The PlayStation Store for PlayStation 3, PSP, and PS Vita is coming to a close, and while not a lot of folks are still making games for the PS3 or PSP these days, there are still games for the Vita very much in development. And according to their developers, they found out about the PSN closures right around the same time as everyone else.
On March 29, the same day IGN reported on the PlayStation Store closure, Lillymo Games announced that it canceled the Vita version of its next game because the store will be closed before the game will be ready for release.
In a DM to IGN, Barry Johnson from Lillymo Games says that the studio was “not warned about the closing of the Vita store in any way.” In fact, Johnson says they purchased a second Vita devkit just 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. We found out at the same time as the public did that we would have to cancel our Vita version of our next game.”
One of those developers is Miguel Sternberg, game designer at Spooky Squid. Sternberg is currently working on a port of their game Russian Subway Dogs and is trying to get the Vita version out before the store closes in August.
“I’ve been working on porting the game to PS4, Xbox One, and Vita, switching back and forth every few weeks,” Sternberg said in a message to IGN. “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!”
IGN has learned separately what these deadlines look like for Vita developers thanks to an email PlayStation sent to developers that IGN acquired and independently verified.
According to this email, the final date to submit games to the PS Vita store is on July 12, and the final day to release content on the PS Vita is on July 20. The final date to submit a game to Sony’s global quality assurance is July 6, though Sony says it can’t guarantee slots for review.
The short window for the developers has been incredibly frustrating. Johnson says there were already issues such as their games not appearing in the latest release section on the PS Vita store, but the lack of warning was an even greater surprise.
“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,” Johnson laments.
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Sternberg says that he’s in a luckier position, being close enough to be able to release the game if he hits the deadline. But the lack of warning has “added a lot of stress and unpredictability to what was a fun passion project I was working on while getting ports for the big consoles finished,” he says.
“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.”
Matt T.M. Kim is IGN’s News Editor.