Developers are voicing concerns about PlayStation Network’s plans, as users anticipate the service’s full return.
After a month-long outage, Sony announced the PlayStation Store will return May 24 with a twice-per-week publishing schedule. As part of the “Welcome Back appreciation program,” PSN is offering two free games to users. These two things might have consumers’ best interests in mind, but developers are unhappy with how this might affect their profits.
“Everyone now gets games for free (including our Dead Nation and Super Stardust HD), so people might just play the free games for a while,” said Ilari Kuittinen, CEO of Outland developer Housemarque. “By the time they are ready to buy something, Outland is maybe old news.”
However, Kuittinen said his biggest concern is whether some PSN users will return to the Network and store at all after the recent security scare.
A developer of a “high profile new PSN game,” who chose to remain anonymous, told Edge that the accelerated publishing schedule will not work in developers’ favor: “As a developer, I feel very sorry for those teams that did try to release their titles during the PSN outage window. Beyond that, I feel sorry for those that are attempting to launch games in the days following the outage, as there will likely be such a backlog of traffic that it may be hard to be noticed in the flurry of ‘get everything back up and running’.”
PSN’s rush to get back on schedule and the “Welcome Back” program may please consumers (“may” being the key word), but developers’ main concern is how to make a profit on a platform that hasn’t existed for over a month.
During the outage, Q-Games, developers of the PixelJunk games, posted on its Twitter account: “The PSN outage is starving us and our fans! Support us by considering a PixelJunk shirt at ThinkGeek.”
Perhaps the post was tongue-in-cheek, but, nevertheless, it is reflective of the uphill battle other PSN developers face as they unleash their belated releases upon the masses, later this month.