Here’s a little morning irony for you: while one arm of Sony refuses to budge on cross-platform online play in games like Rocket League, another arm is helping bring indie titles to mobile devices, PC, and even the “rival” Nintendo Switch. How’d this all happen? USgamer’s Mike Williams summed it up pretty well this morning:
“Sony Music reached into its animation subsidiary Aniplex to create and publish to [sic] mobile games in Japan: Fate/Grand Order and Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story. The former is a smash hit in Japan and just launched in North America a few months ago. The latter title is also doing really well for Sony Music.”
That surprise success has spawned a new publishing label for Sony Music Entertainment Japan, Unties. The group’s goal is to find and release unique independently-developed games on an array of platforms and not just PlayStation.
“The name ‘Unties’ comes from the thought ‘to unleash the excellent talents of unique game creators all over the world’,” reads the press release translated by Gematsu. “And setting creators free from the various shackles of game publishing, named from the intention of realizing publishing that is freedom of production without restraints.”
It all looks and sounds very fallopian to me and I’m going to have to delve into that through therapy some day but despite my personal hangups, the lineup makes for a diverse start. There’s Tiny Metal, a colorful RTS game reminiscent of Advance Wars which is fitting as it’s the one title announced for the Nintendo Switch as well as PlayStation 4 and PC.
There’s Deemo Reborn for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VR, an expansion of the recent Nintendo Switch version which itself is based on the 2013 mobile rhythm game. Last Standard looks to be a one-on-one fighting game played from the third-person, over-the-shoulder perspective with an emphasis on learning how each weapon functions and how best to dodge, parry, and counter it. No platforms have been named yet but given the action in this brief trailer it could work just as well as a touch-based phone game as a console fighter. Finally, there’s Merkava Avalanche which has been on Steam Greenlight since last November. It’s a peculiar one, looking like a 3D brawler where teams of gold plated, two-wheeled, robotic centaurs grapple and joust against one another in vast environments.
All of this is happening in Japan to start so the details are a little hard to discern at the moment. But the news of Sony publishing games on non-PlayStation platforms couldn’t go unreported, even by this dormant blog.