Report: Some Developers Must Offer Free Game Trials to PlayStation Plus Premium Subscribers

The policy would apply to all non-VR games with a wholesale price of $34 or more.

Sony is reportedly asking developers to offer free trials of their games to PlayStation Plus Premium subscribers, Reported Game Developer tuesday. According to the policy, which was communicated via Sony’s Developer Portal, games with wholesale costs of at least $34 must offer a free trial – which cannot last less than two hours – for PS Plus Premium subscribers no additional cost.

According to the report, developers will have up to three months after a game’s launch to release a trial version, which must be available for at least 12 months.

However, there are some exceptions to this policy, the report asserts. For starters, any game with a wholesale price of less than $34 isn’t required to offer a trial, and no titles have yet been released on the PlayStation Store. Additionally, PlayStation VR titles – currently released or not – are also exempt from this rule.

So far, Sony has only communicated this policy to developers through its developer portal; no public announcement has yet been made, nor has Sony publicly commented on the leaked policy. Considering the imminent launch of PS Plus Premium in June, it seems likely that an official announcement isn’t too far away.

Following the release of Game Developer’s report, the policy raised quite a few eyebrows among developers due to the implication they might have to put in both additional resources and man-hours to create games. a demo that only premium subscribers on a platform could play. However, Kotaku’s Ethan Gach announced Wednesday that the PlayStation Store team would be the party responsible for setting up the trials, which means that the additional workload should not fall on the developers.

However, game developers have other reasons for concern. The existence of a trial does not necessarily guarantee a purchase, and there is no evidence that Sony will share its revenue from the subscription service with those who are forced to offer trials. While it’s hard to imagine this doing too much damage to big companies like Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft, or Electronic Arts, it’s clear that this policy could have a negative impact on indie developers, especially given the duration of the tests.

Many indie games are on the short side. For example, Sloclap’s kung fu brawler, Sifu, only lasts about 10 hours, and it can be even shorter if you quickly grasp the game’s combat mechanics. the pathless, an exclusive PlayStation console developed by studio Giant Squid, lasts only about five hours. By taking a two-hour slice out of such games, it’s possible that these trials end up revealing so much about particular titles that they drive away potential buyers – all while game studios receive no revenue from trials. what they are required to do. offer.

It’s worth noting that PS Plus Premium won’t launch until June 13. Until then, Sony may change the policy to make it more accommodating to indie developers, but there’s no guarantee that will be the case.

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Jon is a freelance journalist and guidebook writer whose work has been featured on Gamepur, Goomba Stomp, Game Rant and other sites. When he’s not playing games or writing, Jon enjoys reading, watching movies and taking his Cocker Spaniel to the park. You can reach him easily via Twitter.

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Christy J. Olson