Report: PSN downloads cost publishers $.16/GB

Sony said to have instated bandwidth surcharge on content makers' free and for-purchase DLC appearing on PS3, PSP online storefront.

One of the most immediate differences between Microsoft's Xbox Live online platform and Sony's PlayStation Network is that one is free to console owners and the other is not. For Xbox 360 owners to receive the full benefits of Microsoft's online service, including networked play and guaranteed day-one content downloads, Xbox Live users pay a minimum of $50 annually. On the other hand, PSN users receive full access to the system's online service free of charge.

The meter's still running...

However, that free experience changed on October 1, 2008--though it wasn't consumers who suddenly found themselves footing the bill. Citing a number of publisher sources, MTV reports today that Sony began charging companies $0.16 per gigabyte for paid and free content distributed through the PSN.

Reportedly, the surcharge is dropped for free content such as demos after the first 60 days, but paid DLC will be subject to the fee permanently. As one publishing source told MTV, "It's like leaving your phone off the hook for a long-distance call. The meter is still running."

By and large, MTV found that publishers were understandably irked by the change. "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," a source told MTV under condition of anonymity. "It's a new thing we have to budget. It's not cool. It sucks."

In a statement also issued to GameSpot, a Sony representative was unwilling to explicitly confirm the new policy, though he did note that the console maker remains committed to delivering third-party content to the PSN.

"We respect the confidentiality of our business agreements with our publishing partners," said the Sony representative. "Of course we work closely with them to bring their amazing content to our growing audience, and we are focused on ensuring [that] 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."

As noted by MTV, publishers currently pay a licensing fee to have their content appear on both Microsoft's and Sony's online platforms. And though Microsoft reportedly eats the bandwidth charges associated with distributing that content, Sony's new policy could potentially amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional costs to publishers. For instance, were the 4 million Resident Evil 5 demos announced last week split evenly between Xbox Live and PSN users, Capcom would have been charged more than $300,000 for distributing the 942MB download.

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Discussion

156 comments
ariesguy23
ariesguy23

you know why this sucks.. because for sony and their 50gb Blueray disc can hold all that infromation. The game and the content. publishers can put all their dlc stuff on the blueray disk. Why arent they using the space on the blueray thats provided for them?

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

SporkFireXPS Posted Mar 23, 2009 6:29 pm GMT "Developers and publishers hate Sony for doing this with the Playstation 3." Consumers hate Microsoft for doing this with the Xbox 360. Err, actually im a "Consumer" and DONT hate MS as i completely understand why we are charged for 'GOLD' membership, millions of others would also agree.

brendanhunt1
brendanhunt1

i think its a good idea but i dont think it should be on free content

dragonsama
dragonsama

While Sony has been doing a lot of things right lately this is one of those things it's doing wrong. Sony guy 1: Hey let's cut off our nose to spite our face. Sony guy 2: Na let's shoot our face off to spite our nose!

bengino
bengino

why do i keep reading about buying a demo? you can download as many demos as you want on Live, there's no fee attached to it at all. The DLC is a whole different ballgame, i can see gaming companies rising prices for both consoles to recoup from this. Either that, or companies won't put much effort into actually developing a demo for PSN.

Vash67
Vash67

Maybe this is a good thing....? I mean, how companies like Capcom might actually put all their content on the game instead of just selling DLC/Content Unlocks.

andrew_ribbons
andrew_ribbons

Lol unsurprising. This is what Sony's alll about, making cruddy things look awesome to customers, then stabbing them in the back. How stabbing, you ask? Well if you look at the quality of online service you get on XBL, then look at the DLC and movies available, then flip over to PSN...it's obvious. I pay for a worthwhile service with XBL, ok it's £35 a year, but that's money I feel i'm getting the worth from, in terms of good online multiplayer features and speed, great downloads and awesome movie rental options. PSN is free, yea, and not looking so great for actual features and content going into the future.

jeffokiecorry2
jeffokiecorry2

For some reason I am even more glad I pay for Xbox live now... I can't really explain it. Maybe this is why Xbox live has such an awesome online experience...publishers aren't afraid if HUGE costs!

