Will Indie Games Win the Battle for PlayStation?
Even more indie video games are coming to Sony (NYSE:SNE) consoles. While independent video games crop up across all platforms, ranging from popular video game consoles to mobile apps, Sony is becoming quite the magnet for indie games, with many titles in the works for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Vita. The Guardian reported more than 100 games are in the works.
Sony confirmed some of these titles are coming to the PlayStation 4 first. The gaming giant published the news and a trailer for each of the twelve indie titles that will be released for the PlayStation 4 in a post on its official blog Thursday. They cover a wide variety of genres and gameplay styles, ensuring appeal for a wide variety of gamers.
Sony is not alone in announcing that indie games would be released for its consoles. Microsoft, maker of the Xbox gaming consoles, made a similar announcement of twenty-one indie games coming to the Xbox One in March. The close proximity in these announcements is hardly surprising between the two competitors. Indie games may provide one side the edge over the other in terms of console sales.
Large mainstream titles and franchises also drive sales of gaming systems. The Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, and Halo franchises are all examples of this phenomenon. Indie games produced by smaller studios also provide a welcome assistance in the gaming console sales wars. Some games have been previously released to PC. These games bring their audience to the new platform. Others are entirely new, bringing that novelty to their sales pitch. For all twelve games, it will be their debut on a gaming console.
Both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have a large variety of indie titles compared to their respective predecessors at this point in the gaming console’s lifespans. Both are within their first year. In the roughly five months since the November 2013 releases of the gaming consoles, a rivalry of “who’s sold more” has played out in media reports. So far, the PlayStation 4 is the winner here, with more than 7 million units sold. Part of that success may be attributable to the fact that Sony’s PlayStation 4 has a larger number of indie titles available. Re/code reports that PlayStation 4 currently has thirty-two indie titles available to Xbox One’s six available indie titles. Part of this discrepancy is Sony’s attempt to make its consoles as developer-friendly as possible.
“I would like [PlayStation] to be the easiest, most accessible place for anyone that’s making great games to come out and have their games come to the broadest amount of people,” said Adam Boyes, VP of Developer and Publisher Relations at Sony, in an interview with ComputerAndVideoGames.
Having such a large variety of games helps Sony, too. Gaming console sales are driven by the content available. Casting such a wide net of offerings from mainstream bestsellers to smaller indie games is way to reach as many potential customers as possible. It’s a piece of what the company needs to continue outselling Microsoft.