SOE president criticises social game developer for creating 'monetisation products'

Smedley: Zynga has done F2P a ‘terrible disservice’

Zynga has done a terrible disservice to the free-to-play sector through how it has monetised its games, claims the president of Sony Online Entertainment.

Speaking to PC Gamer, John Smedley said he felt free-to-play had a bad reputation in the West because of the way many social games tried to take money from their users.

He claimed that many titles developed by Zynga were “monetisation products and “not games”.

Smedley added that many consumers had also not given many free-to-play games a chance and readily dismissed them as poor titles.

“Much of the free-to-play model is coming over from Asia – and there were actually a stack of really good games that came over – but people just sort of dismissed them as just crappy,” he said.

“Most people didn’t actually look at them. In Asia free-to-play has been prevalent for years, but now you’re starting to see these games get popular all over the globe. League of Legends, for example, is the biggest game in the world right now. Period. And it’s got 70 million registered users, three million people watching their championships, so free-to-play has actually been really good for four-to-five years now.

“But the reputation that it got from early in its life, especially in terms of social games. I think Zynga has done free-to-play a terrible disservice because many of their releases are monetisation products – not games.”

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