On the first day of October 2008, Sony implemented a new system where publishers have to pay for the Playstation Network bandwidth used to download demo, trailers and downloadable content.
At 16 cents per Gigabyte, a popular free DLC or demo may cost its publisher more than $160,000 in the first month. The fee applies to paid as well as free content. Publishers will be charged during the first 60 days of availability for free content, but they'll have to pay the fee for paid content indefinitely.
Playstation 3 is currently trailing behind both Wii and Xbox 360 and this fee is proving to be unpopular among publihsers. "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 said. "It's a new thing we have to budget. It's not cool. It sucks."
Sony refused to comment on the reason behind the fee or the publishers' reaction towards it. "Appreciate the opportunity to jump in here, but we respect the confidentiality of our business agreements with our publishing partners," Sony Computer Entertainment of America spokesman Patrick Seybold said. "Of course we work closely with them to bring their amazing content to our growing audience, and we are focused on ensuring we, and our publishing partners, have a viable platform for digital distribution. We foresee no change in the high quality or quantity of demos and games available on PSN."