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14 Nov 2013

How to Register as an Indie Dev Just in Time for the PS4 Launch

The PlayStation 4 launches tomorrow (Nov. 15) here in North America, and as a result, many of you are probably wondering how you can become an indie dev for the newest PS console. Or perhaps you have always wondered how you can get your indie game on another PlayStation platform such as the PS Vita or even the PS3. Whatever the case may be, Sony has made the process quite simple for becoming a registered indie developer for their platforms. The guide below explains the process, and it’s actually quite simple.

 

Before you apply

According to Sony, you need to make certain that you meet certain requirements:

  • You have formed a corporate entity
    • Confused? This simply means that your studio (or sole-proprietorship) has been founded as an organization. Forming this is actually very simple, in that you can contact your local government (in North America, this would be one’s government residing over their state/province) and tell them you want to form a corporate entity.
  • Obtain an Employer Tax ID Number (if you live in the U.S.).
    • A visit to the official IRS website will tell you all you need to know. Fortunately, it’s quick and painless to get one.
  • An authorized signatory
    • Confused once again? An authorized signatory is simply a representative with the power to sign an agreement (also known as a ‘signing officer’).
  • Static IP
    • How to Geek has a great article on how to switch to a static IP address if you do not already have one.
  • You are located in the United States, Canada, Central America, Mexico, or South America
    • This guide is solely for those residing in the Americas. If you need advice on becoming a registered indie developer yet you live in a different region, comment below and I will certainly provide you with a helping hand.

Note: For those living in other areas of the world, your unique page for registering as a developer can be found below:

 

Getting started

First off, visit the PlayStation Developer Sign Up page. It is here that you will be guided through the process of signing up as a developer so you can be on your way to developing your games for the PlayStation 4. Once you click on the link above, you will notice that near the bottom of the page, you are asked to indicate the platform you are interested in developing for: either as a ‘Game Developer/Publisher’ for Sony’s major platforms (PS4, PS Vita, PS3), or if you want to develop for PlayStation mobile. For this guide, we’ll choose the former. Select ‘Game Developer/Publisher’ and take a look at the next page.

 

The registration process

The next page will consist of a set of questions that ask about your business, the platforms you will develop for, and so on. The questions you will need to asked are below:

  • What will be your business type?
    • Are you merely a publisher? A developer? A combination of both?
    • What platforms do you intend to develop with?
      • Want to develop for the PS4? PS3? PS Vita? Check all that apply.
      • What is your proposed distribution method?
        • Disc? Digital? Both?

Next, upload a document detailing various aspects of your studio/self-proprietorship. This document is essentially a technical resume for your studio, and it should consist of the following:

  • Prior development experience
  • Previously developed games
    • Go into as much detail as possible with these two points, as they are vital to being chosen to develop for the platforms.

 

  • PlayStation development and product plan
    • 6-12 month product plan
    • Do you have a plan for developing a game (or games) on the PS4 (or another PS platform)? If so, list the title(s) of your game(s), the release date(s), and the overall nature of the project(s).
      • What type of game will it be?
      • What tasks are you expected to complete in the timeframe above?
        • Again, be as detailed as possible.

 

  • Technical details
    • Details on your proprietary engine?
    • Details on Sony Licensed Middleware Engine?

 

  • Details about your employees
    • How many employees are employed with your studio?
    • Provide a detailed background on each important member of your staff
      • Founder, lead programmer, audio engineer, lead artist, etc. would all be considered important members of staff.

 

Once completed, ensure it is as detailed as possible and is free of any grammatical errors (you want to seem competent, after all). Upload the document by selecting ‘Choose File’ on the page and upload it. Take a deep breath: we’re close to being done!

If you are a licensed publisher in another territory, check the appropriate box under ‘Are you an existing Sony Computer Entertainment Publisher in a different territory.’ Next, under ‘What is your main area of interest,’ select each applicable choice (Game Development or Non-Game App Development).

Finally, fill out your company’s details, ensuring that you double-check to make certain that the details are accurate. Read the Terms & Conditions, fill out your unique ‘Captcha’ box in the text field below, and select the ‘Submit’ button.

That’s it! You will hear from a PlayStation representative hopefully within a short amount of time, and they will guide you through the next appropriate steps. Of course, if you have any questions regarding the process at all, a quick email to Sony will suffice. You can contact them at the following address: selfpublish@playstation.sony.com

 

What are some of the perks of becoming a developer for the PS4 (and other PS platforms)?

For starters, Sony provides indie developers with a ton of choices for releasing their games on the PlayStation platform. Here’s a few interesting features of self-publishing on a PlayStation platform:

  • Indie developers are able to set the wholesale price and the release date of their game
  • Free ESRB rating for digital titles
  • The ability to release F2P games
  • Indie developers own the rights to their games (should be a no-brainer, but it’s important)

It’s certainly a promising platform to develop for, and with the PS4 releasing tomorrow, a ton of people are going to want to play new games on their PS4 – especially since the bulk of AAA games will not start releasing until sometime next year. Now is the time to act and consider releasing your game for the PS4 – who knows, it could end up being an extremely profitable decision!

15 Responses

    1. Dusty Wright

      Certainly. The process is fairly identical to the steps I listed above, with the only difference being you need also need to fill out a proposal details temple (the template is provided to you on the page where you have to fill out your information) and Proof of Legal Entity. So there’s a few extra steps, but it’s fairly straightforward.

      I am going to provide a link in the post above since the link is too long to be posted here. If you have any other questions feel free to ask them.

  1. This is awesome. I followed your directions for registration, but I didn’t get any forms yet. They said they’ll reply shortly but its been two weeks. Did they reject me or they’ve forgotten?

  2. Charlie

    Hey Dusty, could you share any up-to-date insight on this? I’m looking to develop a Unity based game for PlayStation 4, and am researching how to go about doing so exactly. I’m told the first step is applying for and acquiring a PlayStation license, do you know the cost of this nowadays? I live and would be developing from the UK. Could really use pointing in the right direction with how to proceed!

    Thanks 😀

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