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Some PS Vita Devs Weren't Warned About PS Store Closure

Some PS Vita Devs Weren't Warned About PS Store Closure - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 03 April 2021 / 2,717 Views

Sony Interactive Entertainment this past week announced it will be shutting down the PlayStation Store on PlayStation 3 on July 2 and PlayStation Vita on August 27. The remaining purchase functionality for the PSP will also shut down on July 2. 

Several developers have spoken with IGN and revealed they were not given a proper warning from Sony about the PlayStation Store closure. 

Lillymo Games' Barry Johnson told IGN the studio was "not warned about the closing of the Vita store in any way" and the team bought a second PlayStation Vita devkit last month. 

"When word came out that it was happening through that story at TheGamer we reached out to Sony for clarification and were given no response," said Johnson. "We found out at the same time as the public did that we would have to cancel our Vita version of our next game."

Spooky Squid game designer Miguel Sternberg is working on a port of the studios' Russian Subway Dogs for the PlayStation Vita and will now try to get it out before the PlayStation Store on the PlayStation Vita shuts down. 

"I’ve been working on porting the game to PS4, Xbox One, and Vita, switching back and forth every few weeks," Sternberg said. "It was some serious emotional whiplash going from being happy about new improvements I’d implemented [to the Vita port] over the weekend, to learning it might be too late to release the game, and now knowing it’s possible but only if I can hit that deadline. I miss it for whatever reason and all that work is for nothing!"

Some PS Vita Devs Weren't Warned About PlayStation Store Closure

PlayStation has sent emails out to developers that IGN has acquired that reveals the final day to submit games to the PlayStation Vita is on July 12 and the final day to release content for the handheld is on July 20. The final date to submit a game to Sony’s global quality assurance is July 6. However, Sony can't guarantee slots for review. 

Johnson expressed his frustration and that he wished they were given a year's warning to finish up any projects. 

"Having to find out through a news story that the store was closing was not something I expected. I would have hoped to receive something like a year’s warning to finish up all projects," added Johnson. 

Sternberg added that he has to either cancel the PlayStation Vita version or make it his priority and hope nothing unexpected happens. 

"Now I either throw that work away and cancel the Vita version, or I make it my priority for the next couple months and hope nothing unexpected gets in the way," said Sternberg.


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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43 Comments
shikamaru317 (on 03 April 2021)

That's a real dick move by Sony. Sony should have given devs at least a year forewarning about the Vita store closing, 4 months really isn't enough. Several of the games that have been in development for Vita since the official end of support for the system were Kickstarter games, and many of those devs that still had active Vita development ongoing will be unable to offer refunds to their Kickstarter Vita backers because they have already spent that money on their bills while actually developing the Vita ports of their games, if they can't finish the game within 4 months now they may be forced to cancel with no refund to backers.

  • +12
Cerebralbore101 shikamaru317 (on 04 April 2021)

Well if somebody launched a kickstarter for a Vita exclusive game, then they were already asking for financial ruin. If they launched a kickstarter for a multiplat game, then Vita backers should be a drop in the bucket compared to backers from other platforms.

These developers should have known the risks of developing for a failed handheld going in. You don't build your house on a flood plain without insurance. You don't develop for a dead platform without a backup plan.

  • 0
Chazore Cerebralbore101 (on 04 April 2021)

" You don't develop for a dead platform without a backup plan"

If only Sony had such a backup plan for itself, and a backup for notifying devs ahead of time, because this move of theirs was planned for a while now, not just an off-hand decision.

  • +3
Cerebralbore101 Chazore (on 04 April 2021)

Why would Sony need a backup plan? This doesn't effect them outside of a few people crying over spilt milk on forums. You shouldn't have to notify devs that a system you abandoned six or seven years ago is getting the store taken down. Anybody with half a brain could have predicted that it was going to get taken down sooner than later.

  • -3
Chazore Cerebralbore101 (on 04 April 2021)

It's more like those devs and customers just have another reason to not bother with Sony, if this is how they are going to "do business".

You call it crying, others call it disrespectful, and well, money talks and so do choices.

