Yoshida: Small games, indies crucial to Vita success
Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida says working with smaller independent developers is key to the success of the PlayStation family, particularly when it comes to the Vita handheld.
The development of Vita happened alongside the smartphone boom and was influenced by it: "The whole development process of Vita was us watching the smartphone and the tablet market grow and blossom," Yoshida told Gamasutra during E3 this week.
"We've seen lots of small games sold digitally through the app stores of each device, and that's something we thought is a great addition to the whole offering of video games to the consumers," he said.
"We do not necessarily see the smartphone replacing the portable console market," Yoshida continues. "It's true that many casual people already own smartphones, and spending a dollar for a game is a very easy thing to do. People who really like games want more immersive, deeper games. In addition, they also enjoy short-form, small games."
Strategy for the Vita involves putting strong core IP like Call of Duty and Assassin's Creed on the platform -- "But let's make sure that small games can also be made, and that we can take care of lots of indie developers and individuals who want to express themselves," Yoshida says.
SCEA's Pub Fund is focused on funding indies; Yoshida says one of his favorite Vita games is Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack from Drinkbox Studios, funded through the program.
"We do it for the love of it, almost," he says. "It's not like small games sell $100 million revenues. But we really think it's important to work with younger people, and people who really sometimes disregard conventions of making games -- Jon Mak made Everyday Shooter by himself."
Adds Yoshida: "When games are made by a small number of people, the creative vision of one person really shines through the entire game. That's really where we find some magic happens."