Sony knows indies don’t need consoles – The Room dev

Wednesday, 10th July 2013 23:31 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Indies can make “serious money” without console manufacturers, according to Fireproof Games co-founder Barry Meade, and Sony has made it clear it knows this.

“Developers now have an option that they didn’t have before. You can make serious money by never publishing a game on a console,” Meade said in an interview during Develop Conference.

“I hope that [platform holders] take that to heart and realise what that means for them. I think Sony, certainly from what they’ve been saying publicly, seem to be letting that be known, that they’re aware of this, and they’re trying to do something about it. I really hope they follow through.”

Meaded said Sony’s wooing of indie developers is good news for everyone in the industry, not just the Japanese giant itself.

“Sony have been trying for quite a while now – ever since the reveal of the [PlayStation 4] hardware – making it known that they want to be a very publisher-friendly and developer-friendly platform. That’s awesome,” he said.

“If they follow through on that, then that’s great for everybody, because there’s so much happening in the mobile space, and on PC. It’s where all the risks are being taken at the moment, it’s where all the new stuff is coming from.

“The more Sony can bend towards that long term, the better for them. The better for everybody.”

Fireproof Games is best known for The Room, an award-winning iOS adventure. More of his thoughts on the industry and the place of indies within it can be heard in the video below.



  1. melonbuster1

    It’s like the early 2ooos with the will crash. And the systems will still be there

    #1 1 year ago
  2. ImNoHero

    Phones = easy to buy and cheap, maybe won’t shine and sell because there are too many games.

    PC (Steam) = reasonable price, there are not too much indie games so that gives indie developers the chance to shine, maybe won’t reach a lot of people cause PC gamers aren’t a lot as much as console gamers or casual phones gamers.

    Consoles (PS4) = reasonable price, they can easily reach to millions of people, maybe won’t shine if Sony didn’t do something like ‘GreenLight’ on Steam.

    Consoles aren’t super important for Indie developers, but it can get you a lot of money too.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. MCTJim

    Indies are a novelty just like the tablets and smartphone they appear on. They dont need consoles. Very few indies make it big and those that do, turn a profit.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Phoenixblight


    They actually turn a profit much quicker than a triple A studio and they aren’t going anywhere. Not sure where this hate for indies is coming from but they have more passion and drive then most triple A studios do.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. noamlol2

    indie’s are unimported to console users

    AAA titles are.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. manamana

    @5 *sigh* the most innovative games come from indies, don’t forget that. People often only see the graphical fidelity and totally lost track of fun or gameplay in gaming …

    #6 1 year ago
  7. mistermogul

    Poor old Nintendo have been forgotten again.

    They have been making a real effort to get indies on board with the Wii U yet gamers and indies never mention them!

    Nintendo had a deal with Unity before Sony, have been giving away free dev kits and totally relaxed their development rules but there is the wide belief that nothings changed.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. MrWaffles

    Nintendo needs to make a big money investment promoting indies on their platform. If you let a dev think their game will born and die behind menus, without ever getting marketing support then they won’t even try to get it on the console (considering the smaller userbase).

    Sony is winning indies because they are investing into some heavy PR to sell their platform to indies, but to sell the users the indies they are working with.

    Now, imagine if Microsoft released app-store like commercial showcasing indie games (super meatboy for example). They’ll go nuts, users will know they exist, and MS wouldn’t have to deal with badpress from indies on a weekly basis.


    #8 1 year ago
  9. MCTJim

    @4 no hate for indies, I just stating that few actually turn a decent profit and that they dont need consoles.

    I do stand by my statement that tablets and Smartphones are a novelty..a toy for 90% of the public.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. DrDamn

    And consoles aren’t toys? Who are you trying to kid?

    #10 1 year ago
  11. bradk825

    As I understand it MS doesn’t allow self-publishing because it doesn’t allow them to properly categorize the game and they want parental controls to work on all aspects of the system. I am not 100% sure on the details but I think that’s what I read.

    If I didn’t have kids I wouldn’t give a shit about parental controls. But I do have kids and I don’t want them being able to download games that would be rated M.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. MCTJim

    @10 not the point of my comment. Tablets and smartphone are novelties is my comment and that is where the market is..consoles are not.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. MCTJim

    @11 parent controls are for each account on the can enable that for seperate accounts when they are created for under 18 ers

    #13 1 year ago
  14. DrDamn

    Why would self publishing not allow them to categorize the game? That makes no sense. They test the game to check it conforms to standards, why can’t they categorize it themselves?

    #14 1 year ago
  15. DrDamn

    What do you mean by novelty? New? Unique? Transitory? I assume more transitory but Indie development has been around from the start – it’s what made gaming. Bedroom coders with the first computers.

    #15 1 year ago
  16. MCTJim

    @15 Transitory. Not meaning the indie devs, but the tablets and smartphones.

    they are allowing self publish now in ref to 11..but no sure when its actually starting.

    #16 1 year ago
  17. DrDamn

    But @3 “Indies are a novelty just like …”

    #17 1 year ago
  18. TheWulf


    The only problem is that while the potential is there, the proprietary systems inhibit the potential, because console manufacturers don’t know how to properly advertise games and with a proprietary system (even one like iOS), you can only see their store.

