Many people doubt the free-to-play model, especially on consoles, but Sony Online Entertainment is making great progress with it according to its president John Smedley. He explained in an interview with GamesIndustry that the fastest growing segment of their business is DC Universe Online on the PlayStation 3. He also explained that 70% of the revenue from that game comes from PlayStation 3 and 70% of the players are also from that console which is impressive considering that the game is also out on for the PC on which F2P games are more popular and common.
Smedley went on to say the SOE’s success is rooted in its early success with the console F2P:
“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 also believes players on console are more likely to spend than their PC counterparts:
“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.”
Overall, this is good news for Sony Online Entertainment and the free-to-play market on consoles as a whole. The fact the DC Universe Online is doing so well on the PS3 bodes well for its release on the PS4.