It's always nice to hear about indie developers and the unique titles they're bringing to our console-filled lives. That's why the recently announced PlayStation Indies Initiative was an absolute delight. Announced via the PlayStation Blog, the initiative took the day to look over 9 new indie games that will be making their way to PS4 and PS5. Some will come out relatively soon, while others are still a ways off. The post was dropped by Shuhei Yoshida, SIE Worldwide Studios' former president. It's no surprise that he would be behind this. Following his departure in 2019 (in which he was replaced by Guerrilla Games' former head Hermen Hulst), Yoshida revealed that he would be focusing on indie creators; giving them help, advice, and nurturing them to publish onto the PlayStation platform. These 9 games are a result of that focus, and the passionate work from the creators who made them.

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"The indie community is increasingly important for the future of the video game industry, as AAA game development has grown so financially demanding that big companies are finding it harder to take risks to invest in new concepts that may or may not work," Yoshida writes. "We trust indie developers with strong vision will continue to bring ideas that have never been tried before, creating whole new genres of games and advancing the art and meaning of video games. PlayStation has always embraced games with completely new concepts, like PaRappa the Rapper, Katamari Damacy, LittleBigPlanet, and Journey, and we look forward to seeing what surprising new ideas will come next!" Yoshida went on to announce that one new indie game will be brought to Sony's PlayStation Now service every month, starting with Hello Neighbor this July. All the more reason to sign up!

Now, onto the games themselves. There are nine to delve into here, so I'll give a very brief overview of each. First is Maquette, a first-person puzzler from Graceful Decay that's dropping on PS4 and PS5. Where the Heart Is is a narrative adventure that drops sometime this winter on PS4. Creaks is arriving in just a few weeks, and features a unique hand-drawn art style set in a bizarre mansion. Heavenly Bodies is an ambitious co-op space simulator that has you trying to fix your space station, and we can expect it sometime in 2021 for PS4 and PS5. Recompile is a hacking-based platformer that looks similar in style to Rez, releasing sometime on the PS5. Then there's Carto, an adventure game that quite literally shifts its world to solve puzzles. Expect it in the Fall of 2020 for PS4. For the multiplayer fans, Worms Rumble features 32 players, cross-platform arena action. It will be available on both PS4 and PS5. Last but not least is Haven, an artsy-looking adventure game in which you play as two lovers trying to survive on a mysterious planet. No date on it yet, though it will be available for PS4.

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You can check out each title individually for yourself on Yoshida's PlayStation Blog post. All of them got their own trailers to boot, so you can see them all in action. The whole thing serves as a breath of fresh air for PlayStation, and hopefully, a sign of more games to come out of the Initiative in the future; a good way to spotlight things that deserve attention. There have been a couple of stories recently about the rising costs of AAA development and how it's affecting the industry. As we spiral more and more down this road, low-budget passion projects from indie developers will be more important than ever to help the industry thrive, filling it with more unique ideas, the likes of which we'd see more frequently back in the older days. It's all shaping a weird sort of picture for what the next generation will be like, and how it will hold indies in a more popular spotlight than ever before.

Tanner
Tanner

Tanner is a freelance writer. He enjoys all things video games, particularly the weirder ones, and can often be found drinking coffee and trying to get through his backlog.

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