PlayStation Home is derided by those who had no time for Sony’s strange virtual world, but it pulled in a fairly hefty amount of cash.
According to nDreams CEO Patrick O’Luanaigh, at its peak Home attracted “several million dedicated users”, and was a commercial success.
“We generated seven-figure revenues for several years from Home, and other studios did as well. Try telling us that it wasn’t successful,” he wrote in an article published on GamesIndustry.
Since Sony presumably took a cut of that, and had multiple developers working with it to produce Home content, it’s entirely possible the entire project was profitable all round.
O’Luanaigh, whose company was behind Xi, said the lauded ARG could not have occurred without a space like PlayStation Home. He also said the service suffered from the departure of Phil Harrison, who had initially pushed the project.
Sony had grand visions for Home as a lunch space for multiplayer, where strangers would meet and chat before setting off on adventures. The social aspect, including the ability to kit out custom player spaces, was always its most successful venture, but the service also debuted the first free-to-play games on consoles, and hosted livestreams of big Sony events like the E3 press conference or PS4 reveal.
PlayStation Home is due to close in March 2015. O’Luanaigh suggests this is a natural response to the sunsetting of the PS3.