AngelCage-2
AngelCage-2

paid DLC: Agree, charge publishers with some fee. Free DLC: WHAT'S ON YOUR MIND SONY!!!!! man when all starts to look better to sony thay make a dumb move like this one. Why in the world the publishers could want to put FREE DLC in psn now? yeah, the more demos downloaded are a potential better scenario to the final game, but think about criterion and all the incredible FREE DLC of Burnout paradise... There will not be any more publishers/developers who will make post release DLC for Free... they will charge the player, to pay the share to sony... Feest to FREE dlc is a no no.

squidracerX
squidracerX

I hate online anyway, so if this made a cutback on the online focus and a created a push for single player I'm all for it, i never get demos etc... But as long as its free to me i am not going to complain. Heck maybe publishers will rethink the scam of DLC they've been giving us (pay for multiplayer, cheat suits, etc...), and only put really worthwhile content up?

Gezquester
Gezquester

Well there goes our demos and dlc. I don’t know how many game makers are in it for the money but I think I can safely say that all the suits are, so they’re not gonna want to pay 2 dollars for every dollar they make. I guess we’re either gonna see less demos and more expensive dlc or we’re gonna get slapped with a usage fee or there’s gonna be no more of any of it. Nice one Sony, not!

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

[quote="Cabal23"]Sony has to find a way to make some money off the service other than selling crappy virtual junk.[/quote] That's the thing I agree with that you said. I think sony will keep online multiplayer free no matter what. At some point they may expand into other areas like Xbox and Netflix, which would be a service Sony could charge for. Otherwise, I think that Sony will find other ways to get this money if Publishers start taking actions against Sony (such as removing and not hosting content on the PSN). Everyone is probably just making this a bigger deal than it really is at the moment. We'll see what developers have to say this week at GDC. _

Cabal23
Cabal23

Wow all those people claiming the superiority of the PS3 because its free service......get ready to eat it because those fees will find a way into your wallet because people who produce things have to find a way to roll their extra costs into the price of the product. If not it cuts down on profits. You really think they will deminish their profits so you can play free? I always said time and time again NOTHING IS FREE, everything has a fee and someone has to pay for that great free online service you are receiving. Sony has to find a way to make some money off the service other than selling crappy virtual junk.

SporkFireXPS
SporkFireXPS

"Wow, they are so desperate to recover from the losses of the PS3 they have to resort to things like this." Want to know what's even worse? Microsoft expects the consumers to pay for things like this, what a joke.

SporkFireXPS
SporkFireXPS

"Developers and publishers hate Sony for doing this with the Playstation 3." Consumers hate Microsoft for doing this with the Xbox 360.

TheoleDominion
TheoleDominion

I understand Sony's choice. Offering free online service DOES cost them money. Either charge the devs or risk pissing off fans by incurring the charges on them. I think Sony chose the lesser of the two evils.

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

Hold up... At the end of the article, they're assuming that it is a charge for every GB downloaded per user. When I first read it it sounded like it was just for the storage. Microsoft doesn't "eat" the cost either, the consumer does. So Microsoft makes the consumers pay and Sony makes the Publishers/Developers pay. Either way you're going to tick somebody off. _

SalarianChemist
SalarianChemist

Developers and publishers hate Sony for doing this with the Playstation 3.

atopp399
atopp399

Wow, they are so desperate to recover from the losses of the PS3 they have to resort to things like this.

mamkem6
mamkem6

Don't care, they don't charging me

lukemularczyk
lukemularczyk

Is there gonna to be additional costs per region, in europe we already seemed to get screwed for psn releases (sf2HD remix only seemed to turn up once sf4 was released) This will just make the situation worse imo, even less demos of games (notice that gaemsmakers don't do demos any more, guess its in case it turns people off the game when they realise its crap, once you got it, its too late)

XXL2
XXL2

wtf sony, no wonder my ps store has nothing i want in it :P

flyingteddy
flyingteddy

seems only fair that devs should pay, hopefully that will stop the PSN filling up with crap. Certainly I get miffed at some of the prices of the DLC. And you don't think MS might do the same thing?

