Minecraft Fails PS4 Certification

You may have read from a reputable outfit, such as this one, that Minecraft will make its way to PlayStation 4 sometime this month, but time makes fools of us all. In this instance, the unlucky party is 4J Studios, whose PS4 version of Minecraft failed Sony's certification, likely resulting in a delay for anticipated port.

4J Studios, a Scottish development team that's headed up all of the console versions of Minecraft, revealed this information in a disappointed tweet. While the developer did not specify what exactly caused Sony to withhold the stamp of approval, it did point out that it's already in the process of fixing said issues and will need to resubmit the project all over again.

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PS4 certification assures that a game is playable and safe for Sony hardware, but since games with bugs often slip past, the issues with Minecraft were likely more damning than mere graphical or gameplay glitches. Part of the certification process requires each game to have Trophies and Remote Play options, however. Remote Play in particular could throw a development team for a loop, particularly one that's as used to developing for Microsoft consoles as 4J Studios.

With only nine days left in the month, 4J Studios would be hard-pressed to meet its August release date for the PS4 version. This, in turn, could delay the Xbox One and PlayStation Vita versions of the game, which were also set to release this month. The company has yet to share any new information on updated release dates.

In the meantime, you can still play Minecraft on PC, Xbox 360, PS3, iOS and Android if you, or your kids, just can't get enough blocky goodness.

Marshall Honorof is a Staff Writer for Tom's Guide. Contact him at mhonorof@tomsguide.com. Follow him @marshallhonorof and on Google+. Follow us @tomsguide, on Facebook and on Google+.

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  • Zepid
    This is not really news. I use to work on the build team at EA and later at MS Certification for builds and technical requirement certifications, not many games pass certification the first go through - which is a shame because it is so expensive to submit. And each fail requires a new submission, which costs the same as the initial submission, and adds at minimum 4 weeks delay.

    It can end up costing the company millions of dollars between advertising having to be pushed back, keeping staff on for a month longer, working overtime, and resubmission. Very very very few publishers/developers ever reach platinum status company wide and even fewer have an average submission rating of 1 (as in 1 time to submit, first pass).

    EA is one of the only publishers who has such status, even from my time at Microsoft. Most companies don't think QA is important and outsource it to 3rd parties towards the end of development. QA with companies like EA is integrated from pre-milestone (in concept phase) with a fully staffed team. Until game developers start seeing the value in QA we'll continue seeing a decline in game quality (it is insanely bad right now if you have been gaming for more than 15 years and can remember a time when games just worked).

    Just think, I said EA has one of the highest submission ratings in the industry, and they were responsible for blunders like Battlefield 4 and Army of Two: 40th Day!

    Gamers need to demand more, and it would be great if first party (Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo) would penalize companies that regularly fail submission compliance tests. I'd go so far as to say that both the company submission rating and the game submission rating should be printed on each game box so gamers can know, "Hey this company on average fails submission 3 times before success, but this game failed submission 6 times, I should probably not trust my money with this company."

    In every other industry we do this, you certainly wouldn't buy a car that had the "lowest safety ratings in the industry" or "highest fatalities in its class" or "from the company that brought you EXPLODING TIRES." The auto industry has to publish their reporting for transparency, so should the gaming industry.
    12
  • Other Comments
  • Zepid
    This is not really news. I use to work on the build team at EA and later at MS Certification for builds and technical requirement certifications, not many games pass certification the first go through - which is a shame because it is so expensive to submit. And each fail requires a new submission, which costs the same as the initial submission, and adds at minimum 4 weeks delay.

    It can end up costing the company millions of dollars between advertising having to be pushed back, keeping staff on for a month longer, working overtime, and resubmission. Very very very few publishers/developers ever reach platinum status company wide and even fewer have an average submission rating of 1 (as in 1 time to submit, first pass).

    EA is one of the only publishers who has such status, even from my time at Microsoft. Most companies don't think QA is important and outsource it to 3rd parties towards the end of development. QA with companies like EA is integrated from pre-milestone (in concept phase) with a fully staffed team. Until game developers start seeing the value in QA we'll continue seeing a decline in game quality (it is insanely bad right now if you have been gaming for more than 15 years and can remember a time when games just worked).

    Just think, I said EA has one of the highest submission ratings in the industry, and they were responsible for blunders like Battlefield 4 and Army of Two: 40th Day!

    Gamers need to demand more, and it would be great if first party (Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo) would penalize companies that regularly fail submission compliance tests. I'd go so far as to say that both the company submission rating and the game submission rating should be printed on each game box so gamers can know, "Hey this company on average fails submission 3 times before success, but this game failed submission 6 times, I should probably not trust my money with this company."

    In every other industry we do this, you certainly wouldn't buy a car that had the "lowest safety ratings in the industry" or "highest fatalities in its class" or "from the company that brought you EXPLODING TIRES." The auto industry has to publish their reporting for transparency, so should the gaming industry.
    12
  • jlake3
    Saw this elsewhere and it was brought up in those comments that failing certification isn't necessarily a sign of gamebreaking bugs; A game can also fail certification for a number of branding/licensing issues such as using unapproved button icons in tutorials or referring to the Playstation as a game console rather than a "home entertainment system" or whatever they're doing this generation.
    4
  • 10tacle
    Well whatever the reason for failed games after release, Zepid's comment makes perfect sense. And yes, I'm one of those who remembers gaming from 15-20 years ago (both PC and consoles) where you just purchase, install, and play with no problems. Over the past several years the increase of failures and bugs with games is just unreal.

    My latest example: Grid Autosport on the PC/Steam version. The game has been patched three times since release a few months ago and it still breaks when doing certain things like buying/selling cars in the garage. The PS3 version has been broken for nearly two months and Codemasters has yet to at least attempt a fix for the PS3 version with a first patch.

    And like Zepid said, we as gamers MUST rise up and demand more for quality and game releases. Otherwise, developers will continue doing things halfassed and/or outsourced. Delayed releases are frustrating to us all, but not NEARLY as frustrating as buying a game that is broken and waiting on patches which may or may not (see my example above) even fix everything.
    3