PlayStation Mobile to close in September

Sony's content platform for mobile devices will be gone less than three years after launch

Sony Computer Entertainment is preparing to close down PlayStation Mobile after less than three years.

The PlayStation Mobile store will no longer distribute any content as of July 15, 2015. Existing customers will be able to re-download any content they own after that point, but only using a new authentication process, That, too, will end on September 10, 2015.

On that same day, "PlayStation Mobile for Android" will no longer be available for download. The app allowed the owners of certified Android phones to access PlayStation Mobile games, and its impending obsolescence was clear back in August last year.

The service was launched in 2012 as a platform for PlayStation and indie games on mobile devices from a range of different partners. It also served as a bridge between those devices and the PlayStation Vita, with many developers creating content for both platforms.

"[We're] ensuring that anything that is offered on this platform is of proper PlayStation quality and that people feel comfortable and safe that they are not going to inadvertently stumble upon any of the junk that exists in that wider marketplace," SCEs Jim Ryan told us at the time.

"It's a significant business challenge because it's our brand that's at risk here and it's our responsibility as a platform holder in multiple directions to ensure we do that. Can we be completely laissez faire? I don't think so because then we'll end up just like all the rest and that can't happen."

While Sony didn't harm the PlayStation brand, Ryan also mentioned another goal: to build the PlayStation ecosystem "everywhere" and tap into a huge new audience of gamers. In that respect, the success of PlayStation Mobile is questionable indeed.

A factor in this decision may be the way the mobile market has changed since the middle of 2012. When PlayStation Mobile first launched, every single available game was a premium download, ranging in price from around $1 to as much as $10. Even for a company the size of Sony, it's clear that mobile, as it currently exists, is a hostile environment for that model, and it would take a significant investment to be competitive with the leading free-to-play titles.

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Latest comments (9)

James Coote Independent Game Developer 7 years ago
In the context of Sony needing to make cost savings, cutting out a service that's almost exclusively used by hobbyists and super-small scale developers makes sense.

Still though, feels like a step away from open indie development. PSMobile is great for not requiring devkits and being relatively low bureaucracy and I can't see the same being true for their other platforms.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by James Coote on 11th March 2015 11:29am

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Adam Campbell Product Manager, Azoomee7 years ago
Its probably the right decision. Sadly, despite the fact PS Mobile had a lot of promise, it was always too limited to really go anywhere.
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Istvan Fabian Principal Engineer, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe7 years ago
Actually, Sony is very indie friendly, regardless of which of our recent platforms is targeted.
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Craig Page El Presidente, Awesome Enterprises7 years ago
That sucks, just when they finally get Unity support for PSM, and dropped the requirements to run on their old phones - they cancel the program.
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Roberto Dillon Associate Professor, James Cook University7 years ago
Really disappointed to hear this. I registered last month and was developing my first game in Unity targeting the Vita. I really hope Sony will come out with another option that doesn't require buying an expensive devkit.
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Lee Hansiel Lim Game Developer - Unity3D, Anino PlayLab7 years ago
Does this signal the end of Unity PSM?
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Istvan Fabian Principal Engineer, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe7 years ago
You can probably target Vita directly, not just as a PSM device.
Plus devkits are very cheap these days, and not much of a hassle to get hold of from SCE.
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Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany7 years ago
At the same time, I've been buying more games for my Vita in the last 4 months than the previous 2 years.
Focusing the device in gaming and nothing else is the best move IMO. For anything multimedia we all have Smartphones nowadays.
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Igor M D 7 years ago
Sony is very indie friendly, regardless of which of our recent platforms is targeted.
Friendlier than 10 years ago, sure.
But you don't compete with SCE from 10 years ago, you compete with mobile, so let's list drawbacks of developing/publishing a title on Sony (SCE) platform vs Android/iOS :
- SCE requires signing physical agreements; everything is done electronically on Android/iOS
- before you can release the game on SCE platform one must register with PEGI/ESRB (again hardcopy agreements); nothing on iOS/Android
- SCE: to get the game rated via PEGI/ESRB one must pay a fee; on Android/iOS you just rate it yourself
- SCE: you are not able to develop on a retail unit
- SCE: additional unnecessary security measures prevent you from working away from the office (I'm not sure I can talk about those, but let's just say that maximum number of static ip addresses has been reached... )

Funny thing is that the same was true about SCE in 2009. NOTHING has improved except for the relaxed content requirements.
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