While Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) confirmed the shutdown date of several console stores, it seems PlayStation Vita developers learned this at the same time as the general public; with some still working the morning of the announcement.
In October 2020, SIE announced the PlayStation Store on browser and mobile would no longer sell PlayStation 3, Portable, or Vita games; after the new browser store launched.
On March 29th, the old browser PlayStation Store was now effectively shut down; while users had got around the late October 2020 cut-off via region-specific URLs, the website began to redirect to the new store on March 27th. Later on March 29th, SIE quietly confirmed the closing dates for the console stores as well.
However, it seems many PlayStation Vita developers were the last to know; or at the very least were notified at the same time as the general public.
PlayStation Lifestyle reported on several reactions. Waypoint journalist Patrick Klepek stated on Twitter (according to a Sony memo he obtained), that “PS4/PS5 games with PS3/Vita versions (‘Cross Buy’) can still grant access to PS3/Vita version.” PS3 discs will also continue to be made, and developers can still release content prior to the shutdown.
Lillymo Games announced on Twitter “With today’s news of the Vita Store closing, we sadly have had to cancel the Vita version of our next game. The store will be closed before our next game is ready, so it seems Habroxia 2 will be our final Vita release.” Replying to another Twitter user, they also confirmed “You are finding out at the same time we are, I was working on vita specific tasks this morning.”
The Domaginarium also confirmed they had several Vita games in development. “Two of our current projects are dungeon crawlers that are ‘more-than-half-done’ and we can work really hard to finish them and go through certification before the deadline so you can have them by late Jul or early Aug.”
“But unfortunately those will be the last two Vita games we can make,” The Domaginarium explain, “because any other project will definitely take more than 3 months to finish.”
Thomas Altenburger, a Flying Oak Games developer and console-porter stated on Twitter “ScourgeBringer on PS Vita, will be a limited release and will only be available for 128 days before vanishing (no developer pun intended in the number), from April 22 to August 27. 128 days to get the last PS Vita game to release digitally.”
Developer Tikipod had a far sunnier outlook however, boasting on Twitter that “We are bringing our biggest Vita game out in April.”
While these developers have stepped forward to discuss ongoing projects, many others are sure to be under NDA, or even just starting development. Even if they are adapted for release on other consoles, it will no doubt hinder development teams.