PlayStation’s Jim Ryan on Discussing Indie Games: ‘Less Relevant Now’

To those taking a more broader view, few will disagree that Sony’s showing at E3 this year — in terms of the press conferences alone — had fewer surprises than in any previous year. To those watching closely and a bit more specific in their descriptions, the absence of smaller, indie titles — not to mention the focus on big upcoming AAA titles that we already knew about a la God of War & Insomniac’s upcoming Spiderman game — certainly felt surprising given Sony have gained a fair reputation since the launch of PS4 as the default console of choice for those looking for the more interesting and diverse library of indie games.

Well in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Sony’s global head of sales and marketing, Jim Ryan, believes that the talk and notable highlighting of indie games has lost some of its former sway. “One of the things we have realised is that these video collages of ten indie games shown in a minute, is almost meaningless…” he explains, when asked about the sudden absence this year. “…there was a time and a place, in the early stages of the life of PS4, to make statements. It was more about making a statement that we are serious about the indies…it was just good to talk about in 2013/2014. It is less relevant now. We have VR to talk about now, for example.”

Indeed, the argument can be made that Sony gave their VR platform more room this year than last, with six titles — yes, that does include the Final Fantasy XV fishing “thing” — either shown off or unveiled for the first time. A response, Ryan adds, to the many questions both online and out in the public about PlayStation VR’s potential library of games and playable titles.

Microsoft on the other hand had a fair few indie titles that they gave decent space to show off, not to mention a good ole’ sizzle reel on top of a few brief trailers that were little more than confirmations of release dates for upcoming titles like Tacoma and Cuphead. As far as indie representation goes, it looks like Microsoft may have won that battle at this year’s E3 — even if many, if not all, titles shown could also be acquired on PC. But as far as console-only platforms, what this will do to Sony’s image as the best hub to find such titles, only time will tell.