smedley_feat

In a recent interview with Gamasutra, Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) President, John Smedley, spoke out about the success and challenges present when taking a free-to-play game to the console market.

With PlanetSide 2 entering closed beta on the PS4 soon and DC Universe Online already running, Smedley said about monetization:

“The PS4 has been monetizing amazingly well — between 3 and 3.5x the monetization rate of the PC. Seeing that kind of difference in pay rate between the PC and the PS4 is really astounding — it shows there’s a real market there.”

Smedley also notes that even the last gen PS3 sees DC Universe Online players monetizing at twice the rate of PC players. Smedley likened the console free-to-play market to the very beginnings of social games but does not see the bottom falling out like it did in that market.

Why?

According to Smedley, “Social games collapsed because most of them weren’t even games at all — they were just monetization vehicles. It (F2P design) forces you to get your gameplay as good as it possibly can get, because that’s your vehicle for getting people to stick with your game. It really does enforce some discipline on you that I think is needed.”

Check out the full interview for more chat about the future of H1Z1, SOE on Steam, and Early Access.

the author

Mike "Magicman" Byrne has been a part of the MMOBomb family for years and serves as the site's current Editor-in-Chief. His love for MMOs and gaming in general has led him to covering games for numerous websites including Gamebreaker TV and XIV Nation where he proudly displays his fanboy flag for FFXIV:ARR.

12 Readers Commented

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  1. Annonymouse on January 9, 2015

    What a surprise, an employee from Sony saying that publishing F2P games on consoles are more profitable. Quite the coincidence that Sony sells a console. I wonder what royalties they charge for F2P micro-transactions.

  2. Maxx Daily on January 9, 2015

    Why are people downing console gamers like crazy. We do just as well as PC if not better. I’m a PC and Console gamer an trust me i try to manage. But I truly think that F2P games would do wonderfully on the consoles and hopefully fund both PC an Console. Some people like PC ONLY and CONSOLE ONLY gamers are truly short minded. I use to be PC ONLY til I got a 360, then PS3, now PS4 an there amazing. I play both sides and there both good. But many PC gamers are short minded now a days and so are CONSOLE gamers. Point is SOE is trying to Expand for the both Parties of gaming. An its for the better, for F2P games. An MMOs are sooo much more fun on console just saying.

    • Annonymouse on January 9, 2015

      What’s the point of buying a console when they are just crappy PCs?

      How are MMos more fun on consoles? This sounds ridiculous, the only difference would be lower visual fidelity. You can use any console controller on the PC and AFAIK you can use mouse + KB on consoles, so I’m not seeing the difference really outside of consoles not being able to deliver cutting edge graphics.

      • mazul on January 11, 2015

        The difference for the players is: exclusive console titles.

        Major difference for the developers is: reliable customerbase that isn’t afraid of using non-keyboard+mouse control scheme (yes, many pc purists refuse to play without keyboard and mouse and this stubbornness makes it risky for devs.

  3. Ranteamo on January 9, 2015

    Why is it surprising? Console gamers flush down money in the toilet when they buy their “next-gen”, so why wouldn’t they pay for medicore games? With absolutly no game to chose from, I can see why. We already know that they also willing to pay more for games and pay to be able to use the online functions. We know that they get hyped for games that cost less to develop, then the advertising. Yes the console is bigger business, because a big portion of the users are brainwashed.

    • mazul on January 11, 2015

      Because if they know they have a better game they can choose to pay for, they will choose it.

      Just like in any market, there are unpopular titles that die out because they did not sell enough.

  4. Shanex on January 8, 2015

    The reason why DCUO does better on PS4 than PC is because it’s one of the few MMOs on the PS4 and console players who want an MMO go into that or FFIX: ARR. The PC has many more and better MMOs than DCUO.
    DCUO is terrible, it is just the only thing PS4 players were given in terms of a “F2P” MMO.
    But I still think Planetside 2 will be pretty big on PS4 since it’s a shooter and actually good. Maybe the “MAG” of the PS4 if anyone remembers that.

  5. Bic Boi on January 8, 2015

    What smedley doesn’t seem to grasp is that these F2P games coming to PS4 and whatnot for the first time are obviously going to be eaten up–that console-only crowd had no idea what F2P meant until this generation. PC users have been exposed to it for years on end and many have become more discerning. I’m quite interested to know what games he’s speaking of with his 3.5x monetization nonsense..if it’s just Sony games that doesn’t exactly prove much for F2P games on consoles in general–only sony’s games. Which in the grand scheme of things are just a few F2Pg games in the vast sea. Fairly irrelevant.

    • Razer on January 9, 2015

      I think that’s his point. PC gamers have had to put up with so many shit games that they’ve grown tired of microtransactions. Console gamers haven’t soured on the concept yet. It’s only a matter of time though.

      • RyuKaiser on January 10, 2015

        You’re asking for people who pay just to get online with their console when they’re already getting an internet connection to think critically. Why? Why would you even do that?

        • mazul on January 11, 2015

          You mean the people who have the money to both own a personal computer and pay for consoles? When you have sufficient money laying around, you are more willing to try new things.

  6. FkSoE on January 8, 2015

    2 word: FK SoE

    Tl:Dr : FK SoE

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