Skip to main content

Sony signs indie developers to strengthen its PS Vita line up

Velocity FuturLab

Back in May, the video game industry was jawing on big releases meant to carry us through the summer drought. Diablo 3, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier and Max Payne 3 dominated message boards and sales charts, while B-listers like Starhawk and Dragon’s Dogma picked up the slack. The big releases weren’t necessarily the best though, and the Brighton-based independent developer FuturLab earned itself a quiet following with its well-reviewed PlayStation Minis shooter-puzzler Velocity. That inventive downloadable suitably impressed Sony as the company has now contracted FuturLab to help develop some much-needed new content for the ailing PS Vita.

Sony announced on Tuesday morning that it has entered into a one-year partnership with FuturLab that will help fund a swath of new content for the company’s handheld gaming machine. We’re particularly pleased to be working with FuturLab to bring new and exciting games to PlayStation Vita,” said Sony Computer Entertainment Europe’s Shahid Ahmad, “FuturLab has a unique and fun approach to entertainment and we see their games as being a fantastic addition to the ever growing catalog of PS Vita games.

Related Videos

While Sony didn’t disclose the exact funding figure, the company did confirm that FuturLab would be compensated in an unusual way for this kind of deal. Unlike most independent developers who receive funding from Sony, FuturLab will keep the rights to their creations.

“Sony has provided a great package that means we retain full control of our IP, which is a perfect deal for us,” said FuturLab’s James Marsden, “We’re incredibly excited to be working closely with PlayStation over the next year, bringing our particular brand of twitchy fun to the PS Vita.”

FuturLab is likely cooking up either a sequel to or a significantly upgraded version of Velocity as its first project. A countdown website was opened by the studio bearing the cryptic message, “You asked for it.” In the background are the aliases of Internet commentators that have asked for a follow up to the game.

At this point in time, any new content for the PS Vita is a good thing, as Sony’s handheld is thirsty for support. While an indie studio with a promising track record is definitely a welcome addition to the Vita-exclusive stable, it’s not the sort of project Sony needs to fund to convince people to actually buy the console. FuturLab will no doubt make an interesting Vita game, but it’s doubtful it will make a system-seller.

Editors' Recommendations

Sony acquires Returnal developer Housemarque, teases another purchase
The protagonist from the game Returnal in a space suit posed in front of flag.

Sony announced that it acquired Housemarque, the Finnish developer of PlayStation hits such as Resogun, Alienation, and most recently, Returnal.

The two companies had been working closely with one another for over a decade, with most of Housemarque's recent games launching exclusively for PlayStation consoles (or handhelds). In regards to the acquisition, Head of PlayStation Studios Hermen Hulst said "Housemarque’s recent release of Returnal proves the studio is one with incredible vision, capable of creating memorable new games that resonate with our community."

Read more
Sony has over 25 first-party PlayStation 5 games in development
Aloy looks at the horizon.

Sony has more than 25 first-party PlayStation 5 games in development, and nearly half of them are new intellectual property, according to a recent report from Wired. "There’s an incredible amount of variety originating from different regions. Big, small, different genres," Hermen Hulst, PlayStation head of Worldwide Studios, told Wired in reference to the PS5 games currently in development.

This is in line with what Sony Interactive Entertainment President and CEO Jim Ryan said last month when confirming the PS5 will have more exclusives than ever before.

Read more
Sony expects PS5 shortages to last into 2022
PS5 and DualSense art.

Sony expects to struggle to meet the demands for PS5 into 2022, according to a new report from Bloomberg. This news comes by way of Sony chief financial officer Hiroki Totoki, who warned investors that PS5 shortages will likely continue for the foreseeable future.

"I don't think demand is calming down this year and even if we secure a lot more devices and produce many more units of the PS5 next year, our supply wouldn't be able to catch up with demand," Totoki said, according to Bloomberg.

Read more