• Marion Choufa

Sony's charging at least $25,000 for PSN Store visibility

It is during an angry thread on Twitter, that independent games publisher, Iain Garner, from Neon Doctrine exposed Sony's unfair business practices.

Event though he doesn't clearly mention the Japanese firm, he specifies that the 'Platform X' is "the operator of a very successful console and does not have Games Pass".

Garner explains in his thread how hard it can be to publish a game for the PSN Store and how limited control publishers have over their game once it's on the platform. No transparent game's evaluation, no say over promotion, and 'very limited' discounts based on 'invites only'...

Cherry on the cake, if you want to give a little boost to your game sales, all you have to do is pay a 'reasonable' amount of $25,000 for extra visibility! Of course, you'll still have to share 30% of your subsequent earnings with the platform.

However, Sony might not be the only one with the same business practices. According to Kotaku, similar payment schemes are also the norm for Microsoft and its Xbox Store. Expect to pay fees that can reach six figures for a weekend's promotion...

While big publishers have the means to easily cover those marketing costs, small indie studios are far from being able to afford this.

Asked by Kotaku, Garner explained the reason why he felt he had to speak out after his recent call with 'Platform X':

“Platform X is letting down indies on a massive scale while using us as a key part of their marketing, [...] The recent call I had showed that they had no regard for us, our opinions or our livelihoods. What’s worse is that it ensures that their customers get a worse deal and have less options. I don’t understand the logic but it seems to be bad for everyone including them.”

Sony, who was not directly mentioned by Garner but by Kotaku, hasn't commented yet.

What's your opinion about it? Do you think the declaration will change things? Do you agree with 'Platform X' practices? Let us know in the comment section below!