As you're no doubt aware, this month's PlayStation Plus freebie on the PlayStation 4 was Tribute Games' indie shmup Mercenary Kings. Originally released on the PC last year, the title joins a growing number of games being given away via the premium subscription service at the same time that they launch. It goes without saying that Sony provides reparation for providing a release in the Instant Game Collection, but the question of whether or not this is a good business move for small indie studios still remains.
Luckily, the Montreal-based developer behind this month's giveaway is satisfied with the outcome. "While it may keep some from buying your game day one," studio co-founder Jean-Francois Major said in an interview with Gamasutra, "in the end, it doesn't really kill sales – it allows you to reach a bigger audience that might not be willing to try your game at the premium price."
However, Major is quick to point out that his team is unlikely to pursue this strategy with its next title. "I'm happy we traded a bit of risk for a PlayStation Plus deal," he continued. "Maybe we could've done better on our own, but the PlayStation Plus deal was a safe bet. We'll gamble a bit more on the next project!"
What do you make of these intriguing comments? Do you think that releasing a game on PlayStation Plus is a smart way of securing a profit, or does a regular release make more sense? Pretend to be Pachter in the comments section below.