Independent developers say their games don’t sell on PlayStation

Independent game developers claim their games are selling significantly less well on PlayStation consoles than on other platforms. The conversation was started on Twitter by Iain Garner, co-founder of Neon Doctrine. Today Garner presented a long thread of grievances with what he called “Platform X”. Garner first said that Platform X “does not have a Game Pass” and then said the console in question was not Nintendo Switch. Garner went on to outline a number of issues with PlayStation and how the company is forcing independent developers to “jump through the hoops”. Notably, PlayStation dictates whether a discount can be offered for a game, preventing independent developers from syncing discounts across all platforms. As a result, PlayStation users have to pay more.

Following Garner’s thread, Matthew White, CEO of White Thorn Games stepped in. White shared a pie chart showing that less than 3% of the company’s sales are made on the X platform. White, however, used smart names to indicate which console is which clearly shows it s. this is PlayStation. According to the graph, Switch sales made up the majority of the company’s profits, with Xbox coming second, then Steam, then PlayStation. This pie chart can be found in the embedded Tweet below.

It stands to reason that these games could perform better on PlayStation if Sony were more willing to promote these games, but Garner says developers should “beg and advocate for any level of promotion.” Garner and White aren’t the first independent developers to cite low sales and difficulty managing PlayStation. Last year, Mike Rose of No More Robots claimed that PS4 sales for Prophet of nowhere were only 5% of those on Nintendo Switch. In a new Tweet today following Garner’s thread, Rose made her thoughts on the matter pretty clear.

“The reason you don’t see more threads like this is because the developers are too worried to say it publicly,” Rose wrote on Twitter. “But believe me when I say the vast majority of developers are reading this thread and nodding their heads violently.”

Considering the sheer number of PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 users, it’s a bit alarming that sales of indie games continue to deteriorate. Garner says he has “no idea how to be successful on this platform.” As more developers cite such issues, it will be interesting to see whether or not some choose to avoid PlayStation altogether. Obviously, the system put in place by Sony does not work for independent developers. If these same developers must therefore withdraw support from PlayStation, it is the fans who will end up missing the next one. Underworld, Knight Shovel, or Subtitle.

Are you a developer who has struggled with PlayStation? What do you think of the situation mentioned by Garner, White and Rose? Let us know in the comments or share directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk about everything related to games!

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