Making a profit on The Witness for PS4 not a priority, dev says

Jonathan Blow talks about the making of The Witness on PlayStation 4, discussing his new open-world and the reduced pressures of working as an indie developer.


Outspoken indie developer Jonathan Blow has given an update on his upcoming PS4-first title, The Witness, and enjoys the fact that being an indie developer lets him choose his own project and go as far out with its concept as he wants, completely free of publisher influence.

"We also have the freedom not to have to make a huge profit if we don't need to," Blow said in the latest "Conversations with Creators" video up on the PlayStation Blog. "I would definitely like to make our money back on this game and I would like to make a profit on it, but it's not actually the number one priority. The number one priority is to make the best possible game that we can make that brings the most beneficial experience to the players. That's absolutely number one."

Blow talks about the game's multiple layers and openness to interpretation, noting that it can be read as a puzzle game, a non-linear exploration game, or something else entirely. In fact, judging by the crude 1993 Super Metroid-style map and the typical FPS narrative template that's posted on the PS blog, Blow is clearly aiming for an entirely new open-world experience. It's a far-out concept, one that he partially credits to the pressure-free environment of the indie sector.

"The field of what's possible in games is so large that we can cast our fishing rod out into an area that nobody else is even looking at," said Blow. "The Witness is like that."

The game is set to arrive on PlayStation 4 shortly after the console's launch.

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Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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