Wed, Jul 18, 2012 | 15:47 BST
SOE – 70% of DCUO players are on PS3, proving MMOs work on console
SOE boss John Smedley has said 70% of DC Universe Online players are playing the game through PS3.
Speaking with GI International, Smedley said SOE and CCP proved free-to-play games are a viable market on PS3 when supported through the PSN service.
“It’s 70% of the audience. Free-to-play on PlayStation 3 is huge,” he said. “In fact, right now, it’s us with DCUO and Free Realms and our friends at CCP with Dust 514 that are going to prove that this market really works.
“There’s a lot of people that go through that store and it’s so easy to find and download these games that it’s a great business model. A lot of people have already stored their credit card information so it’s very frictionless if they do want to buy something.
“We can put out thousands of items and it feels very frictionless. The remarkable thing is with a game like Free Realms where there’s literally thousands of items to buy it, has to be a solid platform to begin with to support that. It’s no small thing to be able to that. It’s a business model of the future.”
DC Universe Online went free-to-play in October, and Smedley said despite the stigma still attached to anything labeled “free-to-play”, the numbers don’t lie, and while DCUO may lose a few players when a new game comes out, the players eventually come back.
“Free-to-play is the ultimate expression of a free market in video gaming,” he said. “It’s completely about quality, there’s no purer way to see whether you have a good game or not than by saying ‘this is free, do you want to play it?’ I would argue that free-to-play is much more pure than regular games because with those marketing can determine who picks up the game.
“When another MMO launches we track very carefully how many players we lose to it. We can tell when the bad ones come out because they might have a lot of hype up front and we lose players for a couple of days, but they come right back so we immediately know if something is not good.
“Then again with a game like Diablo III we’ll see them go away for weeks. I was one of them! It’s right in front of us when that happens.”