Sony Makes Indies A Big Offer For The Tokyo Game Show

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Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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Sony Makes Indies A Big Offer For The Tokyo Game Show

While right now, most of the attention in the gaming world is focused squarely on Los Angeles and the upcoming E3 event—and with good reason—there's another event that comes not too far after that, and one that should make indie developers particularly happy. Not so much for the upcoming event itself, but rather for what will happen therein.

Mystery aplenty, I know, but the word is that, when the Tokyo Game Show arrives this September, Sony will be paying all the indie developers' exhibition fees who show up in the Indie Game Area at the event. While it's not yet known just how many developers this offer has been extended to, or how many maximum will be able to get in on the action, the reports suggest that the offer will go out regardless of what platform the game in question will appear on. Sony is set to put up somewhere around $1300 per developer total—exchange rates will likely render this number moot tomorrow let alone what it will do by the time the show comes around in September—to cover the costs of exhibition, but that's not where it ends. Sony is also set to sponsor the event's “Sense of Wonder Night”, in which 10 game ideas of particular merit will be brought to the fore and given a special showcasing just for their sheer uniqueness in the field.

Of course, there are important points to consider here: one, there's only room enough for 50 booths at the Indie Game Area, so time will prove to be of the essence. Additionally, those who do get in on this action will only be allowed to show games, not offer any sales. So it's just a showing-off situation, which will likely have an impact on some booth designs. Further, it doesn't seem like Sony will be paying to get anyone to or from Tokyo, so that would seem to be on the studio as well.

Good news? You bet. That's a hefty slug of cash that the developers won't have to lay out in order to get in on one of the biggest exhibitions in gaming. Plus, said developers can get in on that exhibition in the first place, which means plenty of opportunity to show off games and, potentially, get in on some press coverage as well, which is never really to be scorned. This is likely going to give Sony a nice little extra push with the indie development market, which is in turn an increasingly large part of the overall gaming field as well. These developers will likely remember fondly how Sony popped for access to a major gaming event, and in turn, think maybe that much harder about developing for Sony first, and potentially all. That could help tip some scales in console buying decisions; how many people out there are waiting until the end of E3 to see which direction their support will go?

While access to the Tokyo Game Show may not be enough by itself to pull support from the indie market, it does a great job of serving as one more example of just how important this particular field really is to the major console makers. With Sony clearly on the side of the indies with this one, it could very well help Sony's future out nicely at a time when the console race is still a fairly close affair.

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