Sony Computer Entertainment has decided to fully sponsor the Indie Game Area and Sense of Wonder Night for Tokyo Game Show 2014. SCE will pay all exhibition fees for all indie exhibitions ($318 USD for only days open to the public, and $980 for all four days of TGS). For independent game developers, this means that they can show their work at TGS completely free of charge—regardless of the size or scope of the game, and regardless of what platform or platforms the game is for.
For consoles, the indie movement has been on a roll with Sony and its PlayStation 4 at the tip of the spear. Sony has repeatedly shown its support for independent games and developers over the years and into the beginning of the PS4’s life cycle. If there was any doubt of Sony’s commitment to these developers and to indie gaming, this move is a very practical way to show just how committed it is.
With Sony’s recent financial struggles, however, it is reasonable to wonder whether this is a good move for Sony. With no exhibition fees to worry about, TGS 2014 is sure to attract more independent developers than ever—which Tokyo Game Show clearly understands, having extended the deadline for exhibitor applications to June 11. At a thousand dollars a pop, the bill could get quite high. Considering what the Japanese electronics giant has been shelling out for development, production, and marketing of the PS4, however, paying for even a hundred indie exhibitions is not likely to be a company-crumbling expense, and will certainly keep Sony and PlayStation in the good graces of developers everywhere.
Tokyo Game Show 2014 runs from Thursday, September 18 to Sunday, September 21, 2014. Again, the exhibitor application deadline has been extended to June 11, 2014 (Japan Standard Time).
Some of the greatest video game studios of today started as small indie companies. Is Sony right to invest so much time and money into indies? Could we see more Naughty Dogs and Insomniacs arise as a result of Sony’s efforts?
Let’s talk indies in the comments below.