Shovelware games and clones by the same developer are a big problem across all digital storefronts. They seemingly serve no purpose other than to provide free Platinum Trophies for a few minutes of gameplay. It seems that Sony is beginning cracking down on this, though.
An anonymous source sent DexDotExe a letter from PlayStation to developers, highlighting the issue in question. “SIE strives to ensure that customers can search and discover the full breadth of experiences on PlayStation and that partners have a fair means of being discovered. When partners oversaturate or ‘spam’ PlayStation Store with many variants of the same type of content, it can negatively impact both the customer and partner experience.”
It allegedly defined “spam” or repetitive content as “Products whose functionality and/or assets are copied or are not meaningfully different from products already published on PlayStation Store, irrespective of the publisher of record,” and “Multiple concepts and product variants, published by individual partners, that have duplicative functionality or experiences, differentiated only by minor variances of functionality or assets.” It also outright stated that providing unique Trophies for each product was “not enough to differentiate content.”
Any developers breaching the policy will face different punishments that include restricted discoverability on the PlayStation Store, delisted content, an impact on the CertOps process, content takedown and so on. A developer that faces “multiple rejections or takedowns” could even have their PlayStation Partners account suspended or terminated.
Sony hasn’t outright confirmed the letter’s contents, so its legitimacy remains to be proven. Stay tuned for more updates on the same in the coming months.