Indie publisher Curve Digital has plenty of experience in publishing across console platforms. Today at Develop Conference, reps from the company shared the lessons they've learned, as console makers allow for self-publishing.
Rob Clarke and Sophie Rossetti noted that from the get-go, you should really have already decided whether you want to aim for a console release, rather than plan a console release later.
"Late conversions not only have to compete with other releases, but with their own previous marketing," the pair said. "Don't expect the same level of interest from the press or from the platform holder."
If your game released on PC six months ago, and then you go to release on PlayStation, for example, Sony may choose to more prominently feature other games that come out that week above yours.
That being said, they noted that, "This can be negated through additional content, especially using hardware specific features."
On that topic of marketing from the platform holder, Curve noted that you can really use the console manufacturers as a launch point for your own PR and marketing.
"Always make sure you have a ton of assets and be ready for sudden deadlines," they advised. "Don't expect to get any of this handed to you. Good press is still really important, but good store placement can be even more vital."
It's notable that when putting out a console version of your game, it's far more complex than going with a Steam or PC version in terms of all the extra bits and pieces that need attending to.
"It means extra back-up, but it also means extra rules and longer lead times," says Curve. "Communication is very important to avoid big mistakes. Expect to make some compromises, and try to identify what these might be ahead of time."
And on the topic of price, the pair advises, "There is a long tail for indie games on PSN, but it works better with a higher initial RRP [recommended retail price]. Don't be afraid to utilize promotions and new business models like PS Plus where it makes sense. This decision should be made as early as possible."