Shocking news: Sony is just as bad at communicating with business partners as it is with consumers. At least, that seems to be the case a lot! Earlier this week, an update to the PlayStation Developer Portal — a kind of official forum for partners — revealed that going forward would require all games with a wholesale price of $34 or higher to include a two-hour trial. PS Plus Premium members to play.
This is one of the benefits of Sony’s new subscription tier, as announced earlier in the year, although we’re only just starting to get information on how it all works. There was some confusion around the original report, shared by the game developer, which suggested that studios might have to create demos manually. We wondered about it when the news first broke, and assumed that players would simply download the entire game, and be limited to two hours of gameplay. This is how it works with Play EA The current ten hour trials, for example, seem to be the case here.
Demos, according to reports, must be available within three months of the game’s release date — and must be available for a year. Again, all this is required, excluding PSVR games. Publishers can also create custom demos if they wish, but this requires additional resources of course.
The problem, according to additional reports from Kotaku, is that none of this has been properly communicated yet, and the developers and publishers are a little annoyed that they are apparently required to provide two hours of their titles to Sony without any compensation. Here’s the catch: PlayStation can sell its pricey subscription tier, £99.99 / $119.99 with this extra feature – but publishers, as we understand it, won’t see a cent of that money.
It must be emphasized that PS Plus Premium will be launched everywhere four weeks in parts of Asia, and a little more in the US. How is this information only merely To be shared with partners confuses us!
Of course, this is all good news for us! As consumers, it’s great to have the option to try out just about every game at a wholesale price of over $34 for two hours, without restrictions or limitations. But since there’s an argument that demos can actually reduce sales, we understand why some publishers and developers aren’t happy with that. Either way, it all sounds like another example of Sony’s cumbersome communications.