To help both gamers sheltered at home and independent game studios affected by the coronavirus pandemic, Sony Interactive president and CEO Jim Ryan unveiled the Play at Home Initiative on Tuesday morning.
“Play at Home has two components: first, providing free games to help keep the PlayStation community entertained at home; and finally, establishing a fund to help smaller independent game studios who may be experiencing financial difficulties continue building great experiences for all gamers,” Ryan said in a blog post.
As part of the initiative, PlayStation players will be able to download Naughty Dog’s Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection — a three-game collection that includes Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception — and Thatgamecompany’s 2012 indie adventure title Journey for free. Players will be able to download the games for no charge from April 15 at 8 p.m. PT through May 5.
Users in Germany and China will not have access to the Uncharted collection. Instead, users in those two countries will be granted free digital copies of 2017’s action game Knack 2 and Journey.
“We can’t imagine a better time for globe-trotting adventures with Nathan Drake, an iconic cast of characters, and thrilling treasure-hunting action gameplay,” Ryan said of the Uncharted collection, adding of Journey, “The game’s life-affirming message is timeless, and perhaps more important now than ever before.”
In addition to the free games, Sony Interactive has formed a $10 million fund to support independent game developers. “Independent developers are vital to the heart and soul of the gaming community and we understand the hardships and financial struggles that many smaller gaming studios are facing,” said Ryan.
More information about the fund, including criteria for participation, will be revealed at a later date.
“During these days of physical distancing, fans have turned to gaming for moments of respite and enjoyment,” said Ryan. “At Sony Interactive Entertainment, we are privileged to bring this much-needed entertainment.”