Over the past few years, the explosive growth of indie developers has turned the industry into a cornucopia of exciting and inventive games.
From little cubes of meat to heroes hunting for bacon, the indie scene has made itself proudly known. With companies like Microsoft giving developers a platform on their consoles with Xbox Live Indie Games, the potential has only increased. Taking some cues, Sony has decided to up the ante.
Announcing to invest $20 million within a three-year span through their program Pub Fund, Sony hopes to raise the bar on indie development for both the PlayStation 3 – and the larger gaming industry. First announced at the GDC 2009, the Pub Fund has helped bring about games like Tales from Space: About a Blob, Flower, and the PixelJunk series to name a few (and if you’re interested, check out the review of About a Blob).
The PlayStation Network is set to start the initiative with the anticipated release of Popo & Yo, set to debut some time at the start of 2012. Brandon Stander, director of PlayStation Network marketing, spoke about the new business plan and model for the upcoming change as well:
“PlayStation Network is poised to deliver an enviable line-up of exclusive and imaginative games this year, with highly anticipated first-party titles like thatgamecompany’s Journey and PixelJunk Sidescroller We’re doubling down on PlayStation Network software, and under this additional investment over the next three years, we anticipate a steady flow of high-quality titles that can’t be found anywhere else.”
While $20 million gives a significant amount of room to figure out what’s going to happen within the next two years, a few titles are already on the horizon and worth keeping an eye on: Eufloria, Okabu, and PAYDAY: The Heist. Eufloria sounds like a mix of Super Stardust HD, while having to collect resources and grow planets and creatures to do your bidding, while Okabu sticks to a more action-co-op adventure, filled with over-the-top visuals and action.
PAYDAY may be the most dynamic, offering an FPS adventure where you and three other buddies team up to pull off “the perfect score,” using a collection of weapons and tools.
It will be quite interesting to see what comes out of the Pub Fund, and we’ll be sure to keep an eye out for these upcoming games, to give you the latest.