May 28, 2022

Descenders Publisher Raises Playstation Store Concerns

If you are interested in the life of publishing independent games, you could do worse than following Mike Rose (@RaveofRavendale). He posts some interesting topics as the founder of No More Robots, an indie game publisher. The publisher’s recent release ‘Descenders’ – a rather excellent procedural mountain biking game – saw its launch on the Playstation Store on the 25th August. Mike Rose took to twitter to demonstrate just some of the problems that publishers of smaller games can have in getting noticed on the PS4.

In the tweet below, he shows how the search function works on the Playstation Store. Or rather, how it doesn’t work. In the video he enters the full name of the game in the search and finds it is still not in the top results. In fact, he has to scroll down games that match far less to find his game.

How not to do search, as see on Twitter

Indeed, when he also scrolls to the new tab, designed to highlight new games… well it doesn’t. Instead it features other games that have been out significantly longer (yeah Ghost of Tsushima… we see you dishonourably stealthing around).

In a subsequent tweet, he comments

“For how grueling the PlayStation submission process is, to then literally be buried by movies and DLC in the search makes me feel genuinely ill”.

It is a problem that is becoming more and more prominent on busy store fronts. Steam, with its huge volume of games published weekly has long been a struggle for new games to get noticed. The same has been said for the Nintendo E-Shop. Many publishers there slash prices in an attempt to bump the game into a more prominent position.

To be clear, Descenders could be found in the new section of the Playstation Store if the user clicked through. Something is clearly wrong though, if you can’t return a top result for an exact match search.

The Descenders is out now on PS4, XBOX 1, PC with a Switch release still planned for 2020.

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