Sony’s plans to close PS3, PSP, and PS Vita stores have affected not only gamers but also a lot of indie developers. They are at risk of losing games they spent years developing and their money forever.
The Gamer talked to a few independent developers who worked on games for PlayStation Vita over the last years. Some of them can lose years of development and projected income, while others are now trying to release their projects before the store will be closed forever.
Key takeaways from devs’ reactions
- John Berry, who developed Licky the Lucky Lizard Lives Again, says that the whole situation is “just the latest example of Sony’s failings when it comes to online infrastructure.” He also won’t be able to port the game to other platforms, as he is now making his next project.
- Another game designer, who worked on multiple PS Vita ports, thinks that it’s a “real shame” for Sony. “We’re at a point now where there shouldn’t even be a discussion about game preservation,” he said. He also adds that Sony leaves gamers with almost no choice besides piracy, and this is against Microsoft’s efforts towards backward compatibility.
- Pablo Checa, who released his first commercial game Task Force Kampas, estimates he might lose 20-40% of projected income after the PS Vita version becomes unavailable.
- Some developers were in the middle of the development when Sony announced its plans to close the PS Vita store. They now have to race against the clock to release games before the closure, or they will just lose the results of many years of work entirely.
- The architecture of PS Vita is also different from PS4 or Xbox, so indie developers and small studios had to spend additional time to make versions of their games on this platform.
- Lillymo Games had to cancel the PS Vita version of its upcoming game Forest Guardian, although developers used an old version of GameMaker intentionally to make the title available on the console.
The whole situation shows that most developers didn’t expect the sudden closure at all, as Sony hasn’t warned them about it beforehand.
First reports of Sony’s plans to close PS Vita, PS3, and PSP stores appeared more than a week ago. A few days later, the Japanese company silently killed off old web versions of these stores. It went on to confirm that the stores will be completely closed this summer.
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