Not sure why you're citing people for crying, but excusing Sony for not only abandoning it's own platforms, but also dropping very little notification time in the process.

I don't really see how this is logical, especially with the mockery of devs and customers.

  • +1
JWeinCom Cerebralbore101 (on 04 April 2021)

Nintendo announced in September of 2017 that the Wii shop would close down in January of 2019. They also gave a year's notice for the DSi. I don't know if there was anyone still developing anything, but devs had at least a year.

We haven't had many examples of online storefronts like this closing, but people with half a brain probably predicted that the Vita store would close down at some point, but they also probably predicted that Sony would give them a reasonable amount of notice before that time came. Especially since the even more dead PSP storefront has been shambling on for a while.

And even if there's not that many devs out there to be effected, why not just put out a message anyway? Don't see any benefit to announcing it now as as opposed to 6 months or so ago. Unless Sony just woke up in a bad mood and said "let's close down the fucking Vita store", then they knew they were going to do this for a while. So, let the devs know when you know. Doesn't cost anything. Just basic decency.

  • +1
Cerebralbore101 JWeinCom (on 05 April 2021)

PSP was a successful handheld though, so having that store up longer makes more sense.

  • -4
JWeinCom Cerebralbore101 (on 05 April 2021)

That's the least important part of my post, but the Vita store is more active at the time, so it makes sense to think nk the PSP store would close down first.

  • 0
DonFerrari shikamaru317 (on 04 April 2021)

Considering how much people hold out to secrets, and how fast they go to internet to say things or become anonymous source to news, if Sony informed them 1 year ago them the story would have leaked 1 year ago and probably wasn`t Sony plan to have it leaked.

  • -1
JWeinCom DonFerrari (on 06 April 2021)

Why not just let everyone know a year in advance that store is closing? I can't see any reason why not.

  • 0
DonFerrari JWeinCom (on 06 April 2021)

Possibly they wanted to keep getting whatever little extra revenue they could. And the question posted by shikamaru is why Sony didn't notify the devs one year ahead of time instead of why they didn't officially announce to everyone.

  • 0
JWeinCom DonFerrari (on 06 April 2021)

Yes, but if they were worried about it leaking, then the simple answer is to just reveal it themselves to everyone. I don't see how that loses them anything.

  • 0
DonFerrari JWeinCom (on 06 April 2021)

Possibly people that would stop buying the games one year before because of the notice of closure in the future because that would be another step on discontinuing the system.

  • 0
JWeinCom DonFerrari (on 06 April 2021)

I don't follow you here.

All three systems in question were long discontinued. So, Sony wasn't benefitting anymore from hardware sales.

If someone wanted to buy particular Vita games, I don't know why they would not do so because the online store would close in a year.

So again, I don't see any benefit to not giving more reasonable notice.

  • 0
DonFerrari JWeinCom (on 07 April 2021)

Sony doesn't profit from HW sale anyway. But announcing the store closure could give more reason for those buyers to stop buying earlier (even more with people making confusion with store closure and not being able to redownload the games, and that happened even in this site).

  • 0
KLAMarine (on 03 April 2021)

Could this result in a lawsuit? Why are devkits being sold if the store's getting closed this suddenly?

  • +9
JWeinCom KLAMarine (on 03 April 2021)

I would imagine most of the devs already had the kits.

Legally, the issue would probably be if Sony did anything to lead a developer to believe that the store would be available. I don't know what the process of game development is like, but if Sony sold someone a dev kit in March, or accepted some kind of application or proposal, that would probably be a strong lawsuit.

If on the other hand, a developer in December just decided to work on a Vita game on their own and never communicated with Sony, that would probably be dismissed. The Vita is a pretty dead system, so any reasonable developer should probably inquire about that sort of thing in advance.

  • +1
Signalstar (on 03 April 2021)

That's a dick move, Sony. Still amazed at the small scene of indie developers still making games for Vita.

  • +5
Mr Puggsly (on 04 April 2021)

I was thinking Vita may have games in development. But I naturally assumed developers must have known about the shut down. Well that makes this extra shitty.

