PlayStation Indies seeks to address a big oversight in the PS4 catalog — and it looks like the PS5 will be along for the ride as well. While PlayStation platforms have always been good about big exclusives, they’ve been a little more hit-or-miss when it comes to creative indie titles.
The new PlayStation Indies initiative seeks to change that. This program will help developers create and port games for PlayStation platforms, and the first nine games announced sound like an eclectic mix of genres and styles.
- PS5 release date, price, specs, controller and pre-orders
- Play the best PS4 games
- Plus: PS5 accessory leak hints at November release date
Information comes from the official PlayStation Blog, where Shuhei Yoshida — former head of Sony Interactive Studios and current head of PlayStation Indies — spoke briefly about the program’s goals, as well as the nine games themselves.
“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,” Yoshida wrote “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.”
He then explained that PlayStation has always taken risks on unusual concepts, such as PaRappa the Rapper, Katamari Damacy, LittleBigPlanet and Journey. It’s worth pointing out, however, that none of those games was technically an “indie” production, with the possible exception of Journey — and even that was codeveloped with Sony.
Yoshida did not reveal the mechanics of how the program works, save to say that the ultimate goal of PlayStation Indies is to “make PlayStation the best place to develop, find and play great indie games.”
The first nine games in the program are as follows:
- Worms Rumble, a competitive strategy game (PS4, PS5)
- Haven, a co-op RPG adventure (PS4, PS5)
- Carto, a cute puzzle game (PS4)
- Recompile, a futuristic platformer (PS5)
- Where the Heart Is, a narrative adventure game (PS4)
- Maquette, a puzzle simulation game (PS4)
- F.I.S.T.: Forged in Shadow Torch, a side-scrolling action game (PS4)
- Heavenly Bodies, a physics-based puzzle game (PS4, PS5)
- Creaks, an atmospheric mystery game (PS4)
There’s also a sizzle reel of the titles, which you can see below:
It’s worth noting that this initiative doesn’t necessarily mean that the PS5 will be a haven for indie titles. Of the nine games announced, only four of them (Worms, Haven, Recompile, Heavenly Bodies) are confirmed for Sony’s upcoming console. All nine of them, however, will be available on PS4, and many will be available on PC as well.
Additionally, the PlayStation Now streaming service will get a slow but steady infusion of indie titles: at least one per month, starting with Hello Neighbor in July. It’s an unusual stealth game about an oddball neighbor and the secrets he’s hiding.
The PC, Switch and Xbox One have been incredibly welcoming to indie titles over the years, so PlayStation does have some catching up to do in this department. But PlayStation Indies seems like as good a start as any.