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Sony's indie edge comes from 'moving first, and moving faster', says Curve

Microsoft's indie appeal improving, but not there yet, says Stealth Inc dev

Sony's dominance over Microsoft in the indie scene is a result of the firm "moving first, and moving faster" to attract indie studios.

That's according to Curve, one of the most prominent studios in the scene with acclaimed games like Stealth Inc, Thomas Was Alone, Lone Survivor, MouseCraft and Proteus under its belt.

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"There's a sense that Sony 'gets it' on a level that we've never seen before in the games industry, and it's something that goes beyond programs and departments like ID@Xbox or the Strategic Development team at Sony," said Curve marketing manager Rob Clarke in a recent blog post titled 'Why isn't Curve working with Microsoft'.

Clarke goes on to say that Sony, unlike its competitors, displays "evidence of a platform holder not just making policies but acting on them".

Both Sony have made big news of their new welcoming approach to indies with cheaper/free dev kits, reduced or abolished fees and self-publishing programs, but Clarke argues that this is "the wrong thing to focus on".

"Anyone can 'open up' development, all the big three platform holders act like making it easy for indies is a paradigm shift at the core of the industry, rather than a breakdown of their own internal politics and rules," he said.

"Cheaper or free Devkits and slightly relaxation on the strict rules required releasing a console title have allowed us to begin again the dialogue that was muted when XBLA fell apart, but let's face it, we're not talking about changing the face of gaming here, just rearranging some words in some contracts."

But Sony is the firm leading the indie charge right now because it took point in making these sweeping changes, says Clarke, while Microsoft fumbled over mixed messaging in the run up to Xbox One's launch.

"Sony's key advantage has been moving first, and moving faster. Microsoft's messaging about indie games certainly didn't get off to a good start," said Clarke.

"Indie was after all a subset of a subset of 'gamers' that their launch marketing was doing its best to marginalise in favour of television integration, Flo Rida and strange American sports."

He goes on, "In the last year, that attitude has changed. Policies have been reversed. ID@Xbox has been announced, a respectable amount of developers have been signed onto the program, the press eagerly printing out lists."

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