Develop Conference: Lead system architect of Sony's next console reiterates commitment to independent developers

Cerny hammers home PS4’s support for indies

Mark Cerny today used his Develop Conference keynote talk to reiterate Sony’s commitment to indie, admitting lessons had been learned from Sony’s past.

"We feel it is essential to bring these [indie] games to our platforms, because we know that variety of experience is a key part of the appeal of the PlayStation," said the PS4’s lead system architect on stage.

Cerny stated that in 2006 at the Playstation 3’s launch there were many obstacles to indies – both in the publishing models and the overtly ‘exotic’ hardware.

"In some cases this became inspiration, however," he continued. "Flower and Pixel Junk Shooter were in many ways born out of the question of how CPUs can be used to create distinct visuals and unique gameplay. But more often than not, the architecture of the hardware in the early days of the PlayStation 3 hampered indie development on the platform.

"We’ve therefore worked hard to make the PlayStation platforms more revenant place for indie developers."

Cerny repeatedly expressed his belief that hardware and technology has been streamlined and made easier for in indies with the PS4, claiming that discoverability and the PlayStation store are also to be optimised for smaller studios.

"With the release of the PlayStation 4, we understood that we had an opportunity to fundamentally alter the landscape of gaming," he said.

"On the technology side the supercharged PC architecture of the platform has made it both easier to bring titles to PlayStation 4 and easier to develop original titles directly on the platform."

"On the business side we’ve had a bit of an epiphany," Cerny later added. "Since Adam Boyes has joined SCE, pretty much the whole process has been overturned. He wanted us to consider a day in the life of an indie developer, and challenged us to explain whether our processes were helping or hindering the creation of the diverse titles that we were looking for.

"As a result, we ended up radically simplifying the process of concept approval, and we wholly support self-publishing across all platforms, so it is now possible for developers to maintain complete creative and financial control. We now support almost any business model."

Cerny also stated that the the PS4’s share button, along with other functionality in the console’s storefront system, will serve to better spread the indie games the platform apparently strives to foster.

He additionally pointed out that as many indie games were shown at the PS4’s February reveal as tripe-A games.

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