Sony Online Entertainment game to be the first of its kind on PSN

Free Realms brings free-to-play to PS3

The PlayStation Network is preparing to host its first western free-to-play game on the PSN platform.

Free Realms, developed by Sony Online Entertainment, will be free to download on the PlayStation’s digital portal. Users can buy in-game content via a PSN currency system, though specific details are unclear for now.

The move comes after numerous social games firms test the limits of the free-to-play model, which – though once a subject of doubt – has created a multi-billion-dollar industry.

Free Realms will launch on PSN from March 29.

Sony’s Home network, meanwhile, is being rebuilt as a new portal for free-to-play games.

It is not known if external studios such as Jagex will find it easy to publish their free-to-play games on PSN. There has for years been talk of a deal between free-to-play MMO firms and platform holders, but no such deals have materialised.

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