Earlier this year, PlayStation were scrutinized for their treatment of indie developers. According to many, getting their games on the platform was an incredibly arduous (and even costly) process, though they weren’t promised the necessary marketing either. Now, PlayStation is aiming to repair their relationship with indie developers, starting with being more transparent.
IGN recently attained Sony’s 2021 Global Partner Survey Results, were indie game developers were discussed as a point of interest. While PlayStation didn’t directly address the comments or criticisms levelled at them, they stated that their first step was to improve communications with smaller studios while reducing the complexity involved for them to get their titles on the platform.
One of the criticisms raised was Sony’s lackluster support of indie games during sales (a persistent problem on both PS4 and PS5), which made it difficult for players to find unless they scrolled through several pages of discounted titles. AAA or big-budget games often received preference on initial pages, with indie games mostly being shoved into the background. PlayStation is now aiming to improve discoverability of indie games on the storefront and during sales.
Lastly, Sony also promised to improve their ticketing system and customer service, which gives indie developers a clearer line of communication with the company regarding any queries or complaints.
A few indie developers have already spoken up about these changes. David Logan, chief executive officer from Akupara Games, told IGN:
“It was clear that the account managers at Sony had been working hard for a long time to push through a lot of the ideas the indie developers flagged in our initial discussions. After the articles, that seemed to give a huge boost to initiatives they had already been planning, because rapidly after Sony started rolling out a bunch of big changes.”
While it’s far from perfect, these changes are welcomed and should give indie developers an easier time when trying to get their games on PlayStation. Sony promising to open up communications more effectively is also a positive change as the company has been called out for basically shutting out indie studios in favour of bigger developers.