PS Store shovelware
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Sony bans easy Trophy shovelware on PlayStation Store, developer complains of ‘removing history’

PS Store shovelware

Shovelware on the PlayStation Store for PS4 and PS5 is a major problem that has snowballed. Sony has finally put a stop to it.

If you usually play games on PlayStation consoles, you’ll know how important it is to brag to your friends that you have a lot of Platinum Trophies. Something as simple as that, among Sony gamers, is very important. Sony knows this very well. But in the last few years, we have seen a lot of rubbish games (also known as shovelware) that allow you to get trophies very easily. Sony doesn’t like that at all. So now shovelware on PlayStation Store is banned forever!

The decision affects a number of junk games known as “Stroke The” from the PlayStation Store, and a few others are affected too. It’s a decision that will finally put an end to junk games on the PS Store as the platform has seen its quality fall to Steam-like levels where virtually anything is accepted.

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No more shovelware on PlayStation Store, please

If you’re a regular PlayStation user who mostly plays physical games or first-party games from Sony, this whole shovelware thing might sound crazy to you. But, in the last few years, there’s been a major surge in players getting their hands on these junk titles to get Platinums. It may seem insignificant to you, but it’s a problem Sony has dealt with for a long time.

So Sony has decided to do something and issued a statement directly to the developers pointing out this type of content. The Japanese company has deemed these games or programs not directly related to games and developed directly for the purpose of obtaining trophies as “Spam and Duplicative Content.”

“Stroke The” games and their future

One of the shovelware games that many gamers are most familiar with – and which has been singled out by Sony – is Stroke The. The development team behind the Stroke The series, Game Achievement Ltd, commented on the PSNProfiles forum (FYI, we preserved the exact quote with its run-on sentence):

Firstly I will get the rather large elephant out of the room. We have made shovelware, this is not something that we deny and it is not something that we are going to dispute, it is however something that we have learnt from.

Stroke the Dog

Even so, the lead developer of Game Achievements Ltd disagrees with Sony’s decision, arguing rather hilariously that Sony was “removing history” with the removal of the games from PS Store. Further, they do not plan to remove the games voluntarily:

We do not however believe in removing history, we do believe in improvement and that is what we are going to be focusing on. We won’t be removing the Stroke The games from the market, we will however be adding to them to ensure that there is additional content within the games, making them more than just a press X game.

Game Achievement Ltd isn’t done yet

Game Achievement Ltd. says that they do not plan to continue developing shovelware games anymore. They have mentioned that they are working on games that do have gameplay and would not qualify as easy trophy games. In fact, they claim to “have a number of games in the work that will release next year” including “full titles which actually require effort and includes gameplay in order to complete.”

Despite having abused shovelware and arguing that Sony was “removing history,” the company does offer a sort-of apology to both gamers and Sony for the Stroke The series: “Once again, we apologize for the games we have put out so far and will continue to work on them to get them to a more acceptable level.”

My Take

Shovelware, whichever way you look at it, brings problems. We hope that this is the beginning of the end for this style of game. We are glad that Sony finally did something to clean up the PlayStation Store.