Sony has expressed the possibility of releasing first-party IPs on social and mobile gaming platforms.
In the face of increased competition from cheaper downloadable games from mobile markets and free games on social media websites, Sony entertained the possibility of providing users with their content to introduce more people to their titles.
“With people’s lifestyles, they’re always connected and engaged socially, so why not put our IP on there?”, Shuhei Yoshida, President of Sony Worldwide Studios, stated in an interview with IndustryGamers, explaining that Sony are experimenting with ways to “see how best we can use this new medium to connect to our new IPs”, an approach that starkly contrasts with Nintendo’s policy of keeping IPs solely on Nintendo platforms.
Sony has a previous record when it comes to attempting to engage with gamers on other platforms. The expansion of the PlayStation Suite onto Sony mobiles is an attempt to get mobile users to play Sony titles, while an inFamous app was released on Facebook to coincide with the release of inFamous 2 last year.
Interestingly, though, while such a move suggests that Sony is acknowledging the widely perceived notion that such alternative methods of gaming are posing a threat to consoles, Yoshida doesn’t appear to agree, instead seeing it as simply a good way to expand. “We are experimenting, and I don’t necessarily believe we’re competing against cell phones or social networks – because everybody uses Facebook and lots more people have cell phones and smartphones already.”
Despite Yoshida’s opinion, however, it is widely believed that handheld consoles in particular are under threat, with the sales of the PlayStation Vita being blamed on consumer disinterest due to smartphone games. In the face of that, Sony’s willingness to experiment can only be a good thing for the industry.