According to game industry journalist Jason Schreier, the PlayStation indie support team is apparently “severely understaffed.” Sony has been under the microscope in the past few months for its business practices. Earlier this year, a document in the ongoing Apple vs. Epic legal case revealed that Epic and other developers have to pay Sony for cross-play multiplayer on PlayStation. Then, news broke that the blue brand is more focused on producing blockbuster titles rather than experimentation. Now, a new report reveals that Sony is charging $25,000 for visibility on the PS Store. PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan has refuted this in several interviews, claiming the brand is committed to experimentation.
Indie game developers took to Twitter to confirm the report, stating that sales on PlayStation are the worst compared to other platforms. Adding fuel to the fire was the reveal of Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut coming to PS4 and PS5 in August. According to PlayStation.blog, players will have to pay $19.99 for the DLC on PS4 and another $9.99 to upgrade to the PS5 version of the game. While some justify the purchase, many are upset that the PS5 upgrade isn’t free like other games have been.
Lots of talk (and headlines) about Sony charging $25,000 for store placement but that's not what matters. The real story, as I've heard both from indie devs and Sony folks, is that PlayStation's support team for indies is severely understaffed. Their priority is big blockbusters https://t.co/3jWJwWEYtW
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) July 2, 2021
Schreier’s post on Twitter reaffirms that Sony’s focus for PlayStation is to create blockbuster titles rather than supporting smaller third-party developers. As a result of this focus, the indie support team is “severely understaffed” and is the reason for the frustrations of indie developers. These frustrations include slow response times to questions and even longer processes of implementing discounts on the storefront. Former PlayStation CEO Shuhei Yoshida, who stepped down in 2019, leads the PlayStation Indies division. Yoshida has yet to issue a statement on the matter.
Although the reports paint Sony in a bad light, it is important to know that other companies charge for visibility. Microsoft is said to implement similar strategies for Xbox and is currently trying to lead a new AAA game charge with its more than 20 developers in Xbox Game Studios. That isn’t to say that either company is wrong or right, but Sony isn’t the only one with questionable business decisions in the industry.