PS4 Boss: Big Game Companies Are More Conservative

PS4 boss Shuhei Yoshida says the PlayStation‘s renewed focus on independent developers is a reaction to the industry’s widespread conservatism

Shuhei Yoshida, PS4 games boss and star of Sony‘s Xbox-teasing ‘sharing’ YouTube viral, says the PlayStation’s renewed focus on independent developers is a reaction to the industry’s widespread conservatism.

“We see big companies being more conservative, not providing fresh and exciting enough content any more,” Yoshida-san, president of Sony’s Worldwide Studios, told T3,
“It’s the small guys coming up with amazing stuff and pushing the industry forward. Last year was really the year of the indies, with Journey and The Walking Dead sweeping the awards. We wanted to make the PS4 platform easier for them to self-publish.”

Xbox One will not support self-publishing at launch and requires all developers to partner with a publisher to get a game to market. This has provoked anger among many self-financing game creators, with Oddworld Inhabitants boss Lorne Lanning declaring them “out of touch with their audience” to Eurogamer.

“It’s important to us that independent developers get monetised and recognised,” Yoshida-san continued to T3. “Many of them are not students but veterans who used to work in large studios and want to make something for themselves. It’s a big focus for us.”

The man in charge of game development at PlayStation has become something of an internet star, not just with the cheeky pot shot at Microsoft’s new DRM plans – released as soon as the PS4’s £349 price was announced – but also on Twitter.

Yoshida-san (@yosp) regularly engages with gamers and took to the social network after the PS4 keynote to further explain his firm’s policies and tech specifications. Yet the internet’s ire has not ignored even the much-liked president entirely.

“Oh yes, that’s happened a couple of times, too,” he told T3. “Sometimes people are really harsh. Many use Twitter with anonymous names, creating accounts to attack people. If you look like an enemy to those people, they attack, so it’s best not to engage. I learnt some lessons there.”