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Sony waives fee on PlayStation Mobile development
Sony waives fee on PlayStation Mobile development
May 8, 2013 | By Mike Rose

May 8, 2013 | By Mike Rose
Comments
    22 comments
More: Indie, Business/Marketing



It seems like barely a week goes by these days when there isn't some new indie-based announcement from the Sony camp -- and today is no different, as the PlayStation Mobile development license has been waived.

Originally, those developers who wanted to release games via PS Mobile for PS Vita and PlayStation-certified mobile devices were required to pay an annual fee of $99.

From today, the Publisher License Fee for PS Mobile has been removed, meaning that any developer can now potentially release a game for the PS Vita for free.

Note that PlayStation Mobile is a C# platform that runs code on a virtual machine, providing direct binary compatibility across a range of devices. No doubt the number of titles being released for the platform will see a significant boost once Unity supports it.

This latest move from Sony isn't a huge surprise, given that PlayStation Mobile has had a rocky start, and most recently has all but fizzled out.

And it's even less surprising when you factor in the huge indie support that the publisher has been pushing for, first killing off concept approval, and then opening a specific indie games section on the PlayStation Store.


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Comments


Tyvon Thomas
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Smart. Very smart indeed.

Jarod Smiley
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will it do anything though? There just doesn't seem like a lot of titles being put on the platform. PS minis was more popular than mobile it seems...

WILLIAM TAYLOR
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@Jarod I question the quality of the title made by someone only jumping in now that the exorbitant $99 fee has been waived. It's saying a lot if anyone considered $99 too big/risky of an investment to make on themselves.

Jarod Smiley
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I still don't see why this is necessary though? Why not just have a cheap game section on the store? PS mobile is largely just ignored and IMO just fragments PSN.

Some PSM games should just be placed in the indy section and ones that a popular in the spotlight section for PSN titles.

but I guess they just want a certain part of PSN to be completely open for devs...I guess it's a good idea.

Haseeb Anwer
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How does it help me? I was programming for the Playstation 3 using the open source PsL1ght SDK. I was making small apps and learning at the same time. Of course, I needed a custom firmware to be able to program and test but Sony went ahead, banned my console and all 3 accounts connected with it. Now, I can't access anything Sony.

I was buying and playing legit games and detest piracy because I know what piracy means for a developer. I doubt I will recover from this alienating behavior from Sony.

Kenneth Blaney
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This doesn't help you unless you count transferable skills between PS3 and Vita development.

Haseeb Anwer
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The relevance of my post comes from two things:

- The spirit of indie development where as platform skills may not be as important but learning and creativity is.
- Sony messed up with the Playstation platform in many ways and they're fixing it, which is obvious from this article.

Tiago Costa
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I welcomed this and jumped back into the PS blog page to read it all.. until I decided to check once again for the reason why last year I gave up on developing for this (when they announced the SDK), the countries in which developers can publish their games, no surprise here, https://en-support.psm.playstation.net/app/answers/detail/a_id/41/c/7, not available in my country.

Yeah... same list as last year, so I gave up on Sony actually updating this for my country (Portugal), its been a year a no new countries after the SDK release.

Not to mention that buying the games is actually only allowable in those countries.

I love the opportunity to develop for Vita, but without having a way to actually publish the games why even bother? Or am I missing something here?

Edit: Actually I was wrong Hong Kong and Tawain were added early this year, it gives me hope, but not too much.

Rey Samonte
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This is definitely great news! I had the opportunity to mess with PSM during the beta but never got around to signing up once it was released. Since I'm more of a hobbyist at home and work with limited resources, paying $99/yr. was just too expensive knowing that there's a chance I might not release anything. But I loved messing around and deploying my demos onto the hardware.

This will definitely get me back into it! :)

Keith Thomson
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One thing to note, I was able to sign up to PSM, download the SDK, and load programs to my Vita all without paying the $99 fee to begin with. The $99 was only to publish games on the service.

Rey Samonte
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@Keith, Interesting! All I know was, all the games I deployed to my Vita stopped working and when I tried to rebuild and deploy, it complained that my account wasn't valid...or something like that. I'll check it out though. Thanks!

K Gadd
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Yeah, you definitely needed the key (that cost $99/yr) before to deploy to Vitas and the Android PSM runtime. It only worked without the fee during the beta.

Samuel Carrier
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As a consumer with three PSM-compatible devices, I would love to see cloud-saving as a standard on PSM. Right now I have to chose which platform I want to start playing a game on, which is a tad irritating.

K Gadd
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You can do cloud saves, but the platform doesn't provide any affordances for it so each developer currently has to build their own cloud saving system and run their own servers. If a third party offered this as an affordable service (with a drop-in library) it'd probably catch on pretty quick.

[User Banned]
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This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

Daniel Burke
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Agree, the thought of developing games in C# really does not excite me. Developing in Java is bad enough but at least on Android I can use NDK for the heavy lifting.

Jeremy Reaban
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I think the actual answer is putting Android into the Vita.

The problem with the PS Mobile program is that its specs are extremely outdated. It's like making a game on a 7 year old phone with a high res(ish) screen.

You only have 96 megabytes of memory to work with, and overall the graphical prowess in terms of power is less than the PSP. You're trying to push 4x more pixels than the PSP with less power.

It's no wonder even simple games like Super Crate Box have slowdown.

Jeremy Reaban
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As someone who reviews PS Mobile games and have played probably 3/4 of them so far, I think this isn't so great.

The existing quality is already dire. It started off bad, but has recently veered into just dreadful territory. The games you used to type into home computers from magazines 30 years ago were better.

Lost in the hype over indie games these days is that fact that most of these games just aren't very good. I like to think everything is worth playing at least once, but PS Mobile has changed my mind. And with the floodgates opened, it's only going to get worse. Much, much worse.

Noah Ratcliff
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I was actually just talking about the fees with a few buddies. Good move for Sony! Even if it is just mobile, maybe we'll see something similar with game development for the PS4. Since Microsoft has pretty much dropped XNA, it will be interesting to see if Sony can come up with a competitor.

paj saraf
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it may help people already developing for IOS or Android to consider a port to Sony Mobile. Its a smart move as Sony is having a lot of trouble staying relevant

Curtis Turner - IceIYIaN
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<---n00b.

If I register does it give the link to download the tools? I assume it's something like Visual Studio?

And more importantly, does it give you some kind of emulator to run it on a computer? Cause I don't own anything except a PC.

Tiago Costa
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Once you apply for the Dev license, sign in the psmDev portal and on the top there is a menu, select the create and a drop down menu will show you the SDK and Assets options, click it and you land on the download page.

Yes there is an emulator and you can even simulate some PSVITA controls. The language is C#, and the tutorials and documentation are good.


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