Sony Covering the Cost for Indie Devs to Showcase Games at TGS

Independent developers looking to exhibit their games at the Indie Game Arena won't have to pay to do so, thanks to Sony.

PS4 indie game Rime
PS4 indie game Rime

Sony has had a strong relationship with independent game developers for years now, and the latest example of this will be seen in September. Independent developers hoping to showcase their games at the Tokyo Game Show's Indie Game Arena won't have to pay to do so thanks to Sony, which will be footing the bill for IGA exhibitors this year.

This is according to the application page on the TGS exhibitors website. The Indie Game Arena is, as you'd expect given the name, for independent game developers only. "This area gives game developers the opportunity to exhibit games for every platform at an affordable exhibition fee with the objective of creating new movements in the computer entertainment industry," the website explains.

The term "independent developer" has become increasingly blurry in recent years, but to make it simple, there are specific guidelines based on revenue for which developers qualify. Individuals must have annual sales of no more than $100,000, while companies can have no more than $500,000 in annual sales. Whether it's a single individual or not, developers must be financially independent, meaning they can't have the backing of a major company.

There are also restrictions on the games that may be exhibited--most notably, it must be an original title and its developers can't be expecting it to receive a mature rating.

Developers will have the choice of a 2-day or 4-day exhibit, the latter of which includes the invite-only "business days" that are not open to the public. In either case, the exhibition fee is free due to Sony's sponsorship.

This is another instance of Sony supporting the independent development scene. In 2009, it launched the Pub Fund program to fund independent development, an initiative it renewed in 2011. More recently, it handed out PlayStation 4 dev kits for free and has talked about how critical it is to be transparent when working with indies. Sony VP of developer and publisher relations Adam Boyes, in particular, has led the company's charge with indies, describing them earlier this month as the "heartbeat" of the industry. And although it's still a relatively new system, there is no shortage of indie games available for or coming to the PS4, as evidenced by the announcement of more than 10 indie games for it last month.

This year's Tokyo Game Show takes place September 18-21, the latter two days being the ones open to the public.

What do you make of Sony's continued push with indies? Let us know in the comments below.

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