HappyBB
HappyBB

Ultimately, we, the consumers, are paying for the price. It's not so "free" after all. Sony is indirectly charging people who access their PSN. This gives me an impression that Sony is stealing money from us.

grigjd3
grigjd3

@Inconnux, you're on target but it's worse than that. This is a production fee rather than a recipient fee. Recipient fees are directly paid by us, the recipient of the good. Production fees drive away production. In other words, Sony has given a reason for devs and producers to not bother with any DLC what-so-ever with their console. Makes me wonder if this is why us PS3 owners are not getting any expansions for Fallout 3 while the 360 owners are getting them.

zyxomma100
zyxomma100

Wait. Who pays $50 a year for XBL? Look for online sales, and you can do much better. I paid $30 for 13 months, and that's only because I wasn't in town to take advantage of Best Buy's $20 offer a few months ago. Anyway, this is bad. If Sony is going to charge devs, why so much? I wouldn't be surprised to see some 360 exclusives in the future simply due to the Sony download charge.

airsoftmanic
airsoftmanic

i think people are straying away from what your £40 per year on XBL actually gives you. -online play -party/private chat outside of the games you play (PS3 doesnt) -earlier demos than PS3 (some, not all) -an online marketplace where you can DL content to your 360 even if ou're nowhere near your 360 (convenient) -and in my own personal opinion it gives a nicer UI to all the bells and whistles that XBL gives you. this PS3 dev sur-charge is basically what XBL do, but the other way around. making the devs pay a monthly subscription to host thier stuff which is all fair and good but its just delaying the inevitable. PS3 will at some point need to have a subscription of some kind. you cant offer servers for free forever you know.

Inconnux
Inconnux

For people saying that developers paying is good (instead of subscribers paying) don't understand basic economics. Developers (and all companies) just pass the costs on to the consumer with higher prices, paying their developers less, or (if publicly traded) less dividends (usually to pension funds). Someone is paying and 99% of the time it is the consumer, they just 'hide' the cost so you don't know you are paying. If a company has a choice between alternative platforms they are going to chose the one where they can maximize profits. This price per gig isn't much, but it IS a factor. In previous generations the PS was very developer friendly... this is just another strike against Sony in the eyes of developers.

martyhavok
martyhavok

Makes me want to download free EA content over and over; finally a way I can get back at them for the crap they release!

Quadster
Quadster

what makes me laugh is when people who obliviously spend money every day on consumerables without a second though, but when it comes to comparing the fee of £40 of Xbox live to the Free PSN online play they instantly forget to do the math of how much it actually works out at per day. It's simple math, £40 over 365 days works out roughly 10p a day...and thats to play online even if you pay monthly @ £4.99........it's still roughly 16p a day, either way both sides are in a great position.

indysurfn
indysurfn

When people sarcastically say pay beyond in the past they only meant for the machine. Now the publishers in the back room will be saying the same. PS3 Pay beyond. PS3 don't pay but lots of games will have LAG. Once we get that fixed then you will pay beyond on PSnetwork too!

wars45
wars45

well exbox cost how much to playonline .and soney cost noffing to playonline .how can xboxlive costso much a y .its a ripoff when u can playonlinewith the same games onpsm . ps3 is god

brummydude
brummydude

No wonder PSN store isnt that good. O well ill take it over XBL anyday.

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

it will discurouge devoloper not to put content on psn. £40 over year is nothing it is cheaper than anything you pay for monthly.

mattcake
mattcake

Well, someone has to pay for it I guess. Unfortunately anything that actually discourages devs from releasing demos/content for the PS3 is just awful for gamers, especially with so many stories about disgruntled devs as it is. I really dont think it wouldve been especially bad for Sony to charge for PSN in the first place - so long as its less than what MS charge it's still a "one up" in the console war. Unfortunately, like this, I can see DLC costing slightly more on the PS3 to compensate and PS3 owners may actually end up paying more in the long run than just having a flat rate fee like MS. Bad times :(

wonzan
wonzan

This will mean less free demo's which are always fun for about 20 minutes. It won't be a great loss though since all the big games will definitely release demoes regardless.

