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Sony Commits Future MMOs to Consoles

| 3 Oct 2008 20:55
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Sony Online Entertainment executive John Smedley has said "yes" to all future Sony MMO games being on PlayStation systems.

"It's been a new experience for us because - well, we've done one console MMO," stated Smedley on Sony's previous massively-multiplayer online game. "We're actually one of two companies in the world that's ever done a console MMO. We had EverQuest Online Adventures for the PS2 - still operating. It and Final Fantasy XI are the only actual MMOs."

Sony looks to be pushing into the Blizzard-dominated, PC-centric market of MMOs by trying to convert console gamers into more dedicated players who might be willing pay for subscriptions or, better yet, micro-transactions for free games like Sony's Free Realm coming in six months.

"We introduced a trading card game to our EverQuest and EQ2 players and they got the idea of microtransactions very quickly," explained Smedley. "We put it in there in a way that wasn't harmful to gameplay and it actually gave them a benefit, so that's how we're going to convert existing players. Getting a console player to pay for a subscription, I think that's an interesting question."

With the underlying technology in place to allow for simultaneous console and PC launches, SOE believes it will "introduce a lot of new people [to MMOs]."

"I think it's going to be a cool way for them to experience games that have been on the PC for a while, but have a totally different kind of gameplay on the console," he said.

World of Warcraft continues to control the fantasy MMO market four years after its release. Smedley respects Blizzard's success, but sees consoles as Sony's niche to capture with MMOs of different genres, such as DC Universe and The Agency.

"We have advantages that others simply don't being in the Sony family. For us, the opportunity that we see on the PS3, and potentially the PSP, is something that we can't pass up on.... I would say that we would be one of the early adopters on [bringing MMOs to consoles], and we plan on becoming one of the dominant players in the MMO space on consoles. We see that marketing coming; we think it's there now, so we want to get a good market share there."

Source: MTV Multiplayer

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