New details have emerged about the limited-time trial versions of games that Sony previously announced would be part of the new PlayStation Plus Premium subscription tier. According to sources speaking to Game developer these free trials are required for any game with a wholesale price of $34 (€33) or higher, and must last at least two hours. They are not required for previously released games or PlayStation VR titles.
Game developerThe company’s initial report raised concerns that requiring developers to offer these limited-time trials could place a significant burden on smaller teams. However, Kotakus Ethan Gacho reports that the PlayStation Store team will create the trial versions, suggesting that developers don’t have to do any extra work.
Source tells me that the PlayStation Store team will be creating the 2 hour timed trials for developers so it shouldn’t be extra work, although I’ve heard concerns from others about Sony monetizing with a perk and that does not share income with studios https://t.co/0fYZZSVQxq
— AmericanTruckSongs8 (@ethangach) April 27, 2022
Custom demos with original content may be allowed in some cases, instead of providing a time-limited portion of the original game Game developer, but either way developers will have to make a trial version available within three months of a title going on sale, and be available for at least a year. Developers can still offer promotional materials such as free weekends outside the PlayStation Plus Premium tier.
It sounds like good news for anyone planning to sign up for Sony’s $18 per month PlayStation Plus Premium tier, which is currently releasing in the US on June 13 and in Europe on June 22. If true, these reports suggest that time-limited trials will be available for premium-priced titles, and two hours is a fair amount of time to find out if a game is worth buying outright.
But Kotaku has expressed concern that offering time-limited trials could potentially impact sales, with people picking up a game from a limited demo rather than making a purchase. On the other hand, a trial period can encourage a purchase from someone who was previously on the fence.