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DC Universe Online on PS3 is “fastest growing segment” of SOE’s business

Thursday, 22nd August 2013 23:42 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Sony Online Entertainment is making serious inroads with free-to-play on consoles, despite the many doubters of this business model.

“The single fastest growing segment of our business is DC Universe Online on the PS3,” SOE president John Smedley told GamesIndustry.

“70% of our revenue [on that game] comes from the PS3 and 70 percent of our players come from the PS3.”

Smedley said SOE’s success is partially rooted in its early experiences with console F2P, which taught it how to quickly push out updates – one of the perceived barriers to freemium console games.

“One of the advantages we have had is we were the first with Free Realms. With that, we’ve helped the QA group set up the system. What happened is there’s a trust level that builds up. They do certain checks every time – but over time, if you don’t screw up, they start to trust your [internal] QA,” he said.

Contrary to popular opinion, Smedley believes console players are more likely to spend than PC players.

“There’s a higher likelihood of having a payment system on file, and since these are dedicated gaming systems, you’re more predisposed to try something, whereas when you’re on the PC, you might get distracted by, say, Facebook or something.”

Smedley’s comments were related as part of a broader feature on free-to-play on consoles; Wargaming and Kabam both expressed warm sentiments about the growing potential for non-traditional business on console platforms.

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2 Comments

  1. DarkElfa

    That’s a damn crime against gaming, DCUO is horrific.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. TheWulf

    Well those are some smart things to say considering that Smedley is pitching a free to play game series (Everquest Landmark and Next) at PC gamers quite exclusively. Hardly salubrious for SOE.

    It’s just bizarre, really.

    Especially when there are so many instances of actually successful free to play games. Even on the lower end of the market you have stuff like Star Trek Online which has proved profitable enough for Cryptic to have the go-ahead to create Neverwinter, with a similar system. And then you have Turbine’s Dungeons & Dragons Online, and Lord of the Rings Online, both of which I believe increased profit-gains tenfold or more once they went free to play.

    You then have the stuff that hardcore gamers tend not to like, such as Maple Story, which is making money hand over fist.

    The problem with SOE is that they’re not exactly marketing geniuses, as has been proven with this release, and as such they’re not really good at pinning down demographics and giving people what they want. I’m hoping that will change with Everquest Landmark and Everquest Next.

    What Smedley doesn’t realise is that DCUO didn’t do so well on the PC simply because there were better options on offer. And I’m genuinely hoping that for the sake of console owners, those better options make it over there, soon. As #1 pointed out, DCUO is a terrible game, but the desperation for console MMOs has people flocking to it, apparently, in a bit of an ‘ERMAHGERRD AN MMO‘ haze.

    To the point where console owners are actually spending money on it.

    Poor sods. :I

    Like I said, I hope better options will make their way to consoles. It actually makes me a little bit sad to think that Sony are making money this way. What’s worse is that they may purposefully gate the system to ensure that competitors don’t get a spot in the limelight.

    And really, getting distracted from buying something by a social networking site is the silliest argument I’ve ever heard.

    I just don’t understand Smedley, sometimes. It’s like he represents SOE’s deathwish.

    #2 1 year ago

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