Indie developers have taken to the controls of their social networks to talk about a platform that gives them more than one headache: PlayStation. Apparently, their games sell significantly worse on the Sony platform, and they have been in charge of exposing some of the problems they face in this system. The conversation started Iain Garner, co-founder of the development studio Neon Doctrine (Hazel Sky, wailing).
OK. I am mad enough to burn some bridges. Because honestly, what’s the point of a bridge that I am not allowed to cross.
So here is a thread about Platform X. I will not be defining Platform X but it’s the operator of a very successful console and does not have Games Pass! pic.twitter.com/OJ2ZJz9BNy— Iain Garner (@NeonIain) June 30, 2021
From indies games and PlayStation
Garner exposed in an extensive Twitter thread his complaints about what he called “Platform X”. The first of the drawbacks that this developer finds is that this console (which he claimed was not Nintendo Switch, so it only remained that he was referring to PlayStation) lacks a similar service to Xbox Game Pass, an option that has proven to be increasingly viable for developers. “Not defining what Platform X is, but it is the operator of a very successful console and does not have a Games Pass!”, Argued Garner.
On the other hand, another point to discuss is the fact that PlayStation dictates whether a discount can be offered for a game or not, according to Garner. This prevents independent studios from being able to synchronize discounts on all platforms: your title may be discounted on Steam or Switch, but not on PlayStation, which makes the product less likely to achieve sales on the console. Sony because PlayStation users have to pay more. “If Platform X does not like your game, you are left without fanfare, without introductions, without love”, he maintains.
There is NOTHING you can do to fix this.
Wishlists have no effect, so all your personal marketing means nothing to Platform X.
All that matters is their evaluation. How is this evaluation done? Dunno, they don’t share that, nor will they share the value they ascribe to my game— Iain Garner (@NeonIain) June 30, 2021
“Less than 3% of sales as a company are made on Platform X”
In this way, it is distilled that These games could get more sales on PlayStation if Sony were willing to give them more promotion, as Garner argues. But he claims that developers “have to beg and plead for any level of promotion.” Garner’s complaints were joined by Matthew White of the White Thorn Games studio: “Less than 3% of sales as a company are made on Platform X”.
In this sense, White maintains: “Platform X is our worst performing platform, worse than other video game systems related to well-known plumbers or supersoldiers, and also worse than DRM-free sales platforms such as Itch, etc. days or weeks “to reply to emails. “We do not have visibility or communication of what happens on Platform X”.
Alright, I’m gonna unfortunately throw my hat in here as well. We **love** our Platform X friends, and I’m former Platform X employee myself, but we cannot move the needle on the platform.
Lack of services like Game Pass, little promotion and difficult communication are some of the highlights
Garner and White aren’t the first indie developers to mention the low sales on PlayStation: Last year, Mike Rose of No More Robots claimed that PS4 sales for Nowhere Prophet they were only 5% of those of Nintendo Switch. Echoing Garner’s thread, Rose stated the following: “The reason you don’t see more threads like this is because the developers are too concerned to say it publicly,” Rose wrote on Twitter. “But believe me when I say that the vast majority of developers are reading that thread and nodding their heads violently“.
The point is even more surprising when you consider that PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 have a large player base, which is in contrast to the fact that they are the worst platforms in terms of sales for indie studios. Garner settles the matter by saying that “You have no idea how to be successful on this platform”. It is possible that as more and more developers bring up issues like these, It will be interesting to see if PlayStation makes any changes to this; and if, in the future, indie studios begin to turn their backs on Platform X when publishing their games.