SCE America boss Jack Tretton believes the indie scene is responsible for the superstar creators of the games industry.
Speaking with CNN Money, Tretton said the flourishing indie scene of the past decade has saved the games industry from a mediocre future.
“Looking back, the fear was always that you’d have a few giant publishers making middle of the road games. But the opposite has happened,” he said.
“Thanks to independent developers and smaller studios, you have the Steven Spielbergs of our industry coming out of one- and two-man teams, out of university development projects, where somebody just has a really creative mind and they come out with a game that maybe doesn’t have $100 million, 300-person team polish but is absolute genius.”
It’s not hard to guess what Tretton means – games like Minecraft, Braid and Fez have made Markus “Notch” Persson, Jonathan Blow and Phil Fish well-recognised names, an honour usually reserved for people like Cliff Bleszinski and Ken Levine, who arguably have less creative control over and responsibility for the final product – a triple-A game.
Tretton said the rise of indie auteurs making games which fall outside the rather narrow range of games offered by traditional, publisher-owned development is good for everyone.
“That bodes extremely well. You’ve got creativity flourishing. It’s great for the medium and validates that this is mainstream entertainment,” he said.
“It guarantees there’s going to be something for everyone.”
During the same interview, Tretton said that the PlayStation 4 received a positive reaction because Sony did its homework.
It’s all Sony and indies, all the time this morning; we’ve had PS4 lead architect Mark Cerny predicting the new hardware will continue Sony’s indie-friendly trend, and Fireproof Games boss Barry Meade noting that Sony is well aware that it needs indies more than indies need it.