Sony might be planning to improve its relationship with indie developers and publishers. According to the global partner survey’s results, the company wants to fix some of PlayStation’s problems, including bad communication and poor discoverability.
The issues between Sony and indie developers caused debate in July when Neon Doctrine co-founder Ian Garner opened up about his experience of working with PlayStation.
His words were backed by other indie developers, who cited poor discoverability of new titles in the PS Store, outdated tools, difficulties of participating in sales, and issues with games promotion among the most obvious problems.
Although Sony hasn’t publicly acknowledged or commented on any of these issues, the company reportedly has been taking the first steps to change the situation for the better. PlayStation’s plans were revealed in the “2021 Global Partner Survey Results” document obtained by IGN.
It doesn’t specifically mention the need to improve its relationship with indie partners but highlights three areas for “continued improvement.” And these steps are in line with concerns previously raised by developers:
- Sony will improve communication channels and provide its partners with more information about its operations;
- Developers and publishers will be able to analyze sales, engagement, and promotion better, with Sony also promising to fix the discoverability issues;
- The company will update its toolset, making its tickets system, documentation, and customer service better.
Some indie developers IGN spoke with said that they have already felt the improvement in some areas:
- Communications became faster as the response times have reduced from several months to just five days (most tickets are closed within the first 24-48 hours);
- Sony started treating indie developers better, with Ian Garner saying that Neon Doctrine’s new game Lamentum was featured on PlayStation’s official YouTube channel;
- On top of launching a $10 million fund for indie developers, the company is working on other initiatives to help small studios port their titles to PlayStation.
However, developers think that PlayStation still has a lot of work to do. They still have to be invited by Sony to participate in sales. For example, Akupara Games managed to hold a 5th-anniversary sale across all platforms except for PlayStation.