Will Sony Restructure PSN in Light of Recent Financial Woes?
“Pay-to-win” is a derogatory expression hurled at free-to-play MMOs that include a microtransaction system that puts users who haven’t made any purchases at a significant disadvantage to those who do. Can the spirit of pay-to-win be coming to the PSN?
With Sony preparing for its biggest loss in company history, new CEO Kaz Hirai has outlined a new strategy that indicates:
“The Company also aims to increase sales by enriching its catalog of downloadable game titles and subscription services available through the PSN platform.”
Wedbush Securities’ Michael Pachter told GamesIndustry that Sony likely won’t go the way of Microsoft and charge an annual fee for multiplayer:
“I think it’s unlikely that they will require a fee, but think they will strip down the free version to multiplayer and not much else in order to encourage people to pay the fee.”
Billy Pidgeon of M2 Research agrees:
“Providing networked services for online gaming is not inexpensive, and charging for these services would help Sony defray those costs. I think Sony would best benefit by continuing to build out on the currently employed freemium model, charging for enhanced, tiered and incremental items, services and add-ons to add value to the online gaming experience.
“The PlayStation Plus program provides great incentives for subscribers, and Sony can get more revenue from advertising, item transactions and specialized services to enhance specific aspects of online gameplay such as custom content and rules for use for individuals, guilds and other groups. Sony should also move quickly to shift paid content other than gaming to the network.”
If Sony does go this route, would you welcome the new features, or fear that keeping to the free service will eventually restrict your options?