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Sony wants more online connectivity and sharing in indie games for next-gen

In terms of next-gen consoles and the indies involved with PlayStation 4, Sony hopes to see more games that involve online connectivity and opportunities for sharing, PlayStation vice president of publisher and developer relations Adam Boyes told Polygon today at E3.

According to Boyes, Sony is constantly looking for more ways to help gamers discover new titles. In terms of indie games, however, one of the most effective solutions may be through sharing with friends.

"It's one thing to say hey I played this thing Outlast," Boyes said. "Or I played Octodad. That sounds goofy. When I log onto my PlayStation 4 and see all these videos that my friends recently did, I'm going to have so much more context for what the game is. It's not a sales pitch that's a paragraph now."

Boyes added that while it's one thing to be aware of what the population is playing, it's another to know what your friends are playing. PlayStation 4 will have a feature similar to Sony's already existing "LiveArea," which displays games, apps and more. On PlayStation 4, the feature will include games friends have recently shared.

"The more developers lean into those [sharing] features the more it's going to help," Boyes said.

Sony is well known for allowing its developers to self-publish, which can make quality control difficult. However, Boyes explained that Sony takes an open-minded approach to what defines a "good" title.

"Indies are all going to express their visions in various ways," Boyes said. "It means that you're going to get a variety of different experiences. What might be a 'good' game to Person A might not be for Person B."

Sony's previous policy required indie developers to submit games twice. Sony would hold onto the submission until they were completed while offering "terrible feedback," Boyes said.

"It was very ambiguous and it made it very challenging for developers, so we struck that," Boyes said. "They just have to make sure they adhere to certain codes, like they don't have nudity and stuff like that."

The company will continue to support DRM-free content, which Boyes said has never been a problem when courting different developers. But according to Boyes, the companies DRM policies are focused more specifically on their customers.

"People are excited to have the rights that they had along the way," Boyes said. "When people purchase a disc game, they want access to that content. Holding it your hand and owning it is really important to gamers. And that's something we feel very strongly about."

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