With Sony’s current plans for the new PlayStation Plus subscription model, they decided to make other changes along with it. In the PlayStation Plus Premium tier at $18 a month, it includes time-limited game trails. However, many games lack these demos that make this tier worthwhile. So instead, Sony’s decided to require all developers that have a wholesale cost of $34 or higher to create time-limited game trials.
PlayStation Plus Premium requirements
Time-limited game trials must be at least two hours long according to Sony’s policy. Games under the $34 wholesale value needn’t worry about creating these trials. However, developers at least have up to three months to release their timed trial after game launch on the PlayStation Store. Trials must be available to PlayStation Plus Premium users for at least 12 months.
According to Sony’s policy, they will allow some flexibility. A case-by-case basis may approve custom game demos rather than the time-limited trials. Developers may also still publish game trials, custom demos, and free weekends accessible to all PlayStation users.
It could mean trouble for small developers
Sony informed developers about this change through Sony’s developer portal. Sources suggest developers haven’t been informed through any other means of communications. For large publishers like Square Enix, this change comes with little difficulty. However, for smaller game publishers and indie developers, this means more time and resources they may not have. For smaller games, two hours could mean a lot of the game’s content.
Additionally, while these trials can be great to test a game out, it doesn’t assure players will actually buy into the game. Again, for large companies, this probably isn’t a big issue, but for smaller developers, it could be. The payoff may not be worth it depending on the kind of game being made.
Feedback on Sony’s new policies returns rather mixed from developers. Understandable, given their resources, time, and money go into the games themselves. We’ll have to see how this policy continues to develop in the future and if it’ll stick in the long run with the rollout of the new PlayStation Plus Premium subscription service.
Via, Game Developer.