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Jack Tretton Says Social And Free-To-Play "Aren't Where Gaming Is Headed"

It's an additive diversion, apparently.

Jack Tretton, Sony president and CEO of SCEA, has said that social and free-to-play games aren’t where gaming is headed, which should prove some comfort for dedicate PlayStation fans who just want to buy a game and play it.

“I think the opportunity to be in the console business is greater than ever before,” he said in an interview with GI.biz, saying that social and free-to-play “is a business I think a lot of companies are learning is difficult to sustain for the long term.”

“It’s an adjunct or it’s an add-on, but it’s not where gaming is headed,” he said. “It’s an additive diversion. There’s a place for social and freemium, but it’s not going to replace the business models that are out there.”

Tretton also said that the current fashion of endless sequels and lack of new IPs has got to end at some point. “I think it tends to go in cycles,” he said. “If somebody comes out with a game people enjoy, it draws people to that genre.”

“Shooters have been bigger the past few years. I think they’re not just the same game done with a different storyline, they’re taking that genre and expanding on it. Sometimes racing is really relevant. Sometimes it’s not.”

  1. An-dz
    Since: Oct 2010

    I hope that doesnt mean his idea of the future is similar to EAs then.

    Comment posted on 10/08/2012 at 16:21.
  2. bmg_123
    Since: Feb 2012

    Good, I hate f2p games in general.

    Comment posted on 10/08/2012 at 16:23.
    • Jim Hargreaves
      Since: Nov 2009

      For what reason(s)?

      Comment posted on 10/08/2012 at 19:00.
      • bmg_123
        Since: Feb 2012

        Just the entire system. My experience with F2P has been that you buy/rent upgrades to your character, and the core game is free. The problem is, you have to continually spend to keep up, and I’d much rather I buy the game and have everything in a neat, consistent and unbroken experience.
        I simply don’t like the idea of something that’s incomplete. Perhaps that’s just me.

        Comment posted on 10/08/2012 at 20:28.
      • bowie
        Since: Jan 2012

        I worry with f2p that it interferes with the developer having a clear vision of what they want the game to be. With the traditional pay up front model the developer just has to concentrate on making a game, as Carmack put it, “that people love so much they’re willing to give us money for.” The problem with f2p is the dev also has to work out how to monetize the game in addition to making a good game and the net result can be that the game part is not as good as it could have otherwise been. Take Gabe’s comments on penny-arcade about Outernauts which he clearly loves but is intensely frustrated with because o the f2p trappings.


        Comment posted on 13/08/2012 at 04:29.
  3. Forrest_01
    Since: Jun 2009

    I do hope he is right as opposed to him just having his fingers in his ears, going ‘la la la la la’ & refusing to believe what is becoming popular.

    I personally can’t stand social & free-to-play games & wouldn’t touch them with a bargepole, so it would sadden me deeply if this is where the future of gaming did go.

    I really do hope he is right & things continue (somewhat) as is. Although you could stand to lose things like online passes & stuff though. That i would be ok with. :)

    Comment posted on 10/08/2012 at 16:26.
    Since: Aug 2009

    I like Mr Tretton, apart from reminding me a little of William Shatner – he is a good voice for Sony.
    I really hope he is right in this, my experience of free-to-play games of recent has been so dull. Sim City Social for example; Do loads in 5 minutes then run out of “energy” which is required to do more. So:
    a) wait 3 minutes for 1 more energy enabling 1 more action.
    b) spam the shiznit out of your Facebook friends to request they send you energy.
    c) buy more energy with real cash
    None of those options are worth it in my opinion. I’m gonna stick to the good old buy a disc or digital copy and play what you paid for without asking your friends and family for a can of energy. And if I wanted to play a game where I had to wait ages to then be able to do anything again I’d play Chess ffs

    Comment posted on 10/08/2012 at 16:29.
    • McProley
      Since: Aug 2011

      What about a social freemium chess game?

      Comment posted on 10/08/2012 at 17:42.
  5. PoorPaddy89
    Since: Aug 2009

    I agree, but maybe I’m a little more cautious than he is. I see it as similar to Youtube and cinema; it’s a different experience that will attract different people.

    Comment posted on 10/08/2012 at 16:38.
  6. Stealth20k
    Since: Apr 2012

    Hes right.

    Comment posted on 10/08/2012 at 17:08.
  7. DJ Judas
    Since: Aug 2008

    He’s right, it creates another option in the industry and for consumers, Sony’s future vision seems to be accepting of new ideas but sticking with the main approach of traditional gaming, and they’ve got the first party studio portfolio to increase the playstation following should competitors take a reduced approach to the traditional, paid experience model and increase emphasis on social and transaction based games.

    Comment posted on 10/08/2012 at 17:16.
  8. JesseDeya
    Since: Jan 2010

    Well said Jack. Glad to know you got our back. Looking forward to the Gamescom re-attack.

    Comment posted on 10/08/2012 at 19:23.
  9. xdarkmagician
    Since: May 2009

    So let see here, you buy a game, buy an online pass, buy a season pass, buy tournament tokens, buy extra DLC, buy Avatars and themes for the PS3, rent a server. The list of extra costs keep going up and up. Buying a game is no longer a 1 step process. Even after the purchase you need to install, update and enter codes. Console games are getting more complicated and expensive every year. Social games are going to be around as long as there’s social websites and F2P games are are the bridge between social and console games. They provide a deeper experience then social games but are alot cheaper then a console game. Consoles may not die but it’s their current notions of charging for everything that’s fuelling the social and F2P craze. Unless Sony goes back to the PS2 days and offeres a complete game for a 1 time fee F2P is only getting bigger.

    Comment posted on 10/08/2012 at 20:14.