GDC09; Sony will match your development budget – if you go PSN exclusive
Sony bashing across the net surged back to its usual level of noise and enmity last week with the news that, since October, Sony have been asking publishers to foot the bill of consumers downloading their content from the PSN.
We ran the story ourselves and argued from both sides of the divide; quoting the current economic conditions Sony find themselves operating a free online service in, but also how this could be seen as a gross disincentive for smaller publishers when considering the PSN as a viable platform.
It looks like Sony aren’t as crazy as we thought they were (ed: isn’t that usually the case?) with the company’s announcement of their new “Pub Fund”.
How does it work? Well, take your budget for that new digitally distributed game you’ve been so diligently working on. If you decide to release it only on the PSN, Sony will match it.
Reported over at GamesIndustry.biz, Chris Eden, Sony’s development relations manager, announced to the audience at GDC a new endeavour to help smaller publishers with what they are referring to as “Pub Fund”:
“It’s all very well for us as platform holders to say ‘put all your money into PlayStation Network, it’s a fantastic idea’, but are we prepared to put our money where our mouth is? The answer is yes. We’re looking for a number of great games, and in return for exclusivity we’ll match your development budget with guaranteed royalties.”
Is this Sony’s way of paying for exclusivity, something they have been at pains to remind people is a practice they will not engage in? In a way, it is. But in another more twisted, and probably legally binding way, considering where the rights of the IP remain, it is not. Eden explains the concept by stating:
“A really important thing to point out is that this is not first-party publishing, this is not Sony buying your product. You’ll be the publisher, you’ll own the IP and you’ll control your product. This is assisting you to make your next step from developer to publisher.”
The first game to avail of this new relationship with the development community was Doublesix’s Burn Zombie Burn! which hit the PSN yesterday. We’re promised that Sony are “looking for a great many more titles” to join the scheme.