Shovelware, cheap junk games that lure with easy platinum trophies/gamerscore, has become a huge problem for almost all online stores lately. Whether you look at Steam, Nintendo Switch’s online store or Microsoft’s and Sony’s ditto, you can see games like Jumping Banana, Jumping Apple, Jumping Pear and so on. They sometimes make it downright impossible to navigate to actually meaningful titles, and now Sony intends to clean up its digital shelves properly.
Sony has sent out a document with requirements to all developers who appear on their online store. It says developers can be reprimanded if:
Products whose functionality and/or assets are copied or are not meaningfully different from products already published on PlayStation™Store, regardless of the publisher of record.
Multiple concepts and product variants, published by individual partners, that have duplicative functionality or experiences, differentiated only by minor variances of functionality or assets.
Where possible, partners should consider aggregating small, similar content experiences into a single product, using in-game commerce to expand or extend the experience.
As an example, supplying different trophies for each product is not enough to differentiate content.”
If the developers violate these requirements, they risk:
Content Excluded from PlayStation™Store Merchandising
Discoverability on PlayStation™Store is restricted.
Content does not feature in automatic merchandising placements, such as the “New Releases” strand.
Content Listed from PlayStation™Store
Content is not searchable and can only be accessed via direct link on web and mobile stores.
Impact on CertOps Process
Content is not permitted to proceed to publication until policy violations are rectified.
Review slot availability is affected.
Content is removed from PlayStation™Store until policy violations are rectified.
PlayStation®Partners Account Suspension or Termination
Multiple rejections or takedowns may result in the suspension or eventual termination of a partner’s PlayStation Partners account.
Suspension limits the ability to submit and publish new content. Existing published content can remain on PlayStation™Store, if that content complies with SIE policies.
Termination of an account results in the removal of all content from PlayStation™Store.
Quite decent punishments, then. Can we hope that this will have an effect, and then be implemented in all digital game stores, moon faith?