Sony to Create New Free-to-Play Mobile Game Platform, Job Posting Reveals

Photo from Javier Martinez via Unsplash

Sony to Create New Free-to-Play Mobile Game Platform, Job Posting Reveals

By Movieguide® Contributor

Sony appears to be working on a brand-new experience for PlayStation gamers as the company is now hiring a “mobile game architect” to launch a free-to-play platform.

“PlayStation Studios Mobile is seeking an experienced software engineer to design PlayStation’s platform for developing, publishing, and operating free-to-play mobile games,” a new job listing from Sony reads. “An individual in this role will spearhead the design and implementation of this platform; work in partnership with internal teams to connect mobile games to PlayStation services; and ensure that all mobile games meet PlayStation’s quality standards.

The mobile games platform appears to be in the very early stages of development as neither Sony nor PlayStation have made any announcement about its upcoming release. Furthermore, the job posting’s responsibilities include “design[ing] the system architecture and backend services for the mobile games platform” as well as “influenc[ing] and contribut[ing] to the platform engineering roadmap.”

With little stake in the mobile games industry (only one PlayStation game is currently on the App Store), the company appears to be ramping up to compete against Xbox which plans to launch its own mobile game platform later this summer. It would compete with the App Store and Google Play Store.

“This web-based store is the first step in our journey to building a trusted app store with its roots in gaming,” an Xbox spokesperson told Bloomberg earlier this month.

The desire to enter into the mobile gaming space comes from the massive user base that can be reached in the mobile space. In 2022, Apple Arcade was estimated to have over 100 million subscribers compared to 45.4 million subscribing to PlayStation Plus and roughly 25 million subscribing to Xbox Game Pass at that time. The mobile gaming industry’s incredible advantage comes from being accessible on devices people already own, rather than requiring a console (like an Xbox or PlayStation) they are buying purely for gaming.

“There’s just no way to really plot the future without being on the platform that most of the planet plays on,” the head of Xbox, Phil Spencer said last November. “The games are different, the business models are different, the whole dynamic of how you distribute, how you find games is different.”

Movieguide® previously reported on the gaming industry:

Gaming remains the last entertainment sector to rely primarily on sales, but the industry has been undergoing a massive shift as companies and consumers eye a subscription model for video games.

“We’ve seen this huge transition in the games industry of moving away from the traditional, what I would call ‘unit-sales-based’ business model, towards an ‘engagement-based’ model,” said Karol Severin, MIDia Research’s senior games analyst and VP of data. “I would dare to say that the number of game subscriptions is going to grow much faster than the number of games sold for the next decade.”

This trend is in line with the music and entertainment industry, which have gone from primarily sales-based to nearly entirely subscription-based in roughly a decade. The streaming wars for gaming are now heating up as even non-gaming companies look to join the fight.

Netflix launched the gaming leg of its business at the end of 2020 and has since amassed over 70 titles as an add-on to its entertainment library. Though the service remains largely unused roughly three years later, the company still views gaming as a key component of its future.

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