Microsoft has adopted an open arm cry to indie developers by making the Xbox One a development kit in its own right.
But just how much does it cost to develop a game for Sony’s rival console PlayStation 4?
Polygon.com have reported after having spoken to various development sources that the PS4 dev kit costs about US $2,500 – which is US $2,000 more than the Xbox One.
Although indie Xbox One developers will also pay a fee to Microsoft, which a source has said, will be a few hundred dollars (Microsoft has declined to talk publicly regarding the fee).
Although the fee of US $2,500 has been thrown around, it appears many of the developers that Polygon spoke to have said that Sony have lent them dev kits for a period of a year, for free.
Sony is sending whatever it has available to favoured developers. "All the indies I know got them for free," said one developer.
"Sony has been amazing about kits and development thus far."
Another developer said that Sony is focused on loaners, rather than collecting fees. "They are handing them out like candy," he said.
"Self-publishing has been available on PlayStation platforms for over five years, so it's nothing new," said a spokesperson for Sony.
"The process of devs bringing their games to market has continued to evolve, and PlayStation has led the charge in adapting and embracing new publishing rules to allow for more creative freedom for developers."
The spokesperson also focused on other support methods. "With self-publishing, we keep things really flexible for developers and give them lots of options, including funding through the Pub Fund, which is back-end funding paid upon completion of the game, we waive patch fees for indies and all digital titles and we embrace new business models like F2P, episodic and subscriptions. We've had more than 500 games self-published on PSN."
Polygon also reports that Sony will be doing little to change its self-publishing process, as many indie developers are happy to work in emulation on PCs.
So a dev kit is not necessary until later in a project’s cycle, and a few developers are hoping to release games at the launch of the PS4.
"By and large, indie development has become extremely accessible, especially on our platform," said the spokesperson.
"We offer a lot of freedom and flexibility and we've built our in-PS Store promotions around indie titles and their launch dates.
"Also, we provide indies with additional support like putting them on stage at E3, hosting indie-focused events like our Indie Arcade at GDC, etc.
"Most importantly, our Developer Relations team has really developed relationships with the devs. They talk daily, offer advice and really advocate for them and their particular needs."
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