Yesterday's PlayStation press conference at Gamescom 2013 seemed to allot more of its time talking about indie games than it did discussing AAA blockbusters. It wasn't just an attempt to overwhelm the viewer with new games for Sony's platforms, it's part of a genuine relationship Sony's had with the indie community for some time now; a relationship Vlambeer's Rami Ismail is happy to be in.
Ismail spoke to Polygon immediately following the event, in which it was revealed that Vlambeer's next game, the roguelike-like shooter Wasteland Kings, would be launching on PlayStation 4 and Vita. Ismail said the choice to release the new title on Sony's platforms was a no brainer, thanks to the publisher's track record when it comes to supporting independent games.
"Sony managed to feel like a convenience," Ismail said. "They don't try to power play themselves as a necessity, or, 'You need us.' Sony's just, you know, 'You have a video game? Sure, bring it.' We really don't want to spend a lot of time negotiating weird deals or anything like that. Sony has always given us that sort of, 'Just make a video game,' and that's what we like doing."
Sony wasn't the only company with big announcements regarding indie development yesterday; Microsoft outlined its new and far more indie-friendly self-publishing guidelines for Xbox One. Those guidelines do away with a lot of the rigorous (and once costly) certification of the Xbox 360's Live Arcade, giving creators a bit more leeway to get what they want out of Microsoft's home console.
Ismail said he hasn't been through the application process for Xbox One yet, but is optimistic about Microsoft's new stance on indie development — one rooted in the early days of Live Arcade.
"We've actually been talking to them about that, and we're excited to hear what they're promising. At this point, we haven't actually gone through that whole process, so we don't know whether they can do what they're saying, but what they're saying sounds really really good, and we'd be happy to try it.
"The indie scene, there's this weird thing where a lot of it is about trust," Ismail later added. "It's about knowing when you put effort into something, it's going to work out. If you look at the reputation that Microsoft had gotten itself, even though Fez and Braid and Super Meat Boy did super well on those platforms ... indie definitely owes a lot to that early stage of Xbox Live Arcade, but if you talk to the developers, there were a lot of issues in dealing with Microsoft, and Sony has basically always — well, at least since they got their indie strategy together — they've always done their best to make sure that if indies talk about Sony, that the things they've gone through with them are positive experiences, and I think that is a big deal for why that is why there are so many indie games launching on the platform right now."
For more of Ismail's thoughts on indie gaming in the next generation of consoles, check out our full interview above.