PS Vita breaks old habits with free dev updates

PS Vita breaks old habits with free dev updates
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

April 11th 2012 at 11:30AM

Move suggests Sony is looking to hugely successful iOS model with relaxed stance

Sony appears to be taking a more proactive approach with free game updates – a policy that is thriving on iOS – by releasing a new content packs for the PS Vita title Escape Plan.

US studio Fun Bits Interactive, which built the PSN chart-topping puzzle game, has updated the game significantly with 19 new levels and various tweaks.

But Sony has issued the DLC for free, a move that suggests the electronics giant is prepared to break old habits and give developers more options with their digital content.



Other games on Sony consoles to be updated for free this week include Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, which includes a new campaign mission, and Mass Effect 3, which makes available new multiplayer maps.

Console manufacturers will typically charge developers to update their games, which often results in the costs being passed on to the customer or just small tweaks being made to games.

Microsoft in particular has received criticism from developers over its long and difficult approval process for DLC, whilst it also charges a high fee to allow game updates.

Meanwhile iOS games are able to work around this certification process, as Apple allows developers to update their games for free, which many indies believe is crucial for success.

Sony has previously been praised by Valve boss Gabe Newell for opening up its console and allowing third party online services such as Steam integrate with the PSN.

CCP exec Brandon Laurino also recently claimed that Sony removed many of its PSN restrictions for its upcoming free-to-play MMO Dust 514, leaving the studio free to “update the game as much as needed”.

He also said that the developer had worked out a framework with Sony that meant the cost of updating was “a completely trivial part of the equation”.