Sony Interactive Entertainment is encouraging PlayStation 4 (PS4) owners to play at home throughout the coronavirus pandemic by giving away two games for free to gamers and $10 million for indie game developers.
Players would be able to download Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection and Journey. Both PS4 games would be free to download - no PlayStation Plus required - and loose to hold forever beginning Apr. 15, 11:00 p.m. ET/ 8:00 p.m. PT.
The offerings are a bit unique in Germany and China, where game enthusiasts can snag Knack 2 and Journey gratis. If you claim the games by May 5 at 8:00 p.m. PT, they will be yours for good. But getting them to your console might take longer than you'd generally expect, as Sony temporarily capped download speeds in the United States and Europe.
Why free games?
Organizers had canceled E3 this year to inspire gamers to stay in their homes amid the coronavirus pandemic. Even the World Health Organization (WHO) said staying home to play video games could be an effective way to live physically isolated while remaining socially connected.
Hence, Sony Interactive president and CEO Jim Ryan unveiled the Play at Home Initiative to help both gamers and indie game developers affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
While offering a handful of PlayStation games released for years might not be the most impactful gesture from Sony, the move is sure to help ease the minds of at least some players.
The Japanese multinational corporation has also released a $10 million fund "to help independent game studios who might be experiencing financial challenges," although the company hasn't made details about how it will disburse the money yet.
Sony seems to be committing greater to indie builders for the PS5 generation, too. Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida had recently been appointed as the new indie division chief.
"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.
The CEO said fans have turned into playing games for moments of respite and enjoyment amid social distancing. "At Sony Interactive Entertainment, we are privileged to bring this much-needed entertainment," he added.
Announcing the Play At Home initiative: https://t.co/pOn3hJ7poI Stay safe and pick up Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection and Journey for free from April 15 through May 5 #PlayAtHome pic.twitter.com/BSlbcwosgU — PlayStation (@PlayStation) April 14, 2020
The Nathan Drake Collection, according to HowLongToBeat, supplies game enthusiasts around 30 hours of entertainment, and as much as 60 hours for those "completionists" out there.
"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.
Journey has great replay value and has a superb gaming experience. Ryan said Journey's life-affirming message is timeless, and perhaps more important now than ever before."