big-boss-91
big-boss-91

still cheaper than the microsoft's robbery

INMATEofARKHAM
INMATEofARKHAM

fps_d0minat0r> You have some interesting points there but you forget that MS isn't charging you for DLC Publishers/Developers are. Case in point; The map packs for CoD 4 and 5 are not free on PSN.

fps_d0minat0r
fps_d0minat0r

$0.16 per GB isnt gonna make devs go in loss. as long as profit is to be made, they will continue uploading on PSN. stop whining as if all the devs will stop uploading their content on PSN, their still gonna be making profits. and why do u care about them? - infinity ward didnt do us a favour by giving us trophies in COD4 did they? - capcom didnt give us free PVP in RE5 did they? - treyarch didnt put in much effort in COD5 since they only copied COD4's engine and put a price tag of £40 - bethesda didnt take time creating a good port of fallout 3 did they?? stop acting like u own the companies and act like real gamers.....look at our benefits, not theirs. I just cant understand some people........

fps_d0minat0r
fps_d0minat0r

this is fair enough.... business making profits, pay a small amount and consumers who have already paid for a console and games get it free. what wrong??? its better then paying for XBL and letting the devs who are making profits get away with nothing. its only because microsoft have ruined the gaming market that this seems like a suprise......but what sony is doing is perfectly logical....... if your happy to pay for XBL and pay for DLC on top of that and not get dedicated servers then its up to you. but on PSN we get treated like loyal customers and we get it free and a good lag free service on dedicated servers. and devs wont stop publishing just because their looking $0.16 per GB......stop being silly. again, like i said, if you want to pay instead of the devs who are making money from you anyways, then its up to you. i hate people who make the rest of us (consumers) get ripped off.

Skreb-Masters
Skreb-Masters

Isn't this just gonna discourage publishers from releasing DLC on the PSN? Because that's what it looks like to me.

dr_jashugan
dr_jashugan

Hmm, looks like PSN will not be free of charge in the near future. :|

INMATEofARKHAM
INMATEofARKHAM

Well, only one thing to do in this case... Play the demo on the my PS3 and buy the game on the 360 till Sony relents from this ugliness. So does anyone think that maybe MS wasn't buying all those demos one or two weeks in advance but that publishers were giving them away in an effort to help combat costs?

Darthpathfinder
Darthpathfinder

What are sony playing at? I mean charging publishers like that is only going to force them not to add content onto PSN.

fl4rty
fl4rty

jesus, jus let some companys advertise on the network like pepsi or even apple, problem solved, none of us like adverts really as such, but rather adverts and a free service.

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

This is not a rant or a bash: I really do think that Sony were a little ambitious offering Free online play & content as another sweatener for purchasing the PS3, they have a great console packed with great features, all of which to increase selling power, as well as being the launchpad for Blu ray, although they should have simply been upfront by charging for online content & play from the start, im sure people wouldnt have minded too much, ultimately giving gamers the option, as not everyone has DSL, this would ensure Sony dont place themselves in a compromising position further down the road. MS are and always have been aware of the implications of providing an online service and were simply upfront and honest by providing 2 options (Silver / Gold) thus giving gamers an option. I really think Sony should re think their standpoint or possibly risk further issues in a few years time when the PSN network is potentially 10 times as big? i guess its a case of either upsetting the Devs or consumers, which will it be?

GANGSTASAN
GANGSTASAN

O oh, 100% sure that they will be no Fallout 3 DLC for PS3 then.

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

JackHoleFace00
JackHoleFace00

What an absolutely STUPID move by Sony!! What are they thinking?! Ugh! I own a PS3 and want to see it do well, and it NEEDS all the help it can get in the US right now. And this stupid idea is not going to help. Man, how are some business people so idiotic sometimes?? This is no difference than Obama running up a $2 Trillion debt and huge tax increases in the middle of a horrible recession!! Idiot! Ok let the raging begin...