It was reported earlier in the year that Sony had internally shifted focus to start prioritizing development of AAA blockbusters, no longer wanting to developer smaller games, and though that was met with plenty of (understandable) backlash, it’s easy to see why they would make such a decision. It’s not hard to understand why they want to chase the sort of success enjoyed by games like God of War, Horizon Zero Dawn, or Marvel’s Spider-Man, to name just a few.
But what does that mean about smaller, more experimental releases? PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan was asked the question in a recent interview with TMT Post. His answer? Sony is going to do both- but it’s also going to clearly demarcate the two. Ryan says that while first party PlayStation studios are going to keep focusing on making big-budget AAA games, Sony will also keep partnering with smaller independent studios to ensure that PlayStation maintains a heathy stream of more small-scale experiences.
“Our internal studios typically make larger games, but we will also cooperate with partner studios to develop some smaller-scale games,” Ryan said. “We work closely with independent game studios and will provide them with some support in terms of development, funding, and marketing. These independent teams are usually very small, about 10-20 people. Through supporting these studios, we are also incubating game products and establishing relationships with these studios. Perhaps they will be the next generation of AAA game developer. Well, maybe in five years or ten years, our relationship with these independent game studios will be different.”
PlayStation’s partnerships with indie developers have led to some notable titles, including the likes of The Pathless and the upcoming Kena: Bridge of Spirits, which is always encouraging to see. Of course, it’s worth noting that of late, more than a few indie developers have stepped forward to talk about how hard it is to work with PlayStation– so hopefully, Sony will make improvements on that front and make PlayStation a more indie-friendly platform.