Sony requires some game developers to provide free trial versions to PS Plus subscribers

PlayStation mascots await the return of game demos.

Picture: Sony

When Sony combines PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now in June, its new most expensive level will be $ 18 a month and includes time-limited game trials. But most games do not currently have such demos. To rectify this in the future, Game developer report now Sony will require all game developers at a wholesale price above $ 34 to also release free demos for subscribers to try out.

So far, the new policy appears to have been communicated only through Sony’s developer portal, rather than an official announcement to third-party partners, KotakuIt has its own sources confirmed. The game samples must be two hours long, released within the first three months after the game is released and be available for at least one year. Developers can still suggest alternative demo formats on a case-by-case basis, and the new rule would not apply to VR games.

Sony did not respond to a request for comment.

These time-limited game trials are one of the most important perks for Sony’s new PlayStation Plus Premium level launch June 13 in the US This would mean that subscribers could play the first two hours of games like Forsagt, Gotham Knightsand the new Saints Row at no extra cost. Other upcoming perks include access to a collection of classic PS1, PS2 and PSP games as well as cloud streaming. Taken together, Sony hopes that’s enough to convince gamers to pay up to $ 18 a month.

But game attempts can end up damaging some developers’ bottom lines. They can have a big impact on game sales, as Steam developers, who are subject to the Valve store front’s two-hour return policy, can attest. And it does not appear that Sony is offering any additional compensation to developers in exchange for giving the new perk.

Although there are plenty of studios whose games fall below the $ 34 wholesale cost threshold, most blockbusters would be subject to the new mandate, which almost creates a kind of new mini Game Pass-lite exclusive to PlayStation. That is, unless major publishers like Square Enix and others are able to negotiate a form of cut, or Sony withdraws from the mandate.