Sony Exec: Indie Revolution is "Over"

Sony Exec: Indie Revolution is "Over"

SCEE's Shahid Ahmad believes that indie games have changed the landscape with "new ways of doing things."

In the eyes of many, the rise of the indie game in recent years has been tantamount to a revolution of sorts, demonstrating to an industry enamored with the triple-A production values that, sometimes, small-and-different can succeed where bigger-and-better can't. Sony, in turn, has arguably embraced indie games in a way that other hardware manufacturer's haven't, putting their presence on PlayStation platforms front and center at major events like E3 and GamesCom. That said, if you were to ask Shahid Ahmad, head of strategic content for Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, he'd tell you that "the indie revolution" is "over."

"People say the indie revolution is only just beginning," he said, speaking recently at the 2013 London Games Conference. "It's not. It's over." Far from this being a negative assessment, however, Ahmad simply believes that indies have already changed the industry enough that the old status quo no longer remains. "When the power structure shifts to the content creators, the old buildings might still be standing but there's new people in there. New content creators, with new ways of doing things."

The job of the PlayStation brand, and Ahmad himself, in turn, has been responding to this altered landscape. This goal has led the company to embrace and adapt to what he believes are the three pillars behind up the proliferation of indie games: digital distribution, new competitors born from new platforms, and "power tools" like Unity and Game Maker which make it easier for developers to create content across multiple platforms.

Sony's method of choice for dealing with the changes brought by indie games, according to Ahmad, has been to try and establish a good relationship with the emerging wave of developers. "In an era of massive fragmentation, the old rulebook doesn't work. Operating in an environment of trust was the only way to work," he said. "We've forged open and friendly relationships with developers - in fact our relationship with developers are better than they have ever been."

The results of this push aren't hard to see, PlayStation platforms have become the arguable destination for console and portable indie titles, while its competitors are still, in many ways, trying to catch up. All that remains to be seen is if the company can maintain the dynamic that it's established in the long term. Ahmad admits that there still challenges ahead, especially when it comes to issues of digital distribution. "[We're] competing with a whole new bunch of players that had started in the digital era," he said. "Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have one leg in the digital era and one in the physical, and we don't know when to step off the latter."

Source: MCV UK


Its true on many levels and why most of my friends even the xbox fan boys of old are leaning towards sony, just for its last gen exculisives were more fun that a crap load of Halo and Gears. Sony offering all the variety and a new TimeSplitters(of sorts) is really twisting people up inside trying to decide one consoles atm.

I will add that I like PC(a little too much) and many of my friends are of the master race as it were but a lot of people want the ease of a console to just sort out all the installing side of it or just run it off a disk. I think consoles(maybe more accurately pre-built gaming pc's with preinstalled gaming software) will change in the next dacade but they will always remain as people really what it easy as possible to just get into the games.

*looks at release games for major consoles. Sees that 80% are sequels and ports*

Yeah, that status quo has really changed there. If it was even five years ago, it would have been more like 95%.

I'll let you decide whether I'm being sarcastic or not.

"Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have one leg in the digital era and one in the physical, and we don't know when to step off the latter."

It's probably just PR speak, but while DD is definitely going to be a big thing in the future, I personally hope that console execs think they have to go all in one way or the other. I personally often prefer going to stores for my games, especially if I'm on the edge about a purchase. The store guys I know give such better and unbiased opinions than the love-or-hate-it online reviews. It's weird that a brick and mortar store is actually more willing to nag on their own products like that, but it either saves me money or pushes me to a better game.

The future of sales is choice between the two, corporations should never feel forced to leave retail in the first place. (I guess bigger profits ARE a good reason, but w/e, at least it's an internal decision then)

I'm confused. So he's not saying that Indies aren't important anymore, but that they've well and truly made themselves relevant now? Okay then, it would have been a bizarre statement otherwise.

As much as I'd love to believe the "status quo" has changed...well, I do.
But I don't think it has changed enough. Not enough at least, to justify saying the "indie revolution is over".

You don't pick the fruit when the tree is still budding.

Nice misleading headline. :P

And no, the revolution is still ongoing. We're only just starting to see the first fruits of it. Sorry, Sony. You've got a long ride ahead of you yet.

So the revolution is over because it's part of the new regime now? Perhaps, but the revolution isn't really over until a new status quo is established, right? As it is now it's still a pretty shaky relationship, don't you think?

a couple indie games got popular and now the methods of which independent studios can publish has a much greater variety.
Che would be proud.

In all seriousness, I'd probably agree with the sony exec. I don't think this trend has any more steam (geddit?). The PC is probably were the majority of indie devs will reside, with a few of the more successful ones branching over the console. I don't really see another mega-hit coming out of the indie sector like minecraft, even with the greater focus on the indie sector. Minecraft gained notoriety because it is almost universally appealing, being one of the most basic yet fun experiences that one could have, most indie games however prefer to try and target a niche market and can't hope to try and garner such appeal.

Also hipsters are so uncool now, steampunk is in again.

Your term for revolution is for pussies!

What good is a revolution without some heads rolling on the ground and some buildings going up in flames?

It's only just beginning and I hope it won't stop until all the major publishers and developers are no more.

A man can dream can't he?

Uh, Sony, your stupid is showing. When 90% of games aren't brown and grey military shooters, and when companies start taking actual risks, then maybe we can talk. For the revolution to be over AAA games would have to incorporate the best aspects of Indie games into their products, while also having more talented staff. This won't happen soon. As long as untapped niche markets exist, such as survival horror, there will be someone there to fill the hole. It's the free market at work. There are TONS of niche markets because games are becoming increasingly hegemonic. There's just not much diversity right now, and it's not going to change soon.

Honestly Sony, I love you, but you need to shut this moron up.

Hey Sony, you might wanna tell Don Matr- I mean Shahid Ahmad to shut the hell up because he CLEARLY does not know what the FUCK he is talking about.

Indies are gaining steam in their 'revolution', with a bigger presence on PC and stronger attempts to make their presence known on the consoles as well.

The revolution isn't over by any means. It has started, it started a few months or so ago when Starbreeze profited off Payday 2 before its initial release date. It's continued to go with The Stanley Parable sold 100k copies in its first week.

So to those suggestions the non-major publisher backed projects aren't in the midst of a revolution with projects like Mighty No. 9 being kickstarted as strongly as it was or Outlast exceeding the expectations of the gaming commuinity, kindly shove them up your ass and keep watching before you make more stupid statements.


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