Sony has better developer relations? Not so, says 3rd party source

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Earlier this month, Sony Computer Entertainment America’s SVP of Publisher Relations Rob Dyer was happy to tell the world how he thought Microsoft was protecting an inferior technology, and that Sony fostered better relations with developers – particularly smaller studios – than Microsoft did. A former third-party developer has anonymously called the very prospect of Sony having better relations with anything “laughable.”

“I’d say any comment by Sony that they have better developer relations or fewer insane hurdles is laughable,” the anonymous former Vivendi staff member told IndustryGamers in response to comments by Sony’s Rob Dyer. “Things may have changed, but it still seems pretty funny to me that they could possibly try to call themselves always the better chance for small developers to get in, or some sort of indy safe-haven.”

According to the source, Sony’s checklist and requirements for games on the PS2 and PS3 were “so much worse than anything needed for the Xbox 360? and inconsistent across Sony’s American, European and Japanese branches.

“I heard a lot of horror stories about the PS3 dev tools, and our launch-title devs got absolutely no support from Sony itself when they needed it – up to and including Sony calling one of our developers liars when we said their networking code wasn’t working for our game, and it was a problem with their system,” the source continued. “In contrast, the Xbox tools and support were always excellent.”

The source said Xbox documentation and requirements “were much easier to read, understand, implement, and test”, “much more lenient about what was acceptable in a lot check.” “I’ve heard Sony has greatly improved their tools support for development and testing,” he conceded, “Though I believe they’re still lagging behind what the Xbox 360 had available at launch. “I don’t recall Sony PS3 Dev Kits being cheap – our test boxes were something like $10,000 each, and the actual development kits were significantly more – or anything like the Developer Net attached to XBLA allowing anyone to just jump into development with a low overhead cost,” the ninja source concluded.

Personally? I believe things have changed at Sony a lot over the years, and it’s no longer the mess it was under Ken Katarugi’s decidedly arrogant helm. The source is no longer in the business, and he’s using years old, outdated experience to back up a three week old argument. Plus, anonymous people on the internet are always highly reliable, aren’t they? Although, it seems there might be a little truth to his claims…

Last Updated: September 29, 2011

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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