Discounts on video games allow users to get hold of new titles and developers to spread their product more widely. This is a practice that benefits both of us but, as an independent developer recently revealed, it seems that the process of discounting a video game is not as simple as we think.
Lucas Pope, an indie developer known for making Return of the Obra Dinn, recently discounted the aforementioned title on all platforms … except on PlayStation 4.
When questioned about this decision, the Pope stated that it was Sony itself that denied the discount. That’s why on PC, Switch, and elsewhere you can get Return of the Obra Dinn for a lower price.
By itself, this statement could represent a bizarre situation, however, this is not an isolated case: a Resetera user has in fact collected, in a single topic, all the statements of the developers who complain that they were not able to discount their titles on the PS Store. Add up, these testimonials paint a rather paradoxical picture: discounts increase visibility and sales, sales which, for Sony, translate into a 30% share on each transaction.
sale on JPN PS store? https://t.co/zqFxZywe4K
— Mill Yoshi (@ntheweird) October 16, 2020
Some users argue that PlayStation prefers to offer strictly “themed” discounts, rather than accepting individual developer requests: if a title fits the specific theme, such as “Japanese games”, “indie games” and the like, then the discount is accepted. otherwise, it must remain on hold.
The theory is plausible, but will it be a good strategy? Wouldn’t it be better to give developers the ability to discount their products whenever they want?
Maybe with PlayStation 5 things will change, but in the meantime, the situation does not seem all rosy.