Following the announcement from Sony Computer Entertainment of the closure of PlayStation Mobile this coming September, we’ll be bringing you a series of regular news updates on what exactly will be happening to the service and how it will be affecting gamers and developers alike between now and then as well as providing features and discussion with developers affected by this move from Sony themselves.
So what’s the current position with PlayStation Mobile…?
- 10th April 2015 – from this point all those who own PlayStation Mobile titles are being advised to run all of their games / apps at least once on all of the devices that are PlayStation Certified (smartphones, PS Vita etc). This will ensure that the titles are verified for future use.
- 31st May 2015 – this will be the final day which developers are able to submit new titles for release to Sony
- 15th July 2015 – this will be the last day that developers can submit revisions to their titles
- 15th July 2015 – this is the last day that PlayStation Mobile titles will be available for sale on the PSN Store
- 10th September 2015 – the last day where in-app purchases can be made for any PlayStation Mobile titles. If you have any trial versions of games then this is the last opportunity you will have to upgrade them to the full games
- 10th September 2015 – this is the final day you will be able to re-download any previously purchased PlayStation Mobile titles from the PSN Store
- 30th November 2015 – of more relevance to developers, this is the last day to access the PSM Developers Portal
The most important days to note here are 1th July and 10th September. After these points you will not be able to buy or download ANY title from the store and we would strongly advise that you keep backups of ALL of your PSM purchases before the 10th September cut-off point using Content Manager. After this point, every PlayStation Mobile release will be removed from Sony’s servers and will no longer be available.
Impact On Developers
No official notification was given to developers prior to this announcement and only now have the PSM Developer Support Team stated that they will be emailing them regarding the closure of the service (we’ll bring you details of this email once we receive our copy of it).
There have been no proposals put forward from Sony regarding moving any PlayStation Mobile titles across to the PS Vita and making them available for general sale meaning that all 400+ titles will disappear with immediate effect from 10th September from the PS Vita’s catalogue and all those developing for the format will have their income streams terminated. Any monies owing will be paid but it will leave a void with smaller developers not having an outlet for their games as there is no longer provision for small scale coders to have their titles released on PlayStation platforms.
On the PSM Developer Portal, Sony have advised that developers can apply to become a registered PlayStation Partner and develop for the PS Vita, PS3 or PS4 although the process may be offputting for many and be too formal for some of the smaller one-man teams or hobbyist programmers whose titles are not large enough to warrant taking this step.
However, for other developers Wolfgang Wozniak from Wolfgame (developer of the PSM title Magic Planet Snack Deluxe) was working on a number of titles for PlayStation Mobile which are now likely to be shelved (their forthcoming PS Vita game VA-11 HALL-A is unaffected) although he has now extended an offer to all PSM developers currently working on PlayStation Mobile games with Unity with a view to assisting them to getting them published as native PS Vita releases. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
When it comes to older titles the big question remains as to their future. It is quite possible for developers to port the Unity-based titles across to the PS Vita with the right support mechanisms in place for publishing on the Vita but older titles developed with the earlier PSM SDK will need significant work to make the PS Vita compliant and this will affect some of PlayStation Mobile’s more affluent and critically-acclaimed developers such as Thomas Hopper and Mike Oliphant. Hopefully something can be done so we don’t lose some of these great games forever.