“Our team have been fans of Hotline Miami from the very start and we are absolutely thrilled to have such a brilliant game launch on the PlayStation platform, said Sony Europe’s Shahid Ahmad, “The intense visuals and pulsing soundtrack are perfectly suited for PS3 and PS Vita and we can’t wait for PlayStation fans to see what Hotline Miami is all about.”
To translate from the public relations speak: Hotline Miami sold 300,000 copies as a digital download on PC in 2012, and Sony sees an opportunity in those sales numbers. It helps that Hotline Miami is a critical hit, helping Sony maintain its reputation as a purveyor of more creatively daring content than the average international corporation with struggling hardware and huge R&D costs. Hotline Miami is a cost-effective way to boost Sony’s slim PS Vita library, its slowing PS3 library, and its indie cred.
Unfortunately Hotline Miami creator Dennaton Games isn’t handling the new version. Those duties have been passed to Abstraction Games, the Netherlands-based developer behind WiiWare and PS Minis ports of mobile games like Cut the Rope and Angry Birds.
Independent video game development has been booming for years now, but 2012 was an especially good year for studios out on their own making spectacular games. Accolades aplenty were given to Telltale Games for The Walking Dead, Polytron’s Fez, and thatgamecompany’s Journey. Journey in particular was unusual as a PlayStation 3 exclusive. That game represents Sony’s conflicting impulses in the game industry. It continues to cling to the old paradigm of closed platforms, but it also wants to fund and publish artistically challenging games. Case in point: Hotline Miami.
Sony’s future lies in games like Hotline Miami, but before it can fully capitalize on their success, it needs to bring down barriers between the games and its audience. Hotline Miami is a $10 game but the PS Vita is nearly $350 after buying the console and a required memory card.