Shuhei Yoshida On Growing Indie Games In Japan

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Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida showed support for indie games and developers when the PlayStation 4 was revealed last year. During an interview with Famitsu magazine, Yoshida talks about indie games and his expectations of Japanese developers.


“I’ve always been one to love indie games,” starts Yoshida with a laugh. “And I also think that seeing you guys at Famitsu and other media focus on indie games is actually a great thing.”


Since revealing the PlayStation 4, Yoshida has stated that he’ll be supporting indie games. Famitsu asks him to share some words on the charm he sees in indie titles.


“Outside of Japan, there are many high-integrity indie titles released for the PlayStation Vita,” says Yoshida. “Those titles can be enjoyed in short bursts and you can play them whenever you feel like it, which I believe is their charm. Additionally, the North American PS Store has new titles every week, and it’s even fun just to check them out.”


“Since the past, I’ve always felt that there are so many interesting games out there, and it feels like such a waste that we don’t have them in Japan, too, so I’m looking at it in a different light now,” continues Yoshida.


“Of course due to ratings and other issues, it’s difficult to simply make foreign titles playable in Japan, but I’d like to make some platform adjustments, so they can be made more available in Japan.”


Famitsu asks Yoshida what made him decide to give indie games the extra push for PlayStation 4.


“These are my personal thoughts, but to put it simply, ‘there are many interesting games out there and I’d like to introduce them to you all’ is the reason,” shares Yoshida. “As to how these thoughts came to mind—mobile, PC, and home consoles are starting to go more towards a digital direction, and this has also become an opportunity for profit from players around the world.”


Angry Birds on mobile phones and Minecraft on PC and consoles have been successful enough to grow from providing their creators with just enough money to put food on the table to something much more. Additionally, if we could add indie games to fill in the gaps between big titles, the market and industry would likely be more active. This is a crucial part of it.”


That said, Famitsu points out that at the current state, there doesn’t seem to be too many Japanese indie titles for consoles.


“I expect it will increase from this point on,” says Yoshida. “From shooters to 2D action games and Japanese RPGs, there are many creators in Japan with such popular genres that have deep roots around the world. If such people participate more in making indie games, they will surely get attention, and it would d be interesting to see.”


“It’d be nice to have someone see an indie game that was made by a young creator, and think to themselves, ‘Hey, I can make an even better game!’” he continues. “PlayRoom was actually made by a few young developers, and without thinking too much of it, they were able to make something they thought would be fun.”


“I think it’d be fun if creators can invent something that has yet to be done, and create something that they personally would like to represent.”

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Gamer, avid hockey fan, and firm believer in the heart of the cards.