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Does PlayStation Store not like indies? A developer says so



Does PlayStation Store not like indies? A developer says so

Iain Garner of the independent studio Neo Doctrine recently published a post explaining how difficult and prohibitive it is for small studios to publish on the most successful consoles.. Garner does not mention specific names, but based on what he said, it is quite clear that the developer is referring to Sony and the PlayStation Store, where promoting your game can go as far as cost up to $ 200,000, a rather prohibitive figure for indie developers.

PlayStation Store: prohibitive platform for indie developers

Sony usually maintains some confidentiality regarding its financial arrangements and this is especially true when it comes to PlayStation and its digital store. Despite this, a long series of Tweets written by Iain Garner, developer of the independent studio Neo Doctrine, appeared on Twitter in the past few hours, who describes in some detail the process of publishing your game on PlayStation Store.

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Even the developer never names the platform he is talking about, specifying that it is neither a Microsoft service nor a Nintendo, leaving little doubt about the object of his criticisms. The market logic described by the creative is particularly harsh on indie developers.

“If he has Platform X he doesn’t like your game, he won’t do anything – explains Garner – developers are not offered any possibility to manage their own games. To get the promotion you have to jump through hoops, beg for any level of promotion. And the blog isn’t as good as they think it is ”.

Garner then continues, entering into the process of publishing his title on PSN, which includes the creation of a post on the official PlayStation blog and loading a trailer designed specifically for the reference platform. In addition to this, the discounts on the software require the approval of the manager, which is particularly detrimental to indies, which often offer a reduced introductory price to encourage sales.

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The costs of visibility

But Garner’s real problem lies in another aspect of PSN. After explaining how cumbersome it can be to publish a title on the PlayStation store, the developer specifies that all of these steps can be partially skipped. The method is very simple: just pay a minimum of $ 25,000 to ensure that the game is well advertised in terms of visibility on the platform.

This particular stake would be “antiquated and frustrating” according to Garner, given that an independent firm is unlikely to have such economic autonomy. We have no doubt that this is true, but there is also market saturation to consider.

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On Steam, around 50 new independent games come out every day, while on the Switch we have an average of 30 per month. It is no surprise that PlayStation opts for such binding solutions for its store, given how much Sony has shown that it is primarily interested in the triple A market.

Of course, a partial solution to the problem would be to create a section entirely dedicated to independent games, given that these industry logics are in effect deleterious for all small studioswhose growth could thus be cut short in the bud.

Perhaps in the near future something will change in the policies of the industry giants, but for the moment stories like those of Iain Garner are on the agenda.