At E3 2017, Microsoft announced that it was bringing cross-platform play in Minecraft to the PC, console, and mobile. However, the PlayStation was notably left out from this feature, and it was later revealed that the culprit behind this was Sony itself. PlayStation global sales and marketing head Jim Ryan stated that it had rejected Microsoft's offer for cross-play because Sony has to be "mindful of our responsibility to our install base". Microsoft's Phil Spencer took insult to the statement, saying that Ryan was implying that Xbox Live services are not suitable for younger audiences.
Now, it appears that the same Sony executive is at it again, making a statement that not only takes a shot at Microsoft, but may also be damaging to the image of Sony itself.
In what appears to be another jab at Microsoft, Sony's Jim Ryan has stated in an interview that he doesn't believe that indie games are as relevant as they were before. His statement reads as follows:
One of the things we have realized is that these video collages of ten indie games shown in a minute, is almost meaningless. Nobody can really learn anything about the games in that sort of time. It is almost viewed as wasted time.
There was a time and a place, in the early stages of the life of PS4, to make statements. It was more about making a statement that we are serious about the indies, and that we are doing this and that with the indies.
[...] It was just good to talk about in 2013/2014. It is less relevant now. We have VR to talk about now, for example.
It is important to note that at E3 2017, Microsoft showed off trailers for no less than 42 upcoming games, many of which were indie titles.
The statement from the Sony executive does not only imply that most of Microsoft's conference can be "almost viewed as wasted time", but could also be damaging to the image of Sony itself. This is due to the fact that the platform boasts many popular indie titles that have elevated various genres to new heights, including Rime, Limbo, Inside, and Don't Starve, among others.
Understandably, many Microsoft executives have taken offense to the statement, with the director of ID@Xbox program, Chris Charla, stating that:
Games from independent developers are more relevant and important today than they ever have been.— Chris Charla (@iocat) June 20, 2017
All in all, it'll be interesting to see how indie developers respond to Jim Ryan's controversial statement, as not only does it target Microsoft's E3 showing, but takes aim at the efforts of indie developers as well.