Sony to reportedly require studios to create 2-hour demos of $34 higher games for PS+ Premium subscribers

Better for players, worst for developers.

Image via Sony

Sony has reportedly started communicating with developer studios about demos for PlayStation Plus Premium subscribers. All developers working on games that cost at least $34 are now required to produce a timed game trial to offer for PS+ Premium members, according to anonymous reports collected and shared by the portal Game Developer today.

These sources indicate companies were informed of the new policy via an update to Sony’s developer portal. All developers wishing to publish AAA or indie premium games on PS4 and PS5, therefore, reportedly must create a trial version of at least two hours. 

These demos must be published within three months of the launch of the game and they will be offered only for PS+ Premium members, the highest tier of the new PS+ subscription service, for at least 12 months, after which they can be removed. This rule reportedly won’t be retroactive, affecting only new games offered in the PS Plus service, and doesn’t apply to PS VR and PS VR 2 video games.

These changes are not intended to affect low-budget indie games studios, which usually create games that cost less than $34. But the necessity of creating more content than usually planned from a game will make the studio spend more resources, notably time and money, working on the title. This extra work caused by the development of a long demo is something that could not bring a payout to the studio in the end, depending on the game budget and planned playtime. Those mid-sized developers who want to publish games on the Sony platform will have to plan out the development process of their games well moving forward.