Could F2P Games Make PS4 Dominant?
Could Sony get back on top with Playstation 4? Maybe, and the key could be their embrace of free to play games. At least, that’s according to the makers of Crysis and Dust 514. Crytek’s Cevat Yerli and CCP’s David Reid spoke recently to CVG about Sony’s adoption of the format, and they seem rather sure that F2P is Sony’s magic bullet.
Discussing the new free to play title SingStar, Yerli said that “Sony making that game is a great step forward, and they should be applauded. If Sony embraces free-to-play as a major way for PlayStation, that could be the key console.”
Reid also weighed in. “It’s natural that the console challenger is going to be more ambitious and take more risks than the leader,” he said. “Last generation I was at Xbox and we were having our arses handed to us. And Xbox was the one that was trying to do crazy things with Xbox Live and so on… Five years later, things have changed and now Sony is being more aggressive. It is a cyclical business and it feels like we’re coming around to another big turn again.”
Suffice to say, I’m skeptical that free to play is going to give them the edge. Both Sony and microsoft will be pushing the format hard with the next consoles, giving neither an edge of the other. Free to play is a great format for certain types of games, but it can never deliver the kind of experience that made Sony the industry leader in the Playstation 2 era. That period was a golden age of sorts, when every couple of months a new Playstation 2 exclusive dropped that became an instant obsession worth playing for years. Playstation 3 has just two genuine must-play exclusives introduced for that console: Uncharted, and Resistance.
Yes, console makers should embrace f2p for multiplayer experiences, but if they think people will shell out 400 bucks for games that lack anything we’ve come to expect in terms of immersion, single player, and story, they’re deluding themselves. Which is to say, don’t scrimp on the AAA games, Sony. You too, Microsoft. (I’ve given up on Nintendo even making good games anymore, though I hope they surprise me with Wii U!) But what do you think, Game Fronters? Sound off in comments.