Posted on March 7, 2012 AT 07:02am
THE BUZZ: Sony is hoping to lure developers away from other distribution services to the PlayStation Network by embracing new business models and offering greater freedom, according to new PlayStation Digital Platforms boss Jack Buser.
“One of the great things about PlayStation Network is that it’s able to deploy to such a wide number of devices,” he told Eurogamer. ”We’re actually able to leverage this huge install base of not just the PlayStation 3 but the growing install base of Vita. And with our new platforms like PlayStation Suite we’re able to again have games on devices which aren’t necessarily even manufactured by Sony. So suddenly you realise the ecosystem of PlayStation devices is absolutely tremendous.”
Buser also mentioned that Sony is now allowing developers to release games on their own terms, while also taking a shot at Xbox Live’s more controlled releases:
“We’re really opening up a lot of our policies beyond what you’re going to see with other online game platforms,” he explained. ”I think one of the most significant things we do on PSN that isn’t really talked about a lot in the consumer press is the notion that game developers – specifically independent game developers – are able to publish their own games on PSN.”
“If you look at some of our competition they actually force independent developers to go and find big publishers that eat into the money that they would otherwise make, which to us seems crazy. If someone wants to make a great game and publish it themselves then let them do it,” added Buser.
Finally he pointed out that unlike Microsoft, Sony is increasingly interested in new business models such as free-to-play:
“You’re going to see business models that are possible on PSN that other networks just can’t even do. I use the example of free-to-play. Dust 514 – how exciting is that? This notion that you have this amazing experience that is totally free to play, it’s such a huge innovation that is really only possible on PlayStation Network.”
“If you look at some of our other competitors in this space, there’s no free anywhere. Forget free-to-play, because you’re paying just to get on the network. With PSN you’re able to do full-on free-to-play models, which is why you see games like Dust 514 exclusive to PSN.”
EGM’s TAKE: It seems like Sony is really pushing into new areas in an effort to be the best. With free-to-play games gaining popularity by the day it’s no surprise that the PlayStation Network is accommodating them, especially when Microsoft still takes a stubborn stand on the genre. As far as developer freedom goes, you can only give creators so much room to run before you have to reel them back in, otherwise they could end up hurting the brand. Free-to-play is certainly going to dominate the gaming market over the next couple of years, maybe it will be the turning point in the battle between Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. But both of these services still have a long way to go before they can compete with Steam.
How would you like to see Sony improve the PSN? Leave your thoughts below.
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