Console creators now less risk-averse – House

Sony Computer Entertainment head says devs have more confidence in console market, indies facing great opportunity in VR

The resurgence of the console market is creating more daring developers, according to Sony Computer Entertainment president and CEO Andrew House. Speaking with The Guardian, the executive said the early success of the current generation of consoles has helped tamp down some of the risk aversion often associated with the market.

“With this generation, we launched against a background of considerable media scepticism about the role of consoles overall,” House said. “People were saying that consoles were dead, and that mobiles and tablets were the only gaming platforms around. But what I see in the developer and publisher community is a sense of returned confidence. That translates into something great for the gamer, because if developers are feeling confident that there’s a fan base that wants their content, then they will tend to take more creative risks. They will feel more comfortable about launching brand-new IP, which I think is the life-blood of the industry.”

While that’s encouraging news for the AAA market, House also said there are promising opportunities on the indie front as well. In particular, he felt that the launch of the PlayStation VR headset will give small studios a chance to be first movers in what could become a mainstream market.

“I tend to see the first phase as providing short-form but very intense experiences – I use the analogy of a theme park ride,” House said. “It’s something you’ll do for 10 or 15 minutes and go, ‘Whoa, that was fantastic.’ Even those short-form experiences, which don’t necessarily have massive development costs, can be very magical and exciting. So there’s an opportunity for indie developers to be more prominent in the VR life cycle than they are on console.”

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