GDC: Sony eager to publish free-to-play projects

GDC: Sony eager to publish free-to-play projects

By Rob Crossley in San Francisco

March 8th 2012 at 2:22AM

Percentage of virtual item purchases on PSN described as 'extremely healthy'

PlayStation’s digital publishing arm wants developers to pitch free-to-play games for PSN, an executive at the company has said.

Ted Regulski, manager of SCEA Developer Relations, said Sony has changed its philosophy and is now “open to any business model”.

“One thing we’re working on quite a lot is free-to-play,” he said during his GDC talk in San Francisco.

“Some developers say we’ll never allow freemium games on PlayStation but that’s really not the case.”

Regulski pointed out that freemium games, such as Free Realms, already exist on the PlayStation Network, and described the percentage of virtual item purchases as “extremely healthy”.

“We have a program where any third party studio is allowed to pitch to us any idea they want,” he added.

Sony is keeping an open-mind on any game types that are pitched to it, Regulski said, but listed the top five genres on PSN by popularity.

In order:

Shooter
Sports Games
Action
Racing
Family Entertainment

In terms of more recent trends, he said family entertainment is becoming a more and more important genre on PSN as PS3 lowers its price and increases its appeal to casual gamers.

In a bullish start to his GDC talk, Regulski said Sony was “the only major console publisher to allow self-publishing”.

“There are others but they have publishing rules that aren’t much fun,” he said, “and there are no weird limits you have to hit in order for us to pay you”.

He also went on to claim that PSN offers a better royalty rate than what Nintendo and Microsoft offers, though didn’t reveal any numbers so the claim cannot be verified.

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