The console-gaming arms race to amass as much indie-developer support as possible continues.
Sony revealed today a partnership with technology firm YoYo Games to offer a native PlayStation 4 version of the GameMaker: Studio development kit. This new solution, co-developed by Sony and YoYo, will enable studios to export their GameMaker projects to the PS4. The game engine is available for free to any Sony Computer Entertainment-licensed developer.
GameMaker serves as the backbone titles like the multiplayer fencing game NIdhogg, upcoming adventure game Hyper Light Drifter, and action platformer Risk of Rain. The dev kit will also soon support PlayStation 3 and Vita.
GameMaker is just the latest in Sony’s continued effort to build a developer-friendly platform in the PS4. While the console has not had many major releases from third-party publishers outside a rush of launch games, indie studios have offered steady support with titles like the party fighter Towerfall: Ascension and the survival-horror title Outlast. Sony separately confirmed that the PS4 integration for the 3D engine Unity is coming in April and that the MonoGame toolkit that developer Matt Thorson used to make Towerfall: Ascension now includes PS4 support for other developers.
“Today’s announcement is a major milestone in our strategy to make powerful, cross-platform game development more widely accessible,” YoYo chief executive Sandy Duncan said in a statement. “It’s particularly good news for the Indie development community in that it will remove the complexity barrier that exists in delivering indie gaming experiences to PlayStation users.”
GameMaker offers studios a streamlined and easy-to-understand environment to build software. It isn’t as powerful as tools like the 3D game engine Unity, but it is more than enough for popular titles like Spelunky and Hotline Miami.
“We are pleased to be working with YoYo Games to deliver GameMaker: Studio for our PlayStation platforms,” Sony Computer Entertainment technology boss Teiji Yutaka said. “PlayStation users will soon be allowed to enjoy a wide variety of creative games including unique indie game titles from GameMaker’s growing global community of developers, which includes some of the most acclaimed independent talent in the world including indie development community.”