Sony Computer Entertainment America has lined up a massive series of investments focusing on PlayStation Network exclusives, per reports from the company this morning. The $20 million plan will be spread out over three years and focus on first-party developers and studios while providing additional support for their Pub Fund program geared towards independent developers. Seemingly, this plan intends to inject more life into an already vibrant marketplace while providing freedom for the devs at work.
Sony’s Pub Fund, which was first announced back in 2009 at the Game Developers Conference, focuses on providing much needed funds for PSN developers focused on innovative titles. Sweetening the deal for devs is Sony’s committal to helping with design, but their insistence that all material remains the creator’s from the intellectual property down to the listed price. An admirable support system, indeed, and a lucrative one that has spawned Burn, Zombie, Burn! as well as several forthcoming games like Papo & Yo – a game which has already piqued interest at this year’s E3 Expo. Explaining the reasons behind this plan, director of PlayStation Network marketing Branden Stander said,
“PlayStation Network is poised to deliver an enviable line-up of exclusive and imaginative games this year, with highly anticipated first-party titles like thatgamecompany’s Journey and PixelJunk Sidescroller. We’re doubling down on PlayStation Network software, and under this additional investment over the next three years, we anticipate a steady flow of high-quality titles that can’t be found anywhere else.”
Some of those high-quality titles will include:
- The previously mentioned Papo & Yo, a hybrid platformer/puzzler (in 3D!) focusing on a boy named Quico whom players will guide through a hypnotic and mysterious world aided by a friendly monster named, well, Monster. The main dynamic will be manipulating Monster’s emotions and poisonous frog addiction to find a cure and solve puzzles.
- Okabu, an action-puzzler focused on cloud riders with names like Nimbe and Kumulo as they fight against an industrialized fiend known as the Doza. Described by Sony as “a hyoer-tactile toybox world,” Okabu will be loaded with puzzles and creatures both friendly and evil, all focused on a huge cooperative campaign, courtesy of the developers of puzzler Rolando.
- Eufloria breaks the puzzler plans and focuses on the domination of space and biomechanical developments in one ambient game. Players will have to become Gregor Mendels as they discover mechanized half-plants that they must breed and alter to carry out their machinations.
- PAYDAY: The Heist, yet another FPS in which you, the player, become a serial lawbreaker. As you traverse a series of urbanized levels aided by three additional players (or computers), the quest for making a quick fortune looms large. Set across six different robberies, including the stealing of an armored car, the game will feature an extensive set of weapons and gear.
What a set! With no announced release dates save for Papo & Yo’s ambiguous 2012 announcement, gamers will have to wait to see the fruits of Sony’s labor. But looking at those descriptions certainly makes the wait seem worthwhile, and the three-year plan implies a steady stream of releases once the ball gets rolling. Goodbye, funds, it was nice having you.