Pétursson told Develop that the policy is expected to contain multiple pricing tiers, with revenue split between the developer and Sony. He also mentioned that the policy could lead to currency cards being sold alongside PSN cards at retail: “If there is a retail play, Sony has tremendous routes into that. They have PlayStation Network cards sold over the counter. There’s so many ways for us to get our brand everywhere.”
EGM’s TAKE: This is a big step forward by one of the major console manufacturers, who previously have steered away from micro-transactions. It appears that the policy is being designed for use with Dust 514, to allow it to copy the same “vanity items” sales technique of its big brother EVE Online. However, the policy could be tweaked if successful and be available for other developers to use, for example with Sony’s own free-to-play MMOs, such as DC Universe Online. If the plan goes ahead it will remove the major barrier to entry that is preventing free-to-play games moving to consoles; with the ability to perform micro-transactions the gaming possibilities of the PlayStation 3 would be greatly widened. Is this the beginning of a major turning point in the free-to-play market? Only time will tell.
Would free-to-play games be successful on consoles? Leave your thoughts below.