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WSJ: New PS5 article reveals smaller developers “feel snubbed by Sony, in contrast to Nintendo”

The Wall Street Journal has published an article today about Sony’s upcoming PlayStation 5 system. The gist of it is that Sony is strengthening its ties with big third party publishers in an effort to combat the next Xbox system from Microsoft. This means more exclusive deals on AAA third party games on PS5 and exclusive DLC content is on the way, which clearly costs a lot of money. Sony is now causing alarm amongst smaller developers as according to the Wall Street Journal they are putting all their money into the large developers and do not have the resources to help the smaller studios as they did at the PS4 launch.

Sony is concentrating its attention on large software publishers as it gets ready for the next PlayStation, according to executives at Sony and software makers. In general, publishers want their games on multiple platforms to maximize sales, while console makers look to make deals for exclusive content or an initial period of exclusive sales.

Some executives at smaller game makers say they have felt snubbed by Sony, in contrast to Nintendo. At the Tokyo Game Show in September, Nintendo is supporting events to showcase independent game developers. Sony used to do the same, but isn’t planning to this year, the first Sony official said.

Sony still welcomes games from independent studios, the first Sony official said, but the emphasis is on strengthening relationships with large publishers since resources are limited. The thinking is, the official said, that people buy a console to play high-quality games available only on that platform, not smaller games also available on smartphones.


21 thoughts on “WSJ: New PS5 article reveals smaller developers “feel snubbed by Sony, in contrast to Nintendo””

  1. Sony making ass backwards decisions because they were on top last generation? what no… that has never happened before

    1. Ass backwards? Literally who looks at the indie game lineup when deciding whether or not to buy a next gen console at launch? Especially when 99% of those indie games are available on PC already, requiring next to nothing from your system, so unless your PC is an actual toaster, you’ll be able to play them, for cheaper too in a lot of cases.
      When I am looking into buying a new console, I look at the big titles it will have at launch + the foreseeable future, not the indie games. I don’t need a brand new 400€-500€ console for those.
      Obviously, I’m not saying to ditch indie games completely, by any means. They do contribute to the library of a system, but not in the same sense and meaning as big games do, they’re something a company should worry about down the line, not at launch. Investing as much as they can to bring in attractive 3rd-party deals at launch instead of wasting money on indie developers seems like a smart move to me personally. They can take care of indie games with the resources they’ll gain at launch thanks to the big games they’ll (hopefully) be able to offer.
      Pretty much all launch lineups of recent generations were very lackluster, which definitely applied to the PS4 as well. So maybe Sony will actually do it better this time with a change in strategy.

      1. So you’re not telling me it’s not a bit coincidental sony was huge in supporting indies last gen because the ps3 wasnt the juggernaut sony was expecting, but now when the ps4 is selling like hot cakes, those indies dont matter as much. That sucks, I know sony is trying to up the xbox but this is the wrong way to do it. Just look at the switch it’s doing extremely well, and a big part of that is because of indies.

      2. @NerdyPiggleton
        Unfair argument because Stardew Valley is a masterpiece. :^)
        Jokes aside, while I’m sure that Stardew Valley must have convinced a relatively fair amount of people to buy a Switch, compared to nearly all other indie games out there, it’s an exceptional situation which is not very likely to happen with many other indie games on many other consoles. I’d be willing to bet it wouldn’t do as well on consoles like the PS4 and XB1, simply because it’s just a perfect fit for the Switch. But yeah, if you compare the chances of indie games convincing the average consumer to buy a brand new console for hundreds of bucks, with the chances of big triple A titles made by big developers convincing them, I think the winner is rather clear.

        Yeah, I don’t think those two things are related to each other at all, honestly. The way I see it, Sony is trying to outplay Microsoft. Microsoft is going to launch their new console with the new Halo game, the most anticipated XB game from their biggest and most attractive franchise. Obviously, Sony isn’t going to try and outdo them with indie games, LOL. Their only chance is to up them by offering high quality, big scale games themselves, which indeed seems to be the way to do it.

        And you can’t really compare the next gen Playstation to the Switch, unless the PS5 is also gonna be a handheld hybrid, which I doubt. One of the reasons why indies are doing so well on the Switch (and vice versa, the Switch doing so well with the contribution of indies) is because you can play them anywhere, which is perfectly ideal for indie games and the scale/type of complexity they usually feature.

    2. I have to agree with Luna here, I rarely give a crap about indie titles. If I’m looking into getting a console my eyes are on the higher budget games that are made by bigger companies, and anything made by an indie company is purchased as an after thought if I want something to entertain me for just a few days.

  2. Nintendo is also more friendly with other developers because Sony is adamant on censoring games now, while Nintendo allows third party developers freedom on what to put in their games. I never thought there would be a day where Nintendo is more lax on this after years of them trying so hard to be a family friendly image.

  3. As a consumer I almost exclusively play AAA games. And if I play indies it’s usually nindies. I’m glad they’re focusing on AAA which is why you buy the extra horsepower for.
    Exclusive DLC is lame af, and I feel sorry for smaller developers, but they can probably just go to Nintendo for better support I guess. And at console launch, people are buying the biggest most advance games anyway. Indies are something you buy if you already own the console.

  4. I’m gonna take a step back on PS5 when it comes out, with mid gen upgrades and all. It’ll also let me see what the system is about and make a decision on which of the other 2 I’d go with. Microsoft might have some surprise content with the relationship they have with Nintendo now as well. As it stands now I haven’t really touched my PS4 in a while and have an unopened copy of Kingdom Hearts 3 lol. The steady trickle of games on Switch have just taken my life over right now for the amount of time I got. I FINALLY started playing Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and holy moly that game is good! 😅 throw in Smash and now Mario Maker 2 and there’s really just no time for another console in my life. (FeelsBadMan) Lol

  5. I also heard from IGN that Sony are going to have cross-generational play for PlayStation 5 and have 8K resolution graphics input in to the console. Looks like the resolution is gonna be higher then any type of platform like Xbox ONE X.

  6. Also available on smartphones? I think most people buy consoles to get games that aren’t also available on PC when it comes to indies since the modern potato computer can runs most indies.

    Yeah, they’re not really console movers, but getting the word out helps, and it also encourages people to make exclusives for your platform. Indie studios won’t make a game exclusive to you if you don’t advertise their stuff at all when steam and Nintendo would do so.

  7. Go ahead and put all your eggs in live service triple a basket, just when the gamers are getting sick of surprise mechanics infested cash grabs.

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