Publishers Unhappy With PlayStation Network Bandwidth Fees

According to MTV Multiplayer, the PlayStation Network Bandwidth Fee Sony charges for content downloads could have publishers thinking twice about what downloadable content they offer on the PlayStation 3.

The PlayStation Network Bandwidth Fee, instituted on October 1st of last year, charges game publishers 16 cents per gigabyte of free and paid content download via the PlayStation Network, which presumably helps Sony cover the cost of the bandwidth. The fee only covers the first 60 days of downloads for free content, while paid content accrues fees until the content is removed from the service.

While 16 cents may not sound like much, as MTV Multiplayer points out, a one gigabyte demo downloaded one million times equals an additional $160,000 a publisher has to pay Sony, on top of licensing fees to get their games on the PlayStation 3 in the first place. Needless to say, publishers aren't too happy about the fee.

"It definitely makes us think about how we view the distribution of content related to our games when it is free for us to do it on the web, on Xbox Live, or any other way - including broadcast - than on Sony's platform," one publishing source said. "It's a new thing we have to budget. It's not cool. It sucks."

The whole story has been uncovered by the folks over at MTV Multiplayer, whose request for comment from Sony on the policy were declined, garnering only an assurance from Sony Computer Entertainment America spokesman Patrick Seybold that the quality of content on the PlayStation Network wouldn't be affected.

"Of course we work closely with (publishers) to bring their amazing content to our growing audience, and we are focused on ensuring we, and our publishing partners, have a viable platform for digital distribution. We foresee no change in the high quality or quantity of demos and games available on PSN."

So is this the cost of the PlayStation 3 maintaining free online as opposed to the Xbox 360's subscription fees, or a result of Sony's overall financial problems? As of right now there's no way to tell. All we can do, as MTV Multiplayer suggests, is keep an eye on what DLC shows up on the PlayStation Network, and hope publishers don't start holding things back in response to the unpopular new policy.

Sony Now Charging Publishers For PS3 Downloadable Content, An Unpopular Policy Shift [MTV Multiplayer]


Comments

    Every time I browse the internet there always seems to be something new to bad mouth something related to the PS3. If I was a mindless fanboy I'd probably think that by playing the PS3 my head would explode and that nothing on the PS3 works as it should.

    Well, I'm not, and in reality the PS3 does work.

    Its quite possible that the money they make from gold memberships is enough for them not to charge publishers for downloadable content.Also advertising costs millions of dollars and demo's help sell games so i dont think $160,000 is going to break there budget.

    @plmko

    i have a ps3 and love it, but while this is not really a bad mouthing ps3 thing, although i'm sure this does happen, it seems like another reason people may pick up games for the x-box 360 rather then the ps3. while it does not directly effect the player if PSN charges the publishes 16c/Gig in the long run we might see less DLC on the network. Fallout 3 is due to a different reason, but if i had both systems i'd buy it on the 360 just because of the 3 lots of DLC, which are not availble on the PSN network, we might see more of this in the future, which really would be a shame. on the one hand it might encourage people to release free content (so they only need to foot the bill for 60 days) on the other hand companies may choose not to put such things on the network at all. i hope this does not include such things as patches, because it sure would suck to have companies no longer support their games on PSN because of this.

    I just wish everybody on the internet would stop bashing the PS3 so much. If it was a celebrity, Chris Crocker would have made a video telling us to "LEAVE THE PS3 ALONE!". It's like what Nicole Kidman bashing is like in Australia, in America PS3 bashing is a national sport or something.

    Oh come on. Stupid Sony fanboys. "Everyone's bashing the PS3!!". Stop being fanboys and look at the article: this is bad news, not only for PSN but for the industry in general. For big budget games, it might not be such a problem, but try telling the developers of something like Braid that they've got to pay fees, and they'll quickly decide not to release it on PSN. This is bad news for PSN, but it's bad news for XBL users too. Setting precedent for charging bandwidth fees is not cool, and it removes competition for XBL and PC gaming.

    I understand Sony's been losing money lately (from all areas, not just gaming), but this can only be bad for PSN and the industry in general IMO. Stop being so narrow-minded about it and see it for what it is: not a complaint about the PS3, but about an unnecessary fee that could stop content being added to the network.

    Fanboism aside, I think it is completely fair of Sony to be charging this cost to developers. If they want to sell their games to me, then I want to try them out before I buy them. It's just plain stupid of developers to think that Sony would incur costs (which are basically marketing costs) them selves to help developers sell their games. I understand the small outfits not liking this, but that's a part of selling a product to consumers - advertising. Don't forget too, that generally (not always), smaller companies usually make smaller games = smaller download size.

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