PlayStation Indies puts a spotlight on PS4 and PS5 indie games

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Last November, Sony’s Yoshida Shuhei was appointed “Head of PlayStation Indies” at Sony Interactive Entertainment, signaling a renewed focus on indie games. That’s come to fruition with the formal announcement today of the PlayStation Indies initiative, which aims to showcase and support “the best indie games being published on PlayStation and the indie community as a whole.”

“The indie community is increasingly important for the future of the video game industry, as AAA game development has grown so financially demanding that big companies are finding it harder to take risks to invest in new concepts that may or may not work,” said Yoshida in a post on PlayStation Blog.

“We trust indie developers with strong vision will continue to bring ideas that have never been tried before, creating whole new genres of games and advancing the art and meaning of video games. PlayStation has always embraced games with completely new concepts, like PaRappa the Rapper, Katamari Damacy, LittleBigPlanet, and Journey, and we look forward to seeing what surprising new ideas will come next!”

Along with the announcement of the PlayStation Indies initiative itself, Sony revealed nine upcoming indie games that are making their way to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5:

  • Worms Rumble (Team17) – a real-time twist on the popular Worms franchise, coming to PS4 and PS5 later this year.
  • Haven (The Game Bakers) – a co-op RPG designed with the express goal of being chill and relaxing, coming to PS4 and PS5
  • Carto (Humble Games) – a cartography adventure with puzzles based on rearranging pieces of a map, coming to PS4.
  • Recompile (Phigames) – a hacking-themed 3D platformer in which you play as a sentient virus, coming to PS5
  • Where the Heart Is (Armature Studio) – a narrative adventure that blends reality with the surreal, coming to PS4 northern winter / southern summer 2020
  • Maquette (Graceful Decay) – a story-driven puzzle game taking place in a world recursively nested inside itself,
  • F.I.S.T: Forged In Shadow Torch (TiGames) – a dieselpunk action platformer starring an anthropomorphic bunny with a giant metal fist, coming to PS4
  • Heavenly Bodies (2pt Interactive) – a physics-based puzzler about trying to maintain a space station in zero gravity, coming to PS4 and PS5
  • Creaks (Amanita Design) – a hand-drawn adventure about exploring a strange mansion where the imaginary creatures our brains see in the dark come to life, coming to PS4 this northern summer / southern winter
A screenshot from Haven, one of the games featured by PlayStation Indies

Last month’s PS5: Future of Games showcase also included a good selection of indie games, like Kena: Bridge of Spirits and Goodbye Volacno High. It’s great to see Sony giving this sort of attention and support to indies, especially on the cusp of a new console generation and the AAA arms race that’ll inevitably come with that. Yoshida’s been a vocal advocate for indie games for years, and I’m looking forward to what PlayStation Indies has in store for the future.

Noted: We’ve used the Japanese name order for Japanese names in this article—that is, family name first, followed by given name(s).

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Matthew is a writer based in Wellington. He loves all things pop culture, and is fascinated by its place in history and the wider social context.