Sony is quietly improving PlayStation's relations with indies

A new document sheds some light on the issue.

Game controller with blue and red lights - Selective Focus

Over the years, indie developers have occasionally taken shots at Sony for various difficulties they've experienced while working to publish their games on PlayStation platforms. Earlier this year, a number of indie devs were particularly pointed in their criticisms, citing discoverability issues, vague processes, and mountains of paperwork as key issues.

Now, a new report from IGN suggests that Sony has been trying to right the ship behind the scenes in the months since that dust-up. The outlet apparently obtained a copy of a survey that was sent out to several Sony-partnered developers that suggests three areas that the publisher is trying to improve on with regards to indie relations.

Modern times — The first of these initiatives is "reducing complexity," which probably refers to the vague processes that the developers mentioned. The second is a pledge that Sony will give more information to its partners, including hard numbers like game sales, engagement, and promotion analytics. This will presumably help the discoverability problem.

Sony also promises to modernize its partner processes, including things like ticketing systems and documentation, to make things more clear for indie developers. IGN reached out to multiple indie devs who identified these issues to see how Sony is improving, and it seems that the company's response times have improved quite a bit. One dev noted that Sony rolled out a new fund that helps indie devs port their games to PlayStation by covering the costs, too.

A ways to go — Still, there's some room for improvement. One CEO interviewed by IGN says that that they would prefer more control over the timing of sales and other promotions. However, in general, the devs feel that all of the console platforms pale in comparison to Steam, which uses a system of tags and curators to help small games build durable communities.

As a whole, this seems like a good step forward for Sony, but it's hard to know if the success will stick at this early stage.