John Hight on Playstation Network: quality over quantity, building relationships

johnhightsony.jpgJohn Hight, the director of product development for Sony’s first party published digital games said in an interview with Gamasutra that Sony is careful about just how much content they place on PlayStation Network. He thinks “too much quantity could kill” them and that their goal is to have “well-selected, cool experiences”.

But that doesn’t mean they’re forgetting or leaving developers in the cold just because their product is not placed on PSN. On the contrary it seems: “We’re definitely trying to talk to everybody out there, and sometimes even if we’re not into a particular game or it doesn’t fit, we like to have the relationship, because we’d like to hear about what the next game is,” Hight said. I can appreciate such an approach, but I cannot help but wish there was more content available on PSN.

When it comes to indie games, it seems as if Sony is trying to grow the next generation of game developers and is making that a big part their offerings, just as Microsoft with their recently announced community games. And as an aspiring programmer I can only commend them both for such efforts. Though Hight feels they’re definitely numero uno in the independent games field and says that Sony has already surpassed their objectives.

“We wanted innovation, we wanted stylish games, and we wanted things that were new and fresh and cool for our customers. We sought this space out two years ago, before we even launched the PlayStation Network.

I think it’s very cool that all publishers are now considering this, because that’s what it’s all about. It’s a low-risk area. It’s a place where young people can come into the industry and try out their ideas and not have to go through the usual course of working through a big publisher as QA for the next five years.

Plus, they’re getting a broad exposure to everything: producing, coding, sound, music, and putting it all together. It’s much easier to learn working on it in a smaller game than it is to work in one part of a larger game.”