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In association with EVERY BUYER l EVERY BRANCH l EVERY WEEK GAMESCOM 2013 – DAY 1 August 21st 2013 Independents’ day Triple-A takes a backseat as PlayStation and Xbox open the show with battle for the hearts and minds of indie devs

14 PS4 indie games were announced at Sony’s Gamescom press event, while Microsoft unveiled its ‘Independent Developers @ Xbox’ campaign for Xbox One –and a signing from Minecraft publisher Mojang (above inset)

by Michael French

A NEW generation of consoles launch this November – and Sony and Microsoft are doing

everything they can to make sure a new generation of games developers are making games for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Both were out in force at their respective pre- Gamescom press showcases yesterday (Tuesday, August 20th) talking up support for indies.

Microsoft has announced a new indie games developer programme, called Independent Developers @ Xbox (or ID@Xbox). The self- publishing scheme

encourages indies to sign up with each developer receiving two Xbox One dev kits for free.

“The independent development scene has matured and changed a ton in the past couple of years, so we are acting on that to meet the needs of the development

The indie dev scene has matured and changed.

“ Chris Charla, Xbox

community,” said Chris Charla, former Xbox Live Arcade portfolio boss and new head of the scheme.

The move from Xbox follows criticism of its treatment of independent developers as rival

PlayStation has dominated the conversation around supporting smaller studios. And indeed, hours later, Sony bit back during its press conference. “While others have shifted their message and changed their story, we

were consistent,” said PlayStation head Andrew House after a ninety-minute event that, although climaxing with the PS4 launch date, emphasised new IP and quirky titles. Sony has scored a range of timed exclusives from a number of esteemed and upcoming indie talent, with games due around launch or just after. Key studio signings out of the 14 new games include The Chinese Room, Mike Bithell, Dennaton Games and Vlambeer.

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