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PlayStation Mobile's $99 publisher fees dropped in PS Vita's latest indie assault

Looking to 'remove barriers'
PlayStation Mobile's $99 publisher fees dropped in PS Vita's latest indie assault

Sony's intention to change tack with PS Vita and transform the machine from a triple-A titan into an indie powerhouse is well documented.

It's also gaining significant momentum.

A day after the firm announced a new indie games category on the PlayStation Store, Sony's official PlayStation blog in the US has unveiled an intention to wave the $99 publisher license fee for studios looking to launch games on PlayStation Mobile.

According to SCEA's senior manager for mobile content acquisition Sarah Thomson, the move is all about "removing any existing barriers" in order to encourage smaller studios to take to the platform.

Fee free

"As you saw with our recent Indie Arcadeevent at GDC, we're always looking to support new developer talent, so we've decided to waive the $99 publisher license fee for PlayStation Mobile, which means you can bring your games to PlayStation Vita or any PlayStation-certified device free of cost," says Thomson.

"Those of you who want to throw your hat into the ring of PlayStation Mobile development now have the perfect opportunity to place your game alongside popular titles like Haunt the House: Terrortown and Beats Slider."

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Indeed, the decision to announce this news on the firm's consumer-facing PlayStation blog is as interesting as the news itself.

Sony clearly believes that it can unearth a gem or two by appealing directly to PS Vita's consumer base.

Change of direction

The games which will also be playable across other PlayStation-certified devices will sit on the redesigned PlayStation Mobile store, Thomson revealed.

"We've seen some really cool games already come to PlayStation Mobile and can't wait to check out what you can come up with next," concludes Thomson.

Estimates suggest less than 5 million PS Vitas have been sold since the handheld first launched in December 2011, putting it way behind Nintendo's 3DS on an estimated 30 million plus.

Commentators have suggested, however, that Nintendo's handheld which has hardly blown the world away itself is not Vita's main competition. Rather, smartphones and tablets should be Sony's target, which makes the firm's continued desire to court indie outfits easy to comprehend.

As a comparison, an iOS developer license for an individual costs $99 a year.

[source: Sony]