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When self-publishing on PlayStation 4, here's what to expect

When self-publishing on PlayStation 4, here's what to expect

July 15, 2013 | By Mike Rose

Agostino Simonetta, senior account manager at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, has given some insight into how the self-publishing process on PlayStation 4 works.

[Note: We've seen a bit of confusion on Twitter: This article is about making games for PlayStation 4, a process that still requires access to an official development kit. For a bit more on PS4 dev kits and indies, read this Gamasutra article.]

Talking at Develop Conference last week in Brighton, Simonetta offered attendees various tidbits about what indies and larger development teams should expect when self-publishing their titles for the upcoming PS4, all under the slogan "No hurdles, just games."

"Every developer is a publisher"

Simonetta explained that all PS4 developers maintain complete "end-to-end" control over everything, including the release date of their games.

When it comes to promotion, studios work alongside Sony to discuss the best possible ways to get the word out efficently.

Your past work does not guarantee success

You might assume that developers who have already released a number of highly successful titles will have more chance of success on PS4, but Simonetta says that this simply isn't the case.

He noted that your potential success on PS4 is all about the quality of your current game, and nothing to do with how many games you've previously released.

Quality leads to marketing

Quality plays a factor in whether or not Sony chooses to promote your game heavily or not as well.

Simonetta said that being promoted via the PlayStation Blog, or having your PS4 game tweeted about via the official PlayStation Twitter account, is "not guaranteed" -- rather, "it depends on the objective quality of your title."

Hence, if Sony decides that your game isn't up to snuff, you may not get as big a free marketing push as other titles on the platform.

Feedback is optional

When it comes to handing over your finished product to Sony for internal checks, there's a tickbox on the application form regarding game feedback.

Essentially, getting feedback from Sony about your game is entirely optional. You can choose to bypass the company's prying eyes completely and get your game published on PS4 without receiving an opinion, or you can ask the submission team for feedback.

There's absolutely no obligation to get feedback, says Simonetta, and if you do choose to receive feedback, there's no obligation to follow it either.

Submission week

Simonetta noted that when submitting your final product to Sony, there's no voting rounds or greenlight process.

From the moment you submit your game, it takes around a week before it's ready to go live. At this point, you can begin marketing your title, and choose exactly when you want it to appear on the store.

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