It’s no secret that PlayStation Plus is a popular service, generally offering 5 new games for free each month. While the $50 annual cost may be a good investment for us gamers, one side of PS+ that isn’t often discussed is how the developers are affected by giving their games away for free.
In an article by Gamasutra, they caught up with many different developers who have had a game in the Instant Game Collection, including Christofer Sundberg, Founder of Avalanche Studios. Just Cause 2 from them was free in 2012, with Sundberg saying that they personally haven’t “seen a dime,” but it doesn’t matter because they’ve “received a lot of great PR and gamer,” which he says is “worth more than a few dollar in royalty to us at this point.”
Christofer then went on to look at PlayStation Plus in terms of how it will benefit the PlayStation 4, by adding that “most players won’t have the money to buy both a PS4 and the next Xbox, and a PC, so a loyal customer base is a must for the survival of the consoles.”
Moving to smaller devs who don’t have the bonus of major publishers to promote their games, and therefore negotiated their PlayStation Plus contracts to include some sort of monetary supplement for the giveaway, Tyler Glaiel, Creator of Closure, said that “the revenue was worthwhile” and he’d “categorize it as a ‘nice boost.'”
Jakub Mikyska, CEO of Grip-Games (Foosball 2012), was up next, mentioning that putting their game free on PlayStation Plus accounted for “10-15% of the overall revenue” and that “putting our content on sale in PS Plus is important. Perhaps even more than going free.” It wasn’t all happy words, though, as Jakub warned that “we mustn’t educate our customers that games are for free,” meaning that they can’t always put their games up for free shortly after launch.
Last up was Brian Provinciano, who talked about PS+ a little earlier in the year, confirmed that putting Retro City Rampage in the IGC brought “over 125,000 additional players,” which he says equates to “more potential customers with their eyes on what I release next.” Using PS+ for his games isn’t something Brian plans on doing all the time, as “it will eat into day one purchases,” so he’ll “determine it on a case-by-case basis.”
What do you think about what each developer said? Let us know in the comments below.