SOE president defends free-to-play model, says Zynga did a 'terrible disservice' to model's reputation

Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley defended the free-to-play model but said that Zynga's implementation has done a "terrible disservice" to Western audiences, according to an interview with PC Gamer.

Zynga is to blame for "the reputation that [the free-to-play model] got from early in its life, especially in terms of social games," Smedley said.

"I think Zynga has done free-to-play a terrible disservice because many of their releases are monetisation products — not games," Smedley said. "The truth is that now there are loads of really great free-to-play games, including ours, and I think PlanetSide is now a part of the hardcore community's free-to-play library."

Smedley pointed to the Asian free-to-play game community as an example of the pricing model's upside. Japanese social gaming companies GREE and DeNA have taken strides recently to bring their games to Western audiences.

SOE's free-to-play games include the recently-released PlanetSide 2, EverQuest and DC Universe Online. Be sure to check out our recent review of PlanetSide 2, a game we said "captures the drama of war better than any Call of Duty or Battlefield ever has."

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