Gamers have been united in their aggravation over the continued absence of the Playstation Store... but spare some thought for the studios that rely on it as a primary source of income. Naturally, everyone's delighted that the marketplace will be returning to life within the next week or so, but many developers believe that Sony's rushed schedule and their peace offering of free games will damage sales and exposure of their new titles. We have the full details below.
Speaking to EDGE Online, Housemarque CEO Ilari Kuittinen revealed that the studio behind Outland and Dead Nation are worried that consumers may not trust PSN anywhere near as much as they used to (adversely affecting sales), and the ability to download several free games might stop people from actually bothering to spend any money.
My biggest concern is whether people will come back to use the system and browse the Playstation Store.
On top of that, the second issue is that everyone now gets games for free (including our Dead Nation and Super Stardust HD), so people might just play the free games for a while. By the time they are ready to buy something, Outland is maybe old news.
A "trusted source" connected to a high-profile PSN title agreed with Kuittinen's concerns, and stated that the "backlog of traffic" once the store reopens for business will probably force many smaller games into the shadows. Development and beta testing of online functionality has also been extremely difficult and has likely set many studios back in terms of lost development time.
As a developer, I feel very sorry for those teams that did try to release their titles during the PSN outage window. Beyond that, I feel sorry for those that are attempting to launch games in the days following the outage, as there will likely be such a backlog of traffic that it may be hard to be noticed in the flurry of 'get everything back up and running'.
The absence of PSN has slowed the development of online functionality for games that rely on PSN, because you can't test your PSN-dependant features without it. My project was fortunate enough to have robust offline / LAN support that allowed us to test core gameplay features without online access, despite the outage. We're still on target for our original release date as a result, although we're very glad our original release date didn't fall within the PSN outage window!
We share their concerns, but at the end of the day, I suppose the job of making sure that smaller PSN titles receive the exposure they deserve falls both to Sony and us journalists. We'll try our best to keep you in the loop. [EDGE]