationship teams to create a plan to reinvigorate PlayStation’s efforts to help indie publishers and developers.”
Shuhei Yoshida leads Sony’s new indie initiative
Following Ryan’s orders, Yoshida teamed up with Greg Rice, former vice president of business development at Double Fine, to create the plan that would bring more indie games to PlayStation. This resulted in a series of hires and the establishment of a structure that made it possible for the initiative to move forward.
One of the first actions of the new group was to use PlayStation-branded spaces to give more prominence to high-quality independent games. For Yoshida, the company needed to show consumers which titles deserved their attention, ensuring that good work by indie developers was promoted in the right way.
For the future, the company intends to improve its game submission processes and ensure that all games are promoted more appropriately. While many big names in the indie world may have turned their attention to competitors like Nintendo and Microsoft, Sony wants to ensure that they once again look to PlayStation as a friendly and viable place to build success stories.
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