Since its reveal, Sony’s approach toward the PlayStation 4 has been somewhat more subdued than in past hardware reveals. The focus has shifted from technical specs and financial detail to more conceptual concerns, such as the social elements of the box and its PlayStation Network integration. At GDC, though, Sony has shown that its attitude toward independent game development has also shifted.
Present at the GDC Indie Arcade to announce the planned releases of Blacklight Retribution and Divekick on the PS4, Sony also detailed some alterations to its PSN publishing policies. “We’ve just changed our whole concept submission process,” said Adam Boyes, head of publisher and developer relations, in an interview with Gamasutra earlier this week. “It used to be two stages and all this feedback and now it’s just one, and it’s optional feedback so there’s no greenlighting process, no voting, no weird stuff.”
Sony’s streamlining extends beyond indie devs, though. It also applys to major publishers who approach them with digital releases. These changes have already been implemented internally, the results of which have already been seen in releases such as Sentimental Graffiti and five other unusual PSOne Imports, presented in the original Japanese.
Is this a kinder, gentler, more savvy Sony we’re dealing with this generation?