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PS Home director believes the future is the free-to-play market

Thursday, 25th August 2011 17:18 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

PlayStation Home director Jack Buser believes Home is a “huge differentiator” from other consoles, and that the future is in free-to-play sector – something Sony plans to capitalize on with the service’s revamp launching in the fall.

Speaking in an interview with IndustryGamers, Buser said the best thing about F2P, is that developers create quality experiences faster and cheaper than a triple-A title. Plus, with the overhaul of Home, Sony will be offering something to PS3 users which they cannot get through Wii or Xbox 360 at the moment.

“I’m very biased but, in PlayStation Home, you can build a full-on game that looks like a console game – for example, a full-on FPS or racing game – with a team of just 6-10 people and it’ll take 6-9 months to complete,” he said. “Everything’s done with scripting using [programming language] … so with a very small team you can create a game that’s up and running on PS3 in just six months. And it’s monetizing immediately.

“So for instance, with Sodium 1, we had 1.6 million people go through that game in the first six weeks after launch in North America alone. So you can do the numbers and realize that you can have investments that are moderate with lower risk [than big budget consoles games], and when you’re talking about a built-in community, we just announced 23 million users globally on Home – the numbers start to add up.

“I’m a big games historian and read lots of books on game history. If you fast forward 10 years, it is my personal belief that games will look a lot more like what’s going on in PlayStation Home than what they typically look like today. If we were to fast forward 10 years and look back at what PlayStation Home is doing right now, I believe it’s going to be viewed as a turning point in the industry where we finally started to see these business models from the web actually take hold on consoles and start to create profitable businesses for console developers, using free-to-play and token-based play and ad-sponsored and all these cool models that really on consoles are only found in PlayStation Home.

“It’s a huge differentiator for the PS3. You could not build these types of games on other consoles because they don’t have a platform like Home.”

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