PS4 lead system architect Mark Cerny said that indie developers could inspire ‘the renaissance of gaming’ during his Develop In Brighton keynote today.
After speaking about his career to date in the games business, Cerny went onto speak about what defines an indie game – though “smaller, nimbler titles” like Flower and Blacklight Retribution differ in approach they can still be defined better by what they aren’t – big budget, big studio titles.
He also spoke of the way “concept driven titles” like Parappa The Rapper were well received in the early days of PlayStation, but since then, smaller games have lost their way a little on console, due to the team sizes and expense of creating games for PS2 and, in particular, PS3. With streamlined processes on PS4, Cerny hopes to welcome more “intimate experiences” on the platform to “balance out” larger triple-A titles. “Variety of experience is a key part of PlayStation,” he said.
He also described how during the PS3 era, Sony was optimised to help support triple-A game development – in the early days of the platform indies were “hampered” somewhat. With the new generation of smaller games, Cerny added: “The console audience has woken up to the possibilities of indie games” – a movement which could “fundamentally alter the landscape of gaming.”
Pledging to make it easier than ever to bring indie titles to PS4, Cerny described Sony’s ‘People out front’ philosophy, and credited Adam Boyes’ arrival at the platform holder as a turning point. “Heavy content will thrive on the platform,” concluded Cerny, but PS4 is an attempt to recapture the “creative freedom and broad content that made the early days of PlayStation so memorable.”