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There are rumors that Sony is closing the ways indie-game developers could get to PlayStation Store.
A couple of days ago Gamesindustry reported about Shahid Kamal Ahmad leaving Sony after 10 years of hard work. Shahid was the “face” of the PlayStation indie program and one of the few people who helped independent developers to get into PlayStation Store. Here’s what Gamesindustry wrote about his departure.
Known for his tremendous work ethic and eminently approachable nature, Ahmad has been heading up the Strategic Content division since March 2012, helping small indie teams put their games on to Sony’s platforms. Whilst bringing names like Vlambeer and Mike Bithell to Sony’s platforms, predominantly the Vita, Ahmad has provided a level of support and guidance which has earned him many friends in the UK scene and abroad. In his absence, the team he helped to build will continue its work, with Ahmad parting company on the best of terms.
While Shahid Kamal Ahmad will be returning to game development, Sony may be turning its back to indie game developers. So far we’ve seen a lot of games being released at PS4. PlayStation Plus offers were overcrowded with tiny small games from little studios. But with the slow death of PlayStation Vita there’s very little need for such a great amount of indie games for Sony.
In his parting message Shahid wrote, that Strategic Content initiative (which he headed) will continue and work the same way.
Strategic Content will continue. There are no plans to change anything. Our approach to developers will also be unchanged. We have many talented people across the board who work tirelessly to support developers in bringing their videogames to PlayStation. Leaving this company has been the hardest decision of my career, because I get to work with the most dedicated, friendly and inspiring people in the business. So why am I doing this? Why leave when things are going so well?
However during most recent talks with the developers, we’ve heard some bad things. Seems like it will become harder and harder to get your project to Sony and get a proper featuring in the PlayStation Store. Moreover Sony may soon stop approving new indie games. The reasoning fo this is not clear, but the most logical explanation would be the desire of the company to concentrate on bigger and more expensive projects. For example the company eagerly agrees to publish such games as République, but it’s hardly an indie title, since it had a huge budget and was successfully released on various other platforms. While it may be just a rumor, we’re still a little alarmed about the situation.
What are your thoughts? Do you think Sony will stop working with indies? Will they change the way they approach indie publishing? We’d love to hear your thoughts.