SingStar Going Free-to-Play

SingStar Going Free-to-Play

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Get your karaoke on for free. Kind of.

The music game market may have crashed and burned back in 2009, but that hasn't stopped a few developers from sifting through the wreckage in search of profit. Sony is no longer popping out Singstar games every six months, but the 8-year-old karaoke series is still helping shift extra song DLC.

Previously, the SingStar Viewer app for the PS3 allowed users to check out the game's content for free, but players still had to buy a copy of the game to actually engage in some embarrassing crooning. The app is being discontinued, but in its place Sony promises the "Complete SingStar experience will be available as a free download very soon."

The game still requires one of SingStar's proprietary Microphones, but I've seen those going for about the same price as a bag of skittles in my local GameStop.

Giving away the game for free and charging for individual songs seems like an obvious way to pull in the casual gamers that form the bulk of SingStar's audience. So obvious, in fact, that I'm surprised no one else has done it yet. Then again, the consoles have been slow to embrace F2P gaming. The 360's first free-to-play title, Happy Wars, came out just this month. Sony has been a little more proactive, but still only boasts three or four free titles on the PS3.

Source: PSN Stories

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Grey Carter:
SingStar Going F2P

There, fixed it for you. You need to un-capitalize one of your "i"'s. Syntax is evil.

capatcha; Save yourself.

...

I'm surprised free client, pay-per-content isn't the norm with these sort of games; people have such divergent tastes that it makes more sense to just pick the songs you like.

Plus I'm sure it ends up with a greater ROI for the game company, so win-win.

This type of game addapts very well to F2P. Good for them.

Hopefully Sony can figure out a way to use the F2P model to revive and reinvigorate two of their older music game franchises - PaRappa the Rapper and UmJammer Lammy.

deathninja:
I'm surprised free client, pay-per-content isn't the norm with these sort of games; people have such divergent tastes that it makes more sense to just pick the songs you like.

Plus I'm sure it ends up with a greater ROI for the game company, so win-win.

That only works if they charged less for songs. I'm a fan of flailing around on plastic guitars, but with Guitar Hero DLC at $2/song, I haven't exactly been rushing to purchase any. Guitar Hero 6 had 93 tracks. (87 if you count 2112 as one song) At the standard rate of $2/song, it would've cost $174 with no discount ever to get all of it. I don't know what the rates are on SingStar, but if it's at all similar getting a reasonable startup library would cost a small fortune.

Sure, you only have to buy what you want, but the wonderful thing about a bulk amount of default songs is that you get to start with a lot of songs right off the bat and don't have to worry about not having something for somebody. (Plus the people who picked songs for Guitar Hero and Rock Band did their jobs well - I became a fan of several bands after first encountering them in a Guitar Hero game)

Sometimes I wish Steam-esque sales happened for everything. I haven't purchased any songs at $2/song, but if it were $0.50/song? I'd probably buy pretty much all of them. I wish everything had Steam level sales. But that's another topic.

deathninja:
I'm surprised free client, pay-per-content isn't the norm with these sort of games; people have such divergent tastes that it makes more sense to just pick the songs you like.

Plus I'm sure it ends up with a greater ROI for the game company, so win-win.

F2P is a relatively new model. I'm not surprised that a genre that crashed in 09 isn't following up on it. Although, Rock Band 3 is like 20 bucks now.

Singstar may have the right idea, though. Especially since all you need is a USB mic. I think the cost of fake instruments for Guitar Hero/Rock Bandlike games would be easier to swallow without the 60 dollar up front fee. Plus, I prefer paying per song anyway. I've got such a large library the odds of the on-disc tracks ever coming up is practically nil.

Even better would be a free version and a disc one, since you can treat the disc version as a track pack.

Falterfire:

Sometimes I wish Steam-esque sales happened for everything. I haven't purchased any songs at $2/song, but if it were $0.50/song? I'd probably buy pretty much all of them. I wish everything had Steam level sales. But that's another topic.

Unfortunately, that would require the prices going well below iTunes prices, and that ain't happening.

 

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