It seems that 2016 is shaping up to be a big year for fresh starts for Sony. In January it announced that it was restructuring Sony Computer Entertainment and Sony Network Entertainment into one new company by the name of Sony Interactive Entertainment, and now it has announced another new company.
The new company will be called ForwardWorks. It will officially incorporate on April 1 and will be based in Tokyo. Not much else about the company is known so far, but its main focus will be creating games for mobile devices running iOS and Android.
“ForwardWorks will leverage the intellectual property of the numerous PlayStation dedicated software titles and its gaming characters,” the press release announcing the new company reads, “as well as the knowledge and know-how of gaming development expertise which was acquired over the years with PlayStation business to provide gaming application optimized for smart devices including smartphones to users in Japan and Asia,”
Sony doesn’t have a great recent history when it comes to mobile games. The PlayStation Vita, introduced in 2011, hasn’t exactly taken off, and the company’s previous mobile gaming effort, PlayStation Mobile, was shut down last year. Still, its persistence in going mobile does make sense.
Nintendo’s first mobile game Miitomo launched in Japan this month, and has already drawn more than a million users. The company isn’t pulling in money hand over fist with the game yet, but it seems like Nintendo has hit paydirt, and it’s got a lot more in the pipeline.
Sony appears to be taking a different route with FutureWorks than it has in the past. The press release mentions that the new company “will aim to deliver users the opportunity to casually enjoy full-fledged game titles in the new field of the smart device market.” This could mean mobile games with hooks into PS4 games, or putting the tech behind PlayStation Now to use on mobile devices, but what it actually will be remains to be seen.
Another thing that isn’t clear is whether the Western world will even be able to access these games. So far the press release only mentions Japan and Asia, with no word of eventually moving to other territories. That said, if the service is hugely successful, it seems like a given that it will expand.