Microsoft, Sony to embrace free-to-play model with next gen consoles

By on May 9, 2013, 3:30 PM

During a recent roundtable discussion at the UK Game Horizon conference, Epic Games vice president Mark Rein said next generation consoles from Microsoft and Sony will fully embrace the free-to-play model that use in-game purchases to generate revenue. He said both companies are telling developers they are moving in that direction – just another indication of how mobile is influencing the entire industry.

True enough, Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida recently noted that his company will explore any and all revenue models with regards to the PlayStation 4. He went on to say they are developing a free-to-play game but aren’t ready to announce it yet.

They don’t have any subscription-based games in the pipeline yet but that model is certainly a possibility. Simply put, if a particular model makes sense for a project, Sony will consider it. This all comes as part of Sony’s strategy to boost investments in the digital side of development which includes digital titles, DLC or other features that come after launch, he said.

We also know of another free-to-play game heading to the PlayStation 4 at some point – Blacklight: Retribution. That title was announced for the PS4 during the Game Developers Conference back in March.

Later during the roundtable, Rein said Microsoft and Sony could learn from Apple and Google on how to make gaming more convenient for players. Specifically, he believes new consoles can improve their interfaces, boost their media center capabilities and by using the cloud, make it easier than ever to access games away from home.




User Comments: 12

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JC713 JC713 said:

Good news. This is a growing sector.

Chris Barry Chris Barry said:

Good, Now do something with the Vita, Iv barley used the thing becuase there are NO games for it. No apps. NOTHING... Waste of money, Ill be picking up the Shield from Nvidia best believe!

JC713 JC713 said:

Good, Now do something with the Vita, Iv barley used the thing becuase there are NO games for it. No apps. NOTHING... Waste of money, Ill be picking up the Shield from Nvidia best believe!

Shield cant play Steam games without a remote connection if I am not mistaken.

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

Good, Now do something with the Vita, Iv barley used the thing becuase there are NO games for it. No apps. NOTHING... Waste of money, Ill be picking up the Shield from Nvidia best believe!

Hey send it to me. I can make use of handhelds with no games.

4 people like this | St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Ehh, I'm still debating on if F2P is 'good news'. There's way too many poorly-designed games coming out with a pay-to-win style of gameplay...

2 people like this | MilwaukeeMike said:

Ehh, I'm still debating on if F2P is 'good news'. There's way too many poorly-designed games coming out with a pay-to-win style of gameplay...

Exactly... when I hear free-to-play I know it means you get half a game now and then must pay in tiny increments to proceed through it. And because every game is different, you never know if you'll need to fork out money for more powerful items, new levels, or in-game currency. I don't think it's better to play a game that's harder than it's supposed to be because I haven't bought something. Plus, you don't know if buying something will help you proceed and you might need something else later.

I much prefer the trial method. 100% completely free and complete game for like 1 or 2 levels, then you have to pay $50 or whatever for the entire rest of the game. It's just so easy to mess up the micro-transaction F2P model.

1 person liked this | NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

Wait up to a year or more if you want to progress in the game for free

JC713 JC713 said:

Ehh, I'm still debating on if F2P is 'good news'. There's way too many poorly-designed games coming out with a pay-to-win style of gameplay...

Yeah. Planetside 2 is a great example of a free-to-play game that is kind of pay-to-win, but not really. You can earn certs to pay for guns, upgrades, etc. But it takes too long to get a lot of them (what you need to buy the best stuff). They are constantly improving the game, so I dont mind dropping money on the game to make it more fun . The gameplay is so massive, the pay-to-win aspect is non-existant. You have to play the game to see what I am talking about. I miss subscriptions from Planetside 1 though. Blacklight Retribution and Battlefield Play4Free are the only good free games. They are pay-to-win though.

1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Pay-2-win will always be a factor, otherwise why pay at all. F2P will introduce all games to everyone and then the decision can be made whether the individual wants to spend money on the game.

As F2P, I often complain about the methods game designers use to make a dollar. As F2P, I technically have no right to complain at all. But when I compare what a F2P game is asking for compared to a One time fee game, I can't help but think I'm not getting my moneys worth. If I don't think I am getting my moneys worth, I will not spend anything at all. And so far that has been the case of all F2P games I have played. It's a game and if $50 will not buy everything, I will let them continue to nickel and dime everyone else.

JC713 JC713 said:

Yeah, they cant make money otherwise.

psycros psycros said:

Yet another reason to stick with the PC. Oh sure, its inundated with terrible pay-to-win games, but at least you have some alternatives. I suspect that Microsoft and Sony are going to be pushing MT hard in nearly all new titles. I also suspect that a lot of players, particularly the over-30 crowd, will wait until there are a good number of traditional games released before even considering one of the new consoles. Incidentally, males 30 and over are the fastest growing demographic for consoles, so if the majority of launch games are cash store garbage it will really hurt the sales of the PS4 and "720".

Puiu Puiu said:

Sony already has some f2p games on PS3 (albeit not many), like CCP's Dust514.

I expect more to come.

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