After yesterday’s industry-wide discussion of the cost of being visible on Sony’s PlayStation Store, Kotaku has heard from multiple independent developers and publishers expressing similar frustrations and fury. From a report: There were two main responses to our article yesterday highlighting one independent developer’s frustrations with working with Sony to sell games on the PlayStation store. The first was a confusing number of people convinced that this was somehow part of an underground conspiracy to destroy Sony. The second was many indie game developers and publishers getting in touch to say that, yes, wow, Sony are far harder to work with and sell games through than anywhere else.
It’s not possible to rationalize with the former group. We had confirmed hard figures on Sony’s fees for getting any visibility on the PlayStation’s in-built store, so we reported them. The conspiracy, disappointingly, ends there. However, the information about just how much worse it is for indies to work with Sony than Microsoft or Nintendo keeps piling in. “Oh yeah, so there’s Nintendo who supports you,” one such response begins. “[Then] Microsoft who supports you and [then] there is Sony who supports its own AAA machine and gives a fuck about everyone else.”
As Bloomberg reported in April, Sony shows extraordinary caution even with the games it makes itself, with an obsessive focus on blockbuster success. According to that article, the Japanese corporation is moving away from developing smaller in-house games, so fixated are they on only the largest games. It seems this lack of interest in smaller titles extends to third-party developers attempting to sell their games on the system. “Sony does not understand what indie means,” an independent publisher tells me under the condition of anonymity, via Twitter DMs. “Not at all. For them indie is something in the lower million budgets.”