While both major AAA console developers have been hard-pressed to adopt indie developers as part of their business model, Sony has been far more proactive than Microsoft in securing and assisting in the development of indie games. As detailed in the PlayStation blog, Sony has reached out to and plans to publish more then 1,000 indie developers in 2014, and publish over 100 games from said developers.
Adm Boyes, Vice President of Developer and Publisher Relations at Sony Computer Entertainment America, said the following regarding Sony’s support of indie developers:
“Recently we reached a significant milestone with more than 1,000 developers licensed globally to self-publish on our platforms, 200 of those licensed in North America since PS4 was unveiled in February 2013.“
Boyes used the platform to celebrate and thank the gaming community for their continued support of the PlayStation brand. It’s a remarkable moment of Sony giving indie devs a platform in which to share their creative voice, just the same as these developers are using that platform to help grow the PlayStation brand with some amazing and unforgettable titles for this eighth generation of home console gaming.
Unfortunately, competitionfrom Microsoft is not heating up in the slightest, as Microsoft has only signed 250 indie developers for the Xbox One, as confirmed by on the Xbox newsire by Chris Charla, Director of ID @ Xbox. This is only 25% of the number that Sony has been brought on, and even fewer indie games are in active development to be published by Microsoft.
Sony, on the other hand, has been making serious strides in the indie game department, and are planning on making the highly anticipated Mercenary Kings a package with Batman: Arkham City upon its release as part of the Playstation Plus benefit. Other high quality titles, such as Warframe and Blacklight: Retribution are planned to be packaged with Assasins Creed IV: Black Flag and Killzone: Shadow Fall respectively.
While Microsoft’s focus with the Xbox One is different than Sony’s with the PS4, the fact is that Sony is making much greater gains with the indie game developer community. As indie games, such as Goat Simulator and Octodad become way more popular and mainstream, Microsoft should be doing their best to match Sony’s effort; lest they get left behind.