The upcoming PSN bloodbath--and why it's unavoidable
by Andrew Yoon, shacknews.com, Oct 5, 2012 12:30PM PDT
Next week, a number of high-profile indies will go head-to-head on the PlayStation Store. Derrick the Deathfin, Machinarium, Retro City Rampage, Joe Danger The Movie, and SunFlowers are just a few of the downloadable titles that will be available come Tuesday. But not only are they competing against each other, they must compete with new titles available via the Day 1 Digital program--namely, Dishonored.
"If I was one of those devs, I would be pissed," PSNStores.com tweeted. Not only must these indie devs compete for limited gaming dollars, they must compete for valued promotional spots on the PlayStation Store. Landing on the day that Dishonored arrives means that none are likely to get the top slot on the PlayStation Store--the PSN's most valuable piece of virtual real estate.
Speaking at a Sony-sponsored panel at IndieCade, Sony's Brian Silva, the man in charge of indie-oriented Pub Fund, admitted that next week's schedule is crowded. However, he argued that this was actually the best time to release for these games. "We put so many games there because of The Unfinished Swan," he said. Backed with the considerable marketing prowess of being a first-party title, Swan could possibly sway dollars away from the other indie games releasing this month.
That didn't seem like an acceptable answer for me, so I spoke to Silva after the panel. He admits that the timing is unfortunate; any digital release between September and December will be at a significant disadvantage, having to compete with higher-profile retail releases. But, if these games are done now, is it really fair to hold these games? Do you push it to the end of October, only to have it compete against Assassin's Creed 3? How about November, where it will have to compete against the likes of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2? You could push these games to next year--but for self-published developers, that might not be an option.
Silva encourages developers to do outreach beyond relying on placement in the PlayStation Store--a sentiment echoed by the Sony-funded developers at the panel. So yes, Shacknews will probably have lots of coverage of XCOM and Dishonored next week--but we're doing our part to highlight some of the other releases you may want to check out on next week's PlayStation Store update:
Derrick the Deathfin ($7.99)
Joe Danger: The Movie ($14.99)
Retro City Rampage ($14.99)