Sony Online Entertainment is making serious inroads with free-to-play on consoles, despite the many doubters of the free to play business model. “The single fastest growing segment of our business is DC Universe Online on the PS3,” SOE president John Smedley told GamesIndustry.
“70% of our revenue [on that game] comes from the PS3 and 70 percent of our players come from the PS3.” Smedley said SOE’s success is partially rooted in its early experiences with console F2P, which taught it how to quickly push out updates – one of the perceived barriers to freemium console games.
“One of the advantages we have had is we were the first with Free Realms. With that, we’ve helped the QA group set up the system. What happened is there’s a trust level that builds up. They do certain checks every time – but over time, if you don’t screw up, they start to trust your [internal] QA,” he said.
Smedley believes console players are more likely to spend than PC players. “There’s a higher likelihood of having a payment system on file, and since these are dedicated gaming systems, you’re more predisposed to try something, whereas when you’re on the PC, you might get distracted by, say, Facebook or something.”