The free-to-play market, which is currently prospering on the PC and on mobile gaming devices, needs to also make the move to home consoles in order to give them a chance to prosper in the future, according to one of the biggest South Korean game developers.
Daniel Kim, the chief executive officer at Nexon of America
, has told Games Industry that, “Console developers are starting to realise that as well, that unless they make accommodations or think about changing their own business model they’re going to quickly go the way of the dinosaurs. The business model it really makes sense. It’s really hard to beat free-to-play as an offering.”
He added, “The console guys are starting to realise that, but they also have a challenge in that they have a vested interest in an existing business model of packages. I know it’s tough for them to just cut off hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue to say ‘OK, we’re going to go free-to-play and make our bed here’ because that’s going to piss off a lot of people who they already have an existing business relationship with.”
Kim believes that Sony
, Microsoft and Nintendo will face a tough challenge when trying to make their home consoles suitable for free-to-play games, but he also thinks that without the new business model they have no chance of growing in the near future.
Sony Online Entertainment has been making the move towards free-to-play for all its PC-based MMOs and the company also seems ready to move some of the aspects of the business model to the PlayStation 3.
Free-to-play might play a bigger role on the next generation of hardware from Microsoft and Sony.
Neither of the two companies has offered clear details on their plans and rumors have suggested everything from more motion tracking integration to a lack of physical drives.