Sony has a major problem on the PlayStation Store with games listed as shovelware. For those who don’t know, shovelware is a game developed simply to make a few dollars by slapping together horrible assets and gameplay into cheap packages. Remember back in the day when you used to buy Super Nintendo Game cartridges that contained “1000-in-1” games but every game was the same? That is shovelware. The PlayStation Store has become rife with the nonsense and Sony is cracking down on the issue.
Not only does Sony have shovelware games in its sights but the company is also going after easy platinum trophy and reskinned games. Both are issues in the store. Developers would often slap together a horrible game and pile it with 53 trophies in order to get players to purchase the game just so they can earn a platinum within a few minutes.
The document reads:
“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. 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.”
Partner Requirements & Allowances
When SIE reviews the content submitted to PlayStation™Store, products that have the following characteristics are identified as “spam” or “repetitive” content:
Products whose functionality and/or assets are copied or are not meaningfully different from products already published on PlayStation™Store, irrespective of the publisher of record.
Multiple concepts and product variants, published by individual partners, that have duplicative functionality or experiences, differentiated only by minor variances of functionality or assets.
o Where possible, partners should consider aggregating small, similar content experiences into a single product, using in-game commerce to expand or extend the experience.
o As an example, supplying different trophies for each product is not enough to differentiate content.”
If any of the devs break these things mentioned above, Sony Playstation has said the following in that letter about the actions in place:
Content or partners found to have breached policy may be subject to the following enforcement actions:
- Content Excluded from PlayStation™Store Merchandising
- Discoverability on PlayStation™Store is restricted.
- Content does not feature in automatic merchandising placements, such as the “New Releases” strand.
- Content Delisted from PlayStation™Store
- Content is not searchable and can only be accessed via direct link on web and mobile stores.
- Impact on CertOps Process
- Content is not permitted to proceed to publication until policy violations are rectified.
- Review slot availability is affected.
- Content Takedown
- Content is removed from PlayStation™Store until policy violations are rectified.
- PlayStation®Partners Account Suspension or Termination
- Multiple rejections or takedowns may result in the suspension or eventual termination of a partner’s PlayStation Partners account.
- Suspension limits the ability to submit and publish new content. Existing published content can remain on PlayStation™Store, if that content complies with SIE policies.
- Termination of an account results in the removal of all content from PlayStation™Store.
We don’t know when Sony will start removing these spam games from the store but it is a step in the right direction.