Roll7's Olli Olli is an early highlight of 2014's Vita lineup. In the review I called it excellent, but suggested I wasn't willing to "put in the work" to best its most challenging levels - but my view on it has softened over the past few weeks. I should have noted its last two worlds are brutally challenging, called it excellent and left it at that - it's a great game for popping open and breezing a few runs in the earlier worlds just for the fun of it - and a nice interview over at VG24/7 sheds some light on how the game came to Vita, and what it was like for the small developer to work with Sony.
“After our first pitch to Sony they told us that we weren’t asking them for enough money… they said they liked what we pitched, but it wasn’t going to work with the amount of money we asked for. That’s not usually how it works, you usually get asked to do even more than you’ve pitched and then get hammered down on the price [laughs].”
Not only did Sony like the OlliOlli concept, but they had no interest in taking ownership of the game away from Roll7 – an approach that [director Tom] Hegarty believes has a lot to do with why indie studios are so willing to work with the platform holder.
“We always wanted to retain the rights to the game, but we didn’t have to argue that point with Sony. I think that’s how they’ve lured so many smaller studios to their platforms, and I think part of the idea behind what [Shahid Ahmad] has been running is to help developers like us to make that step to console development, because it is daunting and there are so many unknowns.”