Sony is gearing up to roll out the revamped PlayStation Plus in the coming weeks . Ahead of the new tiers being introduced, the company is reportedly placing more demands on certain developers. According to Game Developer , it's asking studios working on games with a price point of at least $34 to create timed trials that last at least two hours.
The report suggests that Sony informed studios of the directive through its developer portal and without advance warning. They can reportedly release their timed trial (which will need to be available for at least a year) up to three months after their game hits the PlayStation Store. The policy is said not to apply to previously released games, titles that will be sold for less than $34 or PlayStation VR2 games.
The highest tier of the overhauled subscription service, PS Plus Premium, will include access to time-limited game trials. Sony started testing such trials on PS5 in October. It granted players access to Death Stranding: Directors Cut for six hours and Sackboy: A Big Adventure for five hours at no extra cost.
While many folks appreciate game demos and being able to try out a title before paying for it, this move will require studios to dedicated precious time and resources to create the timed trials. That'll surely put more strain on smaller developers.
It's not clear why Sony decided on a $34 threshold for this policy, but there's a case to be made that developers selling games at a higher price point are more likely to be larger studios with more resources. Engadget has contacted Sony Interactive Entertainment for comment.
Sony will be aware it has to make sure PS Plus Premium delivers good value to users. That tier will cost $18 per month, $50 per quarter or $120 per year (the lowest tier is the same as the current version of PS Plus and won't have a price increase).
The new PS Plus service is different from Xbox Game Pass in that none of the tiers will offer first-party games on their release day. Offering trials of many new and recent games on top of a library of several hundred games from every generation of PlayStation may make up for that, at least to some extent.
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