Sony has created a new publishing house under the Sony Music Entertainment arm. The division is called “Unties” and is looking to publish video games for the Switch, PC and PlayStation 4 platforms.
Sony has been somewhat standoffish towards its competitors as of late, especially regarding the allowance of cross-platform play on the PlayStation 4, so it seems a bit strange that they would produce games for Nintendo. However, the decision to publish on the Switch may have more to do with the fact that Sony does not consider it to be a direct competitor to its own console.
The looming discontinuation of Sony handheld gaming systems may also be a contributing factor to the decision. Sony might be looking to stay in the portable market, even if it is only from a software standpoint.
Unties' first title will be Tiny Metal, a tactical war game in the vein of Warbits or Advance Wars, for the Switch, PC and PlayStation 4. It is being developed by indie developer Area 35 and will launch on November 21.
It is not a coincidence that the first game under the Unties label is from an independent developer. According to Sony, that is precisely why the publishing arm was created. The aim is to take the hassle of publishing off the shoulders of independent developers so they can focus on what they do best — making games.
“With the evolution of digital publishing, it has become possible to distribute homebrew titles globally,” says the Unties website. “This has brought forth a trend of indie game development in Europe and the United States.”
Unties wants to leverage the distribution power of Sony Music Entertainment to help smaller studios get noticed. Sony’s goal is not entirely altruistic, however, as Unties will undoubtedly take a cut of the sales (whatever that might be). It actually sounds like it is not too different from the models used by Apple and Google with their app stores.
In addition to Tiny Metal, Unties has announced three other games.
DEEMO Reborn is an action title that will be released on the PS4. The developer, Rayark, says the game will support PSVR. It has released a trailer that includes game engine footage but there is no release date set yet.
Last Standard and Merkava Avalanche are also 3D action titles being developed by IFromJapan and WinterCrownWorks, respectively. Based on the trailers, Last Standard looks to be a weapon fighting game and Merkava Avalanche appears to be a type of mech battling MOBA. Release dates for both games are still pending.