Let's face it, the previous generation had a disappointing launch line-up. Publishers and developers preferred to wait for a larger player base to release their major titles. The rapid growth of indie developers in the last few years, however, is contributing to a much larger variety of launch titles for the next-gen consoles. Gamers are no longer forced to choose from a bunch of slightly tweaked, multiplatform games. Bloober Team's Basement Crawl, an exclusive for the PS4, is a unique example.
Fans of Bloober Team shouldn't be surprised to see the Polish developer jump at the chance to support PS4 - the studio has had a close working relationship with Sony for a long time, having previously done work for hire on Bloons (PSP Minis) and created a new IP for PS Vita called A-Men, which will be getting a sequel this November.
There are so many options on the market for developers today, aside from next-gen consoles, so why did Bloober decide to commit to PS4? Sony is currently the only one format holder that really supports indie developers. "Great contact, easy procedures and access to new hardware for trusted developers are the key factors for us," says Piotr Bielatowicz, Bloober Team vice president. "Another thing is the ability to get noticed more easily, in comparison to platforms like iOS or Android."
"From my point of view it's very important that our game (gameplay inspired by classic titles like Bomberman and gore, horror movies like Saw) goes exactly to our target audience - hardcore gamers, who will buy new consoles at launch," adds Piotr Babieno, CEO.
Bloober believes SCEE is the best place for indie companies. "It's significantly harder to get the same level of support in other regions. Even finished games, with good reviews and sales, there might be several problems and delays with publishing. The European division of Sony is a model example for formal issues and assistance with marketing," explains Bielatowicz.
Not everything is perfect though and it still requires a lot of work. For example, developing the first cross-platform free-to-play title was really messy. Not only is free-to-play relatively new for consoles and supported on a case-to-case basis, but Bloober also had problems connecting everything, including financial matters, on two closed platforms. With DeathMatch Village, 50 percent of development time was dedicated to actual development, while the other half of the time was taken up completing TRC.
"We are excited that our experience with being a pioneer on PlayStation platforms may benefit in a large scale when we release Basement Crawl this year. We are gamers and we create games for core players," says Babieno. "We are very happy that on Sony's side we deal also with gamers, not accountants. Thanks to people like Shahid Ahmad, Agostino Simonetta and George Bain we can feel special."
Basement Crawl is going to be released within the PlayStation 4 launch window. Bloober Team is also preparing a new title, that looks like "indie AAA" - so far, that's also PlayStation exclusive.