Consoles must embrace free-to-play or face extinction, says Nexon boss

Tuesday, 21st August 2012 05:01 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Nexon America CEO Daniel Kim has said consoles will “go the way of the dinosaurs” if manufacturers ignore the free-to-play market.

Nexon makes a number of popular MMOs including Maple Story and Combat Arms, and corners a significant portion of the Asian and US free-to-play dollar – something beyond the reach of current consoles, Kim told GamesIndustry.

“Console developers are starting to realise that as well, that unless they make accommodations or think about changing their own business model they’re going to quickly go the way of the dinosaurs,” he said.

“The business model it really makes sense. It’s really hard to beat free-to-play as an offering,” he added.

“The console guys are starting to realise that, but they also have a challenge in that they have a vested interest in an existing business model of packages. I know it’s tough for them to just cut off hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue to say ‘OK, we’re going to go free-to-play and make our bed here’ because that’s going to piss off a lot of people who they already have an existing business relationship with.”

Kim sympathised with the challenge hardware manufacturers are facing but said that unless they make “that leap of faith” then there’s no way for companies to continue to grow.

You know who else likened platform holders to dinosaurs? Codemasters co-founder David Darling. But he commissioned a sweet illustration of the iPhone as an asteroid smashing into Wiiatops and Xboxasuarus Rex.



  1. JimFear-666

    free to play should be called Pay to Win

    #1 2 years ago
  2. AJacks92

    @1 Not all F2P games are “pay-to-win.” Actually, the most successful F2P games are the ones that only sell cosmetic items or items you could buy with in-game money as well.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Strange Sultan

    i am sick and tired of those idiots who are trying so hard to convince us that console gaming is dying. mobile games attract millions of CASUAL gamers because they are simple and cheap. they are easy to get!! many people download mobile games only to play for a few levels before they stop playing entirely.

    same goes for F2P games. they are free. meaning that anyone can try them. and if you see the stats you’ll find the people who are actually playing are far less than the ones who just registered and tried it for a few hours before getting bored or anything.

    and the most important thing is that the POSSIBILITIES WILL BE VERY LIMITED:

    1-limited genres: shooters, RPGs and strategies ? what else can they do ?

    2-limited hardware: touch controls are not suited for games. look at mobile developers, they are stuck with drag, cut, tab and shake! they are already running out of ideas.
    and if F2P are to become the main focus, people will probably have to upgrade their PCs to run most of the countless generic military shooters F2P developers are going to make. or any hi-res MMO. most people can’t afford that.

    3-no more stories: yeas! the story matters to me.

    4-no more awesome characters.




    8-gamers must have good internet connection (i don’t).

    in the end. f2p and mobile gaming is just a different way of playing and NOT the next stage of gaming. focusing only on F2P is taking huge step backward.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. freedoms_stain

    @3, nobody said embrace F2P and only F2P, fuck everything else.

    Rant irrelevant.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Strange Sultan

    @4 consoles are being frequently dissed recently. it gets me every time.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. The_Red

    Actually his rant is kinda relevant because it was a F2P ONLY dev / publisher talking about it in the first place. If someone who has embraced both models (Ubisoft) had said this, yeah sure. But most of the people that are saying “consoles are doomed / facing extinction” are mobile / F2P / Facebook ONLY devs.

    It is like a jet manufacturer saying “cars must embrace wings and jet engines or face extinction”.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. freedoms_stain

    @6, irrelevant, nowhere does the guy suggest consoles have to adopt a strict F2P only model.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. roadkill

    “Consoles must embrace free-to-play or face extinction” They will not! Console users are usually very very rich people. Price is not a problem for them.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. freedoms_stain

    @8, then F2P, the business model that lets you pay what you want should be right up their alley.

    These very very rich console gamers will be missing out on Peter Molyneux’s 50 grand chisel. What very very rich gamer could resist?

    #9 2 years ago
  10. sh4dow

    Stupid people must embrace shutting up or face extinction.

    #10 2 years ago

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