  • +1
Ganoncrotch (on 03 April 2021)

anyone still making a game for the Vita hasn't been reading the news for the last ... 5 years?

  • +1
SecondWar Ganoncrotch (on 03 April 2021)

Well it would seem people were still buying them, hence why they were still being made.

  • +5
JWeinCom Ganoncrotch (on 03 April 2021)

If you're a smaller developer, you some times have to do things differently to survive. Appealing to a niche market where you won't be getting drowned out by other releases could be a good thing.

  • +6
SanAndreasX JWeinCom (on 03 April 2021)

Even then it would seem like such a developer would be living at borrowed time at best. The Vita was still on its way out sooner rather than later, the successful systems will be no less competitive. I’d think their resources would be better spent on the Switch, which has a far bigger audience and a longed future. I’m sorry for these folks, but the Vita wasn’t a profitable venture for Sony, and they’re lucky Sony stuck it out as long as they did.

  • -2
JWeinCom SanAndreasX (on 03 April 2021)

I don't think anyone is suggesting that Sony should have kept the Vita market available forever. They're arguing that Sony should have given reasonable notice so that developers wouldn't start developing a game for the Vita, or if they already had something in development, could budget their time so that the Vita version could be completed.

I don't know what a reasonable amount of time would be, but I think it would be longer than 3 monthsish.

  • +4
mutantsushi JWeinCom (on 03 April 2021)

You say that is just common sense, and I say there is 100s of losers ready to shill for a corporation and defend their right to do random acts of destruction merely because they couldn't announce their actions in advance. I mean, all of these rationales are basically "it was long due coming" but then why not announce it in advance? But as long as it doens't come between their consumer buying patterns and their favorite corporate brands, they can't see any ethical issue. Corporate-feudal totalitarian wasteland.

  • -4
Ganoncrotch mutantsushi (on 04 April 2021)

buzzword salad

  • +4
Genuine (on 04 April 2021)

Damnit Sony playing with people's livelihoods so low

  • 0
LudicrousSpeed (on 04 April 2021)

Why is the store even closing? It can't cost that much to keep it up and running.

Especially the PS3 store. Doesn't make any sense.

  • 0
TheBraveGallade (on 04 April 2021)

well this is sony sliping into the early ps3/psp era arrogence again.
they only got away with it becasue sony as a whole had tonnes of cash, they can't really get away with it now...

  • 0
Tridrakious (on 03 April 2021)

The last time Sony was an arrogant ass, it caused a massive collapse for them. And since Ryan took over, it's been nothing but terrible decisions to screw over gamers.

Sure the PS Plus offerings have gotten better, but seriously that service was bad for a long time.

  • 0
Dahum (on 03 April 2021)

It would be good PR for Sony now to extend the period for the Vita store to stay online at least until 2022 so all these Developers can finish their games and get their sales.

  • 0
Sogreblute Dahum (on 03 April 2021)

No. That wouldn't be good PR, because it wouldn't change the fact they screwed these developers over by not giving them at least a year notice. They even kept selling dev kits, like c'mon.

  • +1
Soren0079 (on 03 April 2021)

Well that's grim. Vita games were still selling. A new game on the vita had a better chance than the 3ds due to the hardcore game buying audience on the vita.
But to sont, it's probably seen as just a distraction from their current focus on home console, vr and pc ports.

  • 0
HoangNhatAnh Soren0079 (on 03 April 2021)

"had a better chance than the 3ds" because 3ds has a successor, vita hasn't

  • +2
Signalstar (on 03 April 2021)

I wonder if Limited Run games can still publish physical editions of Vita games or if Sony already stopped Vita cart production?

  • 0
Soren0079 Signalstar (on 03 April 2021)

Sony stopped vita cart production a while ago sadly.

  • 0
DonFerrari (on 04 April 2021)

Sony didn`t handle it fine, but by the time they discontinued manufacturing it was kinda expected that the stores could be closed at any time, even more when the system sold so little.

  • -2
Cerebralbore101 (on 03 April 2021)
  • -5