    On the PC, Super Meat Boy made more in a couple of days than it did in years on the consoles. You can ponder about why that is, but it’s simply the nature of the best. On the PC, there’s way more indie exposure, and a larger audience which appreciates indie titles.

    And there’s not just that, but you have to consider the demographics. It seems that consoles mostly sell mainstream games, and a lot of this is because console consumers tend to prefer the mainstream. They want a simpler kind of game — they want something where they can come home, switch their brains off, and enjoy some therapeutically mindless violence. That’s what they want.

    Consider that demographic — and then consider a game like The Swapper. The Swapper is, to wit, an elegantly handled, high-brow discussion about existentialism with the player, disguised as a fun to play game. Is that what console owners want? Statistics say no, whereas on the PC they say yes. So there are demographic concerns, too.


    That’s a really stupid thing to say, really, and I’ll be more than happy to enlighten you as to why. If you care to listen.

    Compare a trans fat-laden burger with a five-course meal at a michelin star restaurant. Yes, the multi-national burger place is definitely going to make more gross, but the michelin star restaurant is going to make enough profit to happily keep them in business.

    Furthermore, indie titles aren’t novelties, they are a conveying medium of novelty — there’s a difference. This, again, is where the food analogy comes into play. A mainstream game is often a thing with lots of explosions, murder, and such a badly written plot that it would make anyone actually thinking about it curl up foetal. Such as it has been for the past decade or so for the gaming mainstream.

    So referring to a mainstream game as a ‘novelty’ rather than a conveying medium of novelty is ingenuous. That would be like dismissing and writing off a five-course meal at a michelin star restaurant as a novelty.

    There’s a reason that indie games tend to get accredited as art by many journalists and critics, and that’s because they revolve around what a small group of people want to see created, rather than shareholders. If you have a shareholder controlled gaming experience, then you end up with the likes of Call of Duty, which is fine, if that’s what you want, but you can’t subsist on a diet of nothing but that without brain damage. Same way you can’t live on burgers without damaging your body.

    This is why I want to sway more of the mainstream over to appreciating indie games. My plea is no more different than “Put down the burger. This food here is far more interesting, tasty, provocative, exotic, and exciting, and it won’t give you a heart attack.” aimed at junk food consumers.

    Ideally I’d say ‘read a book occasionally’ too, but… baby steps. Baby steps.


    This is true, and I do feel it needs to change. Slowly, over time, and in moderation. No immediate change is necessary, but it does need to change.

    The sad part is really that mainstream gamers just don’t know what their missing. Much in the same way as a burger fan doesn’t know what they’ve been missing until they’ve eaten good food. I’m not ashamed to admit that I hit that turning point in my life a good while ago, and before that I was just raised on junk.

    So I decided to change it sometime over a decade ago — and I had no idea how amazingly diverse taste-wise a salad could be. And that just ruined junk food for me, junk food tastes vile, now.

    The same applies to entertainment. Yeah, mindless ‘turn your brain off’ stuff can be fun, but there’s stuff out there which is so much more fun. And it really is the salad vs. burger debate, but for the brain. Mainstream games will lose a little of their lustre when you realise how innovative, clever, and passionate indie games can be by comparison.


    It doesn’t surprise me that you’ve been living under a rock. Do you think Steam Greenlight would be even half of the success it was if there weren’t enough Steam indie success stories to actually make it desirable?

    Just let that percolate for a bit. It’s hard to permeate a mainstream mind with simple truths, sometimes. But again, it’s like trying to convince a burger fan that a salad actually can taste better. There’s all sorts of apologism, fallacies, and outright delusions to try to convince themselves that their self-told lies are actually truths.

    Consider Greenlight. You are wrong.

    The math here is veeery simple.


    This new technology is just a fad, it’ll blow over.

    That was sad about the radio, the television, the mobile phone, and pretty much every form of new technology right up until the Internet.

    Still, it might be perfectly legit to dismiss emergent and widely adopted technologies as fads, who knows? I mean, dismissing the Internet as a fad has never made anyone look silly. Not at all.

    I’m sorry, but there’s a point where I can’t take a person seriously any more. You passed that point.

    I don’t think I’m going to say any more than that. You are a very silly person.

    #18 1 year ago
  19. MCTJim

    @17 they are, the devs are not…its kinda hard to really get what I mean across on a forum, but basically in the end, they dont need consoles :thumbs:

    @18 I see your points, but I still stand on what I see from the past and past experiences. Your comparing a multi billion dollar business to a guy in his basement making angry birds..they are novelties…take away the smart phone and tablet and they are no longer in business.

    #19 1 year ago
  20. DrDamn

    Ah the games you mean? That confused me. An indie is the developer. An indie title or indie game is the game. Got you.

    Indies don’t need consoles, but consoles need them and the right sort of console platform can be good for them. An Indie game isn’t a type of game in terms of genre and content. Indie is about the dev and the cost. A lot of indie games sit nicely on mobile platforms, but by no means all of them. A lot will sit better on PCs and consoles.

    #20 1 year ago

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