Sony ban on PS Store paid platinums confirmed

By Lee Brady,

Sony will finally take meaningful action against "paid platinum" games flooding the PlayStation Store with a policy update that will punish developers who publish "spam" to the PS5 and PS4 storefronts.

Update: Thanks to a secondary source, we can now confirm that the e-mail from Sony updating developers on the PS Store's new publishing guidelines, including the impending ban on paid platinum games is, in fact, official.

Paid Platinum gamesPaid platinum games are officially on their way out.

Confirmation of the recent update comes via Colin Moriarty on episode #230 of Sacred Symbols podcast (around the 1:03:40 mark), who states that he received a copy of the same guideline change via his involvement with developer Lillymo Games. Moriarty states on the podcast: "I can confirm that this is real — we got this last month at Lillymo. The reason I didn't want to talk about it was because that would be ill-begotten, because I got it from my connection at Lillymo — I didn't get it leaked to me. But, since it's been leaked, I can confirm it's totally real."

While this weekend did see PS Plus subscribers getting discounts on paid platinum games, meaning the issues for the PS Store are far from over, this is welcome news and we hope this amounts to a better customer experience overall on Sony's storefront. Let us know if you have any further thoughts on this story in the comments below and check out this list for some easy platinum trophy recommendations.

Time is limited for Stroke the Hedgehog.Time is limited for Stroke the Hedgehog.

Original story: Sony has supposedly finally changed its publishing guidelines after developers flooded the PS Store with "paid platinums" — cheap and easy-to-develop games that allow customers on PS5 and PS4 to essentially purchase platinum trophies. After Sony changed the PS Store to hide the shovelware games, prompting developers to target the PS Store's search functions, creating a new problem where paid platinum games would persistently appear in the search results of unsuspecting customers. Now it looks like the paid platinum's days are numbered thanks to a supposed recent PS Store policy change.

Sony apparently moves to remove paid platinum games from PlayStation Store

Dex.exe got their hands on a policy update from Sony intended for partners and developers, informing them of a change to the PlayStation Store that would take action against "Spam and Duplicative Content." It was received from an anonymous source and the site hasn't popped up on our radar before, so take it with a pinch of salt — but everything we are seeing looks legitimate. Looking through the supposed update, it's clear that — if real — Sony has taken aim at the shovelware games that allow customers to pay under three dollars for a platinum trophy.

The given policy update definition reads: "SIE strives to ensure that customers can search and discover the full breadth of experiences on PlayStation, and that partners have a fair means of being discovered. When partners oversaturate or “spam” PlayStation Store with many variants of the same type of content, it can negatively impact both the customer and partner experience."

Paid Platinum GamesAn excerpt of the message Sony sent.

Sony supposedly defines these spam products as games in which "functionality and/or assets are copied or are not meaningfully different from products already published on PlayStation Store," and games that have "duplicative functionality or experiences, differentiated only by minor variances of functionality or assets," regardless of whether those minor variances are tracked across one or many game publishers.

This would take direct aim at the various publishers releasing games like Frogo, Burger Fun, and Stroke the Cat — paid platinum games released under various publishers, but all of which share near identical game mechanics and assets with other titles like Frogo 3, Sushi Fun and Stroke the Hedgehog.

paid platinumFarewell, Frogo.

These games aren't simply easy games that reward players with a platinum trophy, like those found on our easiest platinum trophies on PS Plus list — instead, these paid platinum games use copy-paste game mechanics to skirt above the minimum gameplay required to pass Sony's previously quite loose PS Store guidelines. The main draw is simply to reward players with a platinum trophy for purchasing the game, although many customers erroneously purchase these titles as well thinking they are full games.

Developers found in breach of these new policy changes can expect Sony to respond with product delistings, PlayStation Partners account termination, and potentially the removal of all content previously associated with the developer's account. This means that should paid platinum developers play their cards right and stop uploading further spam, there's every possibility that the games that have already been uploaded may remain on the PlayStation Store, but it at least limits any further games from flooding Sony's storefront.

Paid Platinum gamesThe infamous 'Press X For Trophies' may have been the straw that broke Sony's back on this issue.

If true, the news should come as a welcome relief to both the trophy-hunting community and to PlayStation customers in general. Soon, customers may once more be free to browse the 'new releases' section on the PS Store and feel some confidence that the 'games' listed there are in fact games, and not just click farms for platinum trophies. Let us know in the comments what your thoughts on the policy change are, and if you're looking for an alternative to paid platinums, check out our list of the easiest platinum trophies on PlayStation.
Lee Brady
Written by Lee Brady
Lee is a Staff Writer specialising in all things PlayStation. He loves writing about classic PS1 games on PS Plus, studying the game design of upcoming PlayStation Studios titles like Marvel's Spider-Man 2, and trying to explain his love for Sonic, Final Fantasy, and Kingdom Hearts. He can also speak Japanese — albiet poorly.