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New PlayStation Store rules prohibit release of shovelware games

Say goodbye to the days of buying games with ridiculously easy Platinum trophies.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

November 22, 2022

2 Min Read
Logo for Sony PlayStation Store.

A document sent to Dex.Exe shows that Sony is cracking down on games with easy to earn Platinum trophies on the PlayStation Store. Sony reportedly sent a letter to game developers with guidelines now prohibiting the release of such games on its marketplace.

In Sony's letter, these games (commonly called shovelware) are now considered "spam" by PlayStation's new standards. This includes products that are essentially the same as others on the PlayStation Store, with minimal difference and regardless of publisher.

Should developers not follow the new PlayStation guidelines, Sony warned that the offending game will have its visibility on the PS Store greatly reduced.

These new guidelines also come some months after the launch of Sony's PlayStation Stars program. Some of that program's rewards are tied to earning certain types of PlayStation Trophies, which means Sony has extra reason to cut down on the shovelware.

"SIE strives to ensure that customers can search and discover the full breadth of experiences on PlayStation, and that partners have a fair means of being discovered," states the letter.

The majority of games ask players to meet specific requirements to get a Trophy, but there are also titles where reaching 100 percent completion is incredibly easy. Sony's new guidelines make it harder for developers of shovelware titles to game the system and have their title reach visibility on the PS Store.

"When partners oversaturate or 'spam' PlayStation Store with many variants of the same type of content, it can negatively impact both the customer and partner experience."

Sony also warned that trying to differentiate products by giving different trophies to them would be an insufficient way of distinction. "Where possible, partners should consider aggregating small, similar content experiences into a single product, using in-game commerce to expand or extend the experience."

A game that fails to comply with PlayStation's standards may be removed from the Store until developers have made changes in line with Sony's standards. Should multiple rejections and takedowns occur, the developer will have its PlayStation Partners account suspended or terminated completely.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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