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Photo: YUKI IWAMURA/AFP via Getty Images

Sony is under fire from indie developers who say it charges over $25,000 for prime placement on the PlayStation store and gives them "no ability to manage their games."

Why it matters: The process of getting listed, and then selling, games on the PlayStation store is a bureaucracy that small developers have no control over.

  • Outside of the work associated with making the game, developers should expect to submit trailers specific to PlayStation platforms, write blog posts, submit multiple social media forms, and so on.
  • This is on top of a $25,000 price tag, if they want to get featured — a minimum, as developers are then expected to give 30% of their additional earnings.s

Iain Garner, who co-founded game publisher Neon Doctrine, said on Twitter that "in order to get promotion you must jump through hoops, beg and plead."

  • Garner does not specifically name Sony or PlayStation, instead referring to it as "Platform X" and "the operator of a very successful console and does not have Games Pass."
  • Two sources with direct knowledge of Sony's platform confirmed the policies to Axios as those of Sony.
  • He added that "if Platform X doesn't like your game, no fanfare no feature no love. There is NOTHING you can do to fix this," and that for a platform to promote a game on its official blog, "is not as good as they think it is."

What they're saying:WhiteThorn Games CEO Matthew White cosigned Garner’s thread, saying that less than 3% of his company’s sales come from "Platform X," which he calls their "worst performing" platform.

  • "We're a company with about 19 full time, 10 part time employees, and I'm honestly not sure life to date we've made more on this platform than they're asking us to pay out of pocket for featuring."
  • "I know it seems like I'm jumping on a dogpile, but it's been really difficult to work with our developers telling them straight up not to expect sales on PX."

Mike Rose of publisher No More Robots commented on the thread indirectly. "[D]evs are too worried to say it publicly," he said. "But trust me when I say that the vast majority of devs are reading that thread, and nodding their heads violently."

Sony did not respond to Axios’ request for comment.

The bottom line: Sony's current practices are a tough pill for some developers, many of which are often marginalized creators.

Go deeper

"Alan Wake Remastered" highlights gaming's preservation challenges

Screenshot: Remedy Entertainment

Next month’s release of “Alan Wake Remastered” highlights one of the most frustrating things about gaming: new games age quickly, and, before you know it, they become hard to access or play.

Why it matters: Games have such a significant preservation problem that even an acclaimed interactive thriller like “Alan Wake,” released a mere 11 years ago, needs an expensive salvage effort to bring it to a large audience today.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
1 hour ago - Energy & Environment

Key clean power provision likely won't survive in Dems' spending bill

A construction worker walks along a dirt road at the Avangrid Renewables La Joya wind farm in Encino, New Mexico, on Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Cate Dingley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A pillar of Democrats' plans to speed deployment of zero-carbon electricity is likely to be cut from major spending and tax legislation they are struggling to move on a party-line vote, per multiple reports and a Capitol Hill aide.

Driving the news: The New York Times, citing anonymous congressional aides and lobbyists, reports that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has told the White House he "strongly opposes" the Clean Electricity Performance Program.

Updated 4 hours ago - World

Fatal stabbing of British MP David Amess declared a terrorist incident

Police outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on Oct. 15. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

Authorities have declared the death of David Amess a terrorist incident, hours after the Conservative Party lawmaker in the U.K. was fatally stabbed while meeting with local constituents in a church in eastern England on Friday.

The big picture: The Metropolitan Police has found "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism."