Publishers unhappy with PS3 bandwidth fees

Written by Joe Martin

March 20, 2009 // 5:53 p.m.

Tags: #playstation-3 #psn #publishers-unhappy-with-ps3-bandwidth-fees #sony

Sony has, according to reports from MTV, irked a large proportion of the games publishing industry by continuing to use a system that charges publishers for putting content on the PlayStation Network.

The PlayStation Network Bandwidth Fee, which went into effect in October last year, puts a charge of 16 cents per gigabyte on publishers who host free content on PSN, to help Sony cover bandwidth costs. Free content only has to pay this for the first 60 days, while paid content continues to be charged at this rate as long as it is available.

As MTV points out, while 16 cents may not sound like much, it can quickly add up. A one gigabyte demo might be downloaded a million times, in which case the publisher is landed with a $160,000 extra cost for just hosting a demo. If you're adding trailers or free DLC on top of that it can quickly spiral costs upwards and publishers are apparently a bit unhappy that they have to pay that on top of the original licensing fees to have games on the PS3 in the first place.

"It definitely makes us think about how we view the distribution of content related to our games when it is free for us to do it on the web, on Xbox Live, or any other way - including broadcast - than on Sony's platform," one publishing source told MTV. "It's a new thing we have to budget. It's not cool. It sucks."

Sony hasn't given a solid comment on the topic, but MTV did get a quick word from SCEA spokesman Patrick Seybold, who promised that Sony works closely with all publishers and that it does not believe the system affects the quality or quantity of content on PSN.

Would you baulk at such costs, or do you think Sony is in the right? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

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