PlayStation has been blamed for effectively burying “smaller titles” on its storefront, especially in contrast to Xbox and its marketplace. This claim comes from an anonymous developer known only as “Market Participant E” in the latest responses to the provisional findings by the UK’s CMA on the Microsoft-Activision deal.
Developer says smaller games don’t appear organically in PS Store
The anonymous developer, self-described in the document as a business that “primarily focuses on releasing video games for various platforms, including both Xbox and PlayStation,” says that its PlayStation sales are stagnating while its Xbox sales are improving. It claims:
This is mainly due to the fact that, despite PlayStation having the lion’s share of player numbers and console sales, that share is mainly provided to larger titles from huge publishing labels, and/or developers and publishers who are willing to spend lots of money on paid marketing within the PlayStation console.
Furthermore, the developer says that “smaller titles” will “rarely appear organically to PlayStation players.” These players need to know about the game beforehand and then search for it on the PS Store.
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On the other hand, it claims that Xbox’s storefront, which has special sections for these smaller games as well as Xbox Game Pass, allows more people to find their games. So even if Xbox has “smaller player numbers and console sales than PlayStation,” the developer’s games are selling “just as well on Xbox.” In fact, its revenue for new games on Xbox is apparently more than it is on PlayStation.
This is why this developer believes that the Microsoft-Activision deal would “be a good thing for [a] smaller-to-mid sized business” like theirs and would force PlayStation “to up its game.”
In the meantime, Microsoft has been asked to reveal its exclusivity plans and Call of Duty agreements, while Sony is refusing to discuss Call of Duty with Microsoft.