Sony Wants to Repair its Relationship With its Indie Partners - IGN
Back in July, a number of indie publishers publicly called out Sony for its apparent ongoing dismissal of the immense challenges facing small developers trying to publish games on PlayStation. While publicly Sony offered no official comment on these complaints at the time, it appears that the company was quietly listening after all -- and has recently begun to take some action.
Looking back at our conversations with these publishers at the time, a number of key issues were brought to light. Sony, indie publishers and developers said, had overly complex tools and forms, unclear processes, and poor communication with its indie partners when it came to getting answers, guidance, or issues resolved. They also expressed that while discoverability was an industry-wide issue, Sony was at best indifferent or at worst actively adversarial to these struggles, making PlayStation a very challenging platform for indie game sales.
IGN has obtained a copy of a document entitled "2021 Global Partner Survey Results," which was sent out to a number of Sony's partner publishers and developers as a follow-up to a survey that was conducted sometime prior. The findings document is short -- only three pages long -- and does not specifically mention the public complaints from this past summer. But it does identify three target areas for "continued improvement" based on the results of the survey, all of which directly correspond to issues the indie publishers brought up on social media and in articles.
"They were obviously crushed at the news, and 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," he says. "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."
On the discoverability front, change is a bit slower, but there's still movement. Logan mentioned a new fund that Sony has rolled out recently that helps indie developers get their games to PlayStation by financing porting costs. He described the terms as "very friendly" and only required an announcement of the game's release on the platform and release parity with any other platforms.