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Project Morpheus: indies showing more enthusiasm than publishers, says Yoshida

Friday, 28th March 2014 04:03 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Project Morpheus has been more popular with risk-taking indies than the old guard, SCE Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida has said.

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“I am very excited to work with indie developers because we’ve been communicating with [developers at] third party publishers, and the typical conversations go, they are really excited, but they say, ‘Oh well, I have to get approval from the business side,’” Yoshida told Polygon.

“It’s very hard for big companies to approve something that no one knows if there’s a market for it, but the indie guys are like, ‘I like it, I’ll do it.’ And there are many indie games being created in the marketplace because of that.”

Yoshida said independent developers generally want to create different experiences, because they haven’t got the resources to compete with big companies.

“That approach is perfect for making VR, because that’s what we need. We don’t want people to think, ‘How can I port this game to VR?’ We want people to think, ‘What unique thing can we do with this tech?’” Yoshida said.

“So I’m very, very excited to give lots of units to indie PS4 developers.”

Although the consumer model isn’t finalised, Sony was able to announce Morpheus at GDC because it has reached a point where mass production of dev kits is possible. Yoshida said that he hopes to get Morpheus dev kits out to “hundreds” of PS4 developers.

This generation, Sony has earned a it of a reputation for being generous with regards to supplying dev kits to indies.

Thanks, Shack News.

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3 Comments

  1. salarta

    This is exactly how I expected the dynamic of these companies to turn out, too. We know very well that established publishers are terrified about not sucking up to common gimmicks and trends, it’s the cause behind so many old IPs getting radically changed in ways that aren’t appropriate for them during the PS3 generation. Established publishers don’t want to take risks on great things. Indies have incentive to do so, both because the people working at them often have more freedom to follow their creative interests, and because any new project could be what lets them break out as a success.

    #1 4 months ago
  2. jmg24bad

    I hope VR takes off. I have always wanted something like this. Not needing a TV would def be worth it in my book

    #2 4 months ago
  3. CycloneFox

    It’s only natural. Game publishers (and I also) have no idea how many of these VR headsets will be sold in the first few months. It’s the same problem as with any console peripheral. You need to at least have an install base of let’s say one million users, of which some percentage (let’s say 20-50%) “might” buy your game for 60€ each, if it’s good. After the margin for other costs, you get about 30€ per game. That makes 6 to 15 mio, you can spend for development costs, depending how brave and confident you are. But only if Sony sells one million VR headsets. If they don’t and you are developing a game for a year, already, your investors will get concerned and share value will sink, etc…

    Of course, it might turn out, everyone is waiting for a VR headset since the 80s and is now so thrilled to finally get this tech, that it sells like crazy. And also a big factor is, that Sony has a large amount of first party studios of which they can appoint one studio to support their headset with one big triple A peripheral seller. So eventually everything turns out so well, that the install base will quickly rise to a ridiculous amount and third party developers start to also develop games only for VR.

    But until then, we will most likely only see big games, that support but don’t rely on VR, so they can still sell the games even if Project Morpheus, Oculus and other VR headsets are no success at all.

    I think the good thing about Project Morpheus is that it finally makes the possibility likely to get big titles, at least from Sony themselves, that support or even rely on VR. It’s more likely now to get mass market VR applications, then it was with Oculus or Steams headset alone.

    #3 4 months ago

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