With all three console developers in a struggle to become the “friend of the indie gamer,” Sony has been doing the best job so far. The PlayStation brand name is now tied to plenty of wonderful and exclusive indie titles, and it is now prepared to jump start the scene for its home country in Japan.
Sony has entered an agreement to pay for the entire entire indie exhibition section at Tokyo Game Show this September, giving developers who couldn’t afford the chance to show off their games a shot. Each indie developer is going to cost Sony about 99,900 yen ($980) for the first four days of the show, the press days, and 32,400 yen ($320) for the final two public days.
It is unknown how many indie developers will be showing up, but there will be a maximum of 50, the press release says. It is also opting to sponsor the convention’s annual “Sense of Wonder Night” event which will reveal 10 “unprecedented” game ideas for the very first time.
Needless to say, Sony is going to fork up quite a lot of cash this year at the convention, unless we forget that it has its own mammoth section to cover as well. I guess Sony’s hoping that the indie developers remember the kindly gesture, and the developers will know where to turn when looking for a platform to publish on. *wink wink*
Indie gaming has yet to take off in Japan like it has in the West, but thanks to conventions like BitSummit and Tokyo Game Show and the Kickstarter success of Mighty No. 9, The Unsung Hero, and La Mulana 2, developers are starting to get noticed. I attended Tokyo Game Show last year and found the indie sections to be the most exciting, and after a wildly successful trip to BitSummit in Kyoto, you can bet I’ll spend a large majority of my time there again.
Keep an eye out for our coverage on September 18 and 19.