Sony Worldwide Studios Boss Shuhei Yoshida is a fan of all kinds of video games, be it the indie scene or the AAA shooters which pull in the big bucks. He even always has something nice to say about rival Nintendo. To him, variety is key to the success of the market, and it makes him worried whenever gamers react negatively to something beyond the norm.
In response to “winning” another E3 over Microsoft, as the general atmosphere seems to unofficially imply, Yoshida sat down with GamesIndustry.biz to discuss the strategy for Sony’s show and where it is taking the PlayStation 4. When questioned about the increasing level of violence in video games. especially during the E3 conferences, he says Sony has that, but even more importantly, it has options beyond the violent ones to choose from.
“I was very happy to get a very positive reaction when we announced LittleBigPlanet 3. We are concerned a little bit when we work on a game like LittleBigPlanet 3, about how people will react, because people want those big-budget, realistic, military shooters. But there were lots of cheers, a lot of affection.
“And the reaction to Nintendo’s games in general, or a game like Splatoon. If you look at the whole industry, and you consider Nintendo, I think the balance is actually better than past years.”
Yoshida has been central in creating PlayStation as the friendliest place for the indie scene to thrive on the console market. When questioned whether or not Sony brought the indie scene aboard to give the developers of Uncharted 4 and The Order 1886 more time to work on the main AAA projects of the PlayStation 4, Yoshida replied that AAA is not what PlayStation is all about.
“We’re fortunate that they’re creating games on PS4, and some of them are choosing to launch their console versions on PlayStation first. It’s fortunate. It really helps.”
“I hear complaints [about the lack of AAA games]. I do realise that some people are only interested in big-budget AAA games. I don’t really understand those people. I don’t know if they’ve tried some of the indie games and decided they’re not interested. Maybe they haven’t even tried. That’s a key question. With Resogun, which we offered for free for a long time on PS Plus, not every PS Plus member downloaded it, and that’s a great, great game. That’s a key question for us.”
I’m in agreement with the interviewer that without the indie scene, the PlayStation 4 would have been a lot lower on my priority list this coming holiday season. If it was home to only Call of Duty, Uncharted, Far Cry, and Assassin’s Creed, I wouldn’t have glanced a second time at it. Thanks to the variety Yoshida mentioned that the PlayStation 4 offers though, I bought one.
Now, I might be able to play a few incidental AAA games like Batman and Metal Gear Solid V alongside No Man’s Sky and the rest of my collection of indies. If you haven’t caught onto the indie scene yet, what’s holding you back?