Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) has revealed that around half of its developer support for Project Morpheus virtual reality (VR) headset for PlayStation 4 has been focused on independent developers. SCE Europe head of publisher and developer relations Agostino Simonetta stated as much speaking at Develop’s ‘An Audience with Project Morpheus’ panel, attended by VRFocus. Simonetta reasoned that the creative freedom indie developers posses will make them key to the device.
“From my point of view what developers bring to the table is the freedom to try something new,” Simonetta said. “Free of some of the controlled strings that the bigger publishers have. So there is a role for the bigger publisher to contribute to Project Morpheus and there is a role for the independent developer to contribute.”
The debate as to if large scale publishers and developers will commit to VR has been ongoing since the Oculus Rift headset revitalised the technology. Publishers like Ubisoft have said that they would need to see high sales for headsets before development for them would be viable. Indie developers don’t necessarily face the same restrictions due to smaller budgets and other factors.
“So throughout this year we have been on the road and talking to people,” Simonetta continued. “I can probably say that half of our efforts have been supporting independent developers to come and have an opportunity to experience Morpheus and engage very, very early on. With PS4 and Morpheus we are really engaged in the development community at such an early stage that we have never done in the past. So Sony really, really changed over the years, it’s a very good opportunity now to work with us on things.”
Simonetta’s comments were in line with an evening that stressed the PlayStation platform’s open approach, encouraging indie developers to approach the company about developing for Project Morpheus. Will we see an influx of VR indie titles on PlayStation 4? Perhaps this year’s E3 on 10th – 12th June will reveal all. VRFocus will continue to report on every aspect of Project Morpheus going forward.