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Developers express ire over PlayStation's promotional policies

A number of smaller developers are sharing details today about seemingly unfavorable conditions selling games on the PlayStation store.

Bryant Francis, Senior Editor

June 30, 2021

2 Min Read

A number of developers appear to be speaking out about the quality of support (or lack thereof) from Sony in regards to pricing and placing games on the PlayStation store.

As with all things happening on Twitter you have to pick through a few threads to find the key details, but the gist is this: numerous developers are alleging that Sony offers little support when indie developers want to put their games on sale or meaningfully promote their game in the PlayStation store at launch.

These facts originally came from Neon Doctrine co-founder Iain Garner (who obliquely identified Sony here as Platform X) but were compounded by statements from Red Thread Games CEO Ragnar Tornquist, Hypnospace Outlaw developer Jay Tholen, Whitethorn Games CEO Matthew White, and Those Awesome Guys project manager Cristian Botea.

Kotaku was able to verify some of Garner’s numbers, including the $25,000 price tag for higher-visibility promotion on the PlayStation store (though they note Microsoft commands a similar price, just with better launch support).

Garner notes that Sony apparently has spent a lot of effort directing developers to submit to be featured on the PlayStation Blog and social media, but those promotions don’t translate to a lot of sales.

White shared a highly revealing sales chart showing that “Nolan North” platform (another reference to Sony by way of the Nolan North-starring Uncharted series) barely make up for much of their sales.

It’s not exactly a guarantee that any game on any platform will sell well or not, but with multiple developers weighing in on how Sony’s lack of support directly correlates to a weak percentage of their overall sales, it’s worth noting that Sony appears to be lacking in the amount of storefront support that Steam, Microsoft, and Nintendo all provide.

This seems especially ironic given how much indie games were put front-and-center during the PlayStation 4’s launch era just 8 years ago.

We’ve reached out to Sony to ask for comment, and will update this story if they respond.

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