Sony courts developers by dropping PlayStation Mobile license fee

As a console, PlayStation has had tremendous success. Even the first mobile foray with the original PSP (PlayStation Portable) was a landmark moment for Sony, but ever since support has waned.

Sony launched “PlayStation Mobile” in November 2012 allowing indie developers to publish games on PlayStation Vita and PlayStation-certified devices (includes their Xperia smartphone range) for a $99/annual license fee, which has now been dropped.

Directly from the announcement blog post, Sarah Thomson, senior manager for mobile content acquisition at PlayStation mobile, wrote: “If you’ve been sitting on a gem of a mobile title, or found yourself with some extra time this summer, now’s the time to jump in!

“Starting on Tuesday, May 7th the Publisher License Fee for PlayStation Mobile will be waived.”

This means anyone can become a publisher; Sony is no doubt hoping this will boost the decreasing support for the mobile platform before launch of their recently-announced (but not yet seen!) PlayStation 4 home console.

The new console will face stiff competition from the next iteration of Microsoft’s bestselling Xbox; which has mobile integration as part of Windows Phone, alongside “second screen” functionality using Xbox SmartGlass.

Currently, PlayStation Mobile games offer very little unique features which aren’t available as part of games on Android’s own Play Store.

Sony has hinted there is “more to come” which may just be a desperate attempt to hold developer and gamers’ confidence, or possibly more integrated functionality with the PlayStation Network.

Many indie developers love Sony; saying how they “get games” and are as “passionate” as the game developers themselves, something Braid developer Jonathan Blow publicly criticised Microsoft’s next Xbox for: “To me, they talk about a console that is not strictly about games. It’s trying to be the centre of the living room device”.

Are you interested in developing for PlayStation Mobile? Does Sony have a winning strategy in face of competition from Microsoft?

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