Jonathan Blow, famed indie game developer, has been talking to Edge about his decision to develop upcoming 3D puzzler for PlayStation 4 before focusing any of the competing platforms.
The Witness was one of the more obscure titles to be previewed at last month’s PlayStation 4 event in New York, with it being one of only a couple of games shown not to conform to the more conventional video game themes.
Jonathan Blow, the man behind the critically acclaimed Braid, describes The Witness as “an exploration-puzzle game on an uninhabited island”. The game was originally slated for release on multiple platforms, but now will find its home on the PS4 only, for a limited time at least. Blow has been talking to Edge about his relationship with Sony, and Sony’s attitude toward the indie development community;
“I do think they realise that downloadable games are going to be bigger than they ever have been, and I think they realise that part of success in that area is having developers who are making the most interesting games want to be on their platform.”
Blow went on to explain how his past experience of working with Microsoft led him to plump for camp Sony with his latest game, as well as sharing his thoughts on the direction Microsoft are taking the Xbox brand;
“Yeah, there were a lot of reasons why it was a good choice,” he said. “Some were technical – we haven’t officially been disclosed on Microsoft’s next console, but we do see the same leaks as everyone else has, and they seem plausible. To me they talk about a console that is not strictly about games. It’s trying to be the centre of the living room device, which is fine and maybe it’s the right thing for Microsoft to do, business-wise. I don’t know; I actually don’t think it is, but they’ve certainly thought about it more than me! As a place to put the best, highest performing version of our game on, it doesn’t seem as good a choice.”
“I’ve had a bad time working with Microsoft in the past,” he continued. “Maybe not super bad, but a moderately bad time in terms of business relationships. Other developers who are friends of mine have had a horrible time, so the idea of signing up again with Microsoft isn’t something I’d have ruled out, but there’s a certain amount of dread I have about doing that again. I don’t have that with Sony. Who knows, maybe it’ll turn out to be just as bad at the end! But I don’t think so. The people we’re talking to on a daily basis there are just really good people, and we’re happy to work with them. We’ll see how it goes.”