Sony on Developer Relations and Waiving Game Patch Fees

PlayStation vice president of dev relations speaks of the importance of regular meetings with studios.

Sony's vice president of developer relations, Adam Boyes, has told GamesIndustry of the importance the PlayStation maker places on working with studios and how the PlayStation 4's developer-centric approach will give it an edge.

When it comes to working with third party studios Boyes said "it's talking to them directly, it's listening to them, it's caring about what they have to say and then it's actually taking that feedback and actually applying it to improving things."

Describing developer meetings as being "like a focus test" Boyes commented that Sony try to take what they learn from these meetings to make their consoles even more developer friendly. One way in which they aim to do this is by waiving fees for making game patches in the majority of cases.

"Our publicised policy is that you have to pay patch fees in order to patch the content but the reality is, especially for independent developers, we don't charge them for that. We have not in the last three years in our territory. It's really important for us to work with them to make sure it's as early as possible for them to get the content out there, especially if it's a fix for a game breaking bug," Boyes revealed. 

It's notable that Xbox 360 version of Fez wasn't patched specifically because the developers wanted to avoid Microsoft's high fees – a claim the Xbox producer strictly denied – it seems Sony is intent on avoiding that scenario. 

Boyes said Sony meets with developers regularly commenting "We're in meetings on a weekly basis, changing and evolving the processes – we basically say, 'What's bugging you most?' So we use it almost like a focus test – what's the next thing? And the next thing? You almost picture a world in four years where hopefully we're down to very miniscule things, so we're going to continue to evolve the process to make it easier." 

The executive would not provide details of Gaikai and how it will integrate into Sony's systems saying "Right now, there are no discussions externally about Gaikai; we're just not ready to talk about it." 

Earlier today Sony listed a number of downloadable games coming to PlayStation consoles including a significant number of indie titles.