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Sony gives out free games and starts coronavirus relief fund for indie studios

Sony is launching a new campaign that will reward PlayStation 4 owners with free games and help independent developers struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic, officially called COVID-19.

Called the Play at Home Initiative, Sony looks to do what it can to aid the gaming community during these difficult times. PlayStation President and CEO Jim Ryan explained that the company will give away two PS4 games to keep those at home entertained. Players can redeem both Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection and Journey starting April 15 at 8 p.m. PT until May 5. Unlike PlayStation Plus’ Instant Game Collection, there are no strings attached, and these titles will remain in users’ libraries forever.

The selection of free titles is the same worldwide except in China and Germany. Those two countries will instead have access to Knack 2 and Journey. Sony did not say why it’s replacing Uncharted in those territories.

The campaign will also see Sony lend financial support to independent developers, who Sony states are the “heart and soul” of gaming. The Japanese console maker earmarked $10 million for the fund which will be distributed to different studios. While details are currently sparse, Sony promises to reveal more information on the fund and how developers can sign up in the near future.

“During these days of physical distancing, fans have turned to gaming for moments of respite and enjoyment,” Ryan said on the PlayStation Blog. “At Sony Interactive Entertainment, we are privileged to bring this much-needed entertainment. We know this is just one small step and we are thankful to be able to offer this support to our players, our communities, and our partners.”

Sony notes that game downloads may take longer than usual. The company is currently throttling internet access due to more people playing games online than usual. The action is in order to preserve access to everyone worldwide and Sony thanks users for their patience.

Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection and Journey have been made available for PlayStation Plus subscribers in the past via PlayStation Plus, but this marks the first time they will be free for anyone to download. Both titles have PlayStation 3 roots as the Uncharted compilation features remastered versions of Naughty Dog’s beloved action-adventure trilogy while Thatgamecompany’s Journey originally released to critical acclaim in 2012. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, the fourth and final chapter of Nathan Drake’s adventure, is currently a part of the Instant Game Collection.

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