PlayStation Vita could be the new home for middle-tier games that are struggling on console and PC, Eufloria developer Rudolf Kremers tells us.
Much has been made of late about the middle tier being squeezed out of the game industry, with only big-budget games succeeding on consoles and the likes of iOS playing host to simpler games from smaller teams. Our latest issue, Edge 245, features an in-depth look at the problem.
In an interview, Kremers - whose minimalistic RTS Eufloria was a success on PC, then PSN, and was recently released on iOS - believes Vita is an ideal solution to the problem, with its technical horsepower and traditional controls making it a fine fit for ambitious games developed on slender budgets.
"I think Vita is a fantastic platform - I love it to bits," Kremer tells us. "It's become a new place for the mid tier of game development. What we have at the moment is this weird ecosystem where you either work on a massive-budget, triple-A title, or you work on very, very small, micro-project titles. That's just how it's grown; it's part of the disruption that iOS has created.
"But what I miss is a nice home for middle-sized, high-quality titles made by smaller teams that still feel a little bit like console or PC experiences - a bit more long-form, [with] a bit more depth."
Kremers believes that Vita is the platform to save the middle tier - and believes that Sony is well-placed to ensure it happens. He's full of praise for the platform holder's attitude to indies.
"Sony are clearly very accepting and encouraging to indie developers," he says. "I've had a really good experience with them publishing on PSN, and they seem to promote certain types of games that work well on their platform but made by smaller companies and one-man bands."
And no wonder. Sony supported Eufloria, of course, but the company's release slate is full of proof that it is prepared to take a chance on quality indie games. That attitude is set to spread beyond Sony's consoles with the launch of PlayStation Mobile, a cross-platform SDK enabling devs to release games not just for Vita, but PlayStation Certified smartphones and tablets too.
"PlayStation Mobile is extra-interesting because there's a certain amount of crossplatform development going on there," he explains. "It's very useful, I think, to add other mobiel devices to the mix. It's a very smart move.
"The SDK makes [your game] compliant with all these different platforms, so you develop it just once, within a set of constraints, rather than making it for five different platforms. You develop it for PS Mobile and it rolls out automatically for whatever [device] is compliant."
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