DC Universe Online on PS3 proves console MMOs can be profitable says SOE

dc universe online on ps3 proves console mmos can be profitable says soe 70 percent playstation 3

Sony Online Entertainment remembers the days when Everquest was the face of the massively multiplayer online role-playing game industry. Every now and again SOE looks at the framed picture of Everquest on its cluttered desk and gently caresses it, recalling fond memories of regular monthly fees, a world without World of Warcraft, and a time when Star Wars Galaxies was nothing but a sparkling idea. As the MMO business has taken shape over the past decade, SOE has failed more often than it’s succeeded. Just look at long lost project The Agency or the miserable bomb that was Everquest II. SOE is carving out one niche for itself though: It is finding success on consoles. DC Universe Online, after its prolonged development and shaky road to free-to-play, is still plugging away on PlayStation 3. In fact 70 percent of DCUO players play on PlayStation 3.

In an interview with GamesIndustry International published Wednesday, SOE head John Smedley said that DCUO has proven that free-to-play MMOs can find an audience on living room-based game consoles, not just PCs.

“It’s 70 percent of the audience,” said Smedley, “Free-to-play on PlayStation 3 is huge. In fact, right now, it’s us with DCUO and Free Realms and our friends at CCP with Dust 514 that are going to prove that this market really works.”

As with all free-to-play games, microtransactions are the golden eggs laid by the video game geese. “A lot of people have already stored their credit card information so it’s very frictionless if they do want to buy something. We can put out thousands of items and it feels very frictionless,” Smedley said, extolling the virtues of the console MMOs, “It’s a business model of the future.”

The executive isn’t saying anything new of course. Everyone in the digital distribution and MMO industries has discovered in recent years that small seamless transactions made in games for virtual goods providing instant gratification are the only way to make oodles of money in the post-WoW world.

Success on consoles isn’t enough to sustain a game like DCUO going forward though. It will be cross-platform play—a game and account played across mobile devices, PC, console and anything else the game can run on—that makes online free-to-play games sustainable fiscally (and then, hopefully, creatively). DCUO has a strong player base on PS3, but its struggle to find and maintain an audience on PC takes away its essential business power for SOE.

Also notable: Smedley did not tout how many active players DCUO has, on PS3 or PC. The shift to free-to-play brought 120,000 new players to DCUO in November, but its likely that the majority of those new players drifted away.


Once the dust settles, 'Fallout 76' will be a nuclear wasteland worth exploring

The launch of Fallout 76 has been nothing short of apocalyptic, but that doesn’t mean the game is dead on arrival. Bethesda has a path forward, paved by The Elder Scrolls Online, another game that suffered a rocky start.

How you can share your best gaming moments with friends on the PS4

Check out Digital Trends' quick guide to everything you need to know to save your outstanding PlayStation 4 gameplay moments, share them online, and transfer them to your computer.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.

Players' 'Red Dead Online' beta progress will carry over to the full release

Red Dead Online will gradually rolled out to Red Dead Redemption 2 players via a beta. We've got all the details about the beta's suite of competitive and cooperative modes, as well as what to expect going forward.

Take-Two Interactive takes down another ‘GTA Online’ modder, seeks $150K

Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar Games have filed a lawsuit against the GTA Online modder behind the software named Elusive. The publisher is continuing its crackdown against GTA Online mods.

‘Fortnite’ streamer reportedly arrested after abusing wife while on Twitch

An Australian Fortnite streamer who goes by the name MrDeathMoth abused his pregnant wife while he was live on Twitch. An anonymous cybersecurity expert took matters into his own hands, resulting in the arrest of the streamer.

Miss Black Friday but still need an Xbox? Walmart has you covered

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have both come and gone, but you can still save some cash on a new Xbox One bundle at Walmart. Both the Xbox One S and the Xbox One X are on sale now.

Relive Nintendo’s handheld golden age with the 25 best Game Boy Advance games

The Game Boy Advance was the swan song of the Game Boy era. It also happened to have a boatload of amazing games. We decided to countdown our 25 favorite GBA games. Check it out and let us know your favorites in the comments below!

The most common Nintendo 3DS problems, and how to fix them

The Nintendo 3DS has seen its fair share of issues since it launched in 2011, including poor battery life and fragile Circle Pads. Here are some of the most common, as well as the steps you can take to solve them.

The Epic Games store is already luring indie studios away from Steam

The Epic Games Store is less than a week old, but it's already making waves among indie studios. Multiple studios have announced that their games will be timed exclusives on the Epic Games Store, with one studio forgoing Steam completely.

Bundle up for the huge ‘Monster Hunter: World’ expansion coming in 2019

Monster Hunter: World is getting a major expansion in fall 2019 called Iceborne. The expansion will be similar in scope as the Ultimate versions of previous Monster Hunter games, featuring new quests, monsters, weapons, and armor.

How to keep a PS4 in your pocket with the PlayStation Mobile app

Sony built the PlayStation 4 with smartphone and mobile integration in mind. Take a look at our guide for connecting your smartphone or tablet to a PS4, so you can browse profiles, trophies, and other content directly on your mobile device.

Play ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ the best way with a Switch GameCube controller

If you're a longtime Super Smash Bros. player, then you know there's only one true way to play. Alongside the recent launch of the new 'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate,' Nintendo has brought back the iconic GameCube controller.

Apple Mac users should take a bite out of these awesome games

Contrary to popular belief, there exists a bevy of popular A-list games compatible for Mac computers. Take a look at our picks for the best Mac games available for Apple fans.