By Dr. Serkan Toto – On Japan's Game Industry

Sony Thinks About Using Free-To-Play Business Model For PlayStation Mobile [Social Games]


Ten days after changing the brand name of“PlayStation Suite” to “PlayStationMobile” during the E3,Sony Computer EntertainmentPresident Andrew House gave an interesting interview to Japanese business daily The Nikkei today.

House said that the Android-based mobile game service will be launched sometime “during the second half of this year”, without giving further details.

What’s much more interesting: in contrast to what has been widely expected to be Playstation Mobile’s business model (pay-per-download), Sony is actually thinking about going free-to-play on Android. House said that users might be able to download titles for free and be charged for in-game virtual items.

This would be the first time for Sony Computer Entertainment to replicate the business model that GREE, Mobage operator DeNA, Zynga, and a plethora of mobile game makers worldwide consider to be the go-to solution in terms of monetization at the moment.

Nintendo resisted for a long time but finally started offering downloadable content for money for some of their mobile games earlier this year: Nintendo, however, doesn’t offer virtual items per se but paid content like additional levels within boxed, paid games – which is a big difference to Sony’s possible move.

Regarding free-to-play, Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata was quoted as saying he “hasno intention to deny every possibility of free-to-play” just a few days ago, during E3 in the US.

About the author

Dr. Serkan Toto

I am the CEO & Founder of Tokyo-based Kantan Games Inc., an independent consultancy focused on Japan’s game industry.

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By Dr. Serkan Toto – On Japan's Game Industry