Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
October 25, 2014
arrowPress Releases
October 25, 2014
PR Newswire
View All

If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:

PlayStation's digital strategy relies on the 'core' gamer
PlayStation's digital strategy relies on the 'core' gamer Exclusive
June 5, 2012 | By Kris Graft

With services like Facebook and Apple’s App Store, game developers in the online and mobile spaces have shown how targeting a wide audience through accessible game design and low-barrier business models can equate to a successful digital business.

But for Jack Buser, senior director for PlayStation digital platforms in the U.S., laying a strong foundation for the company’s digital games business means focusing on the traditional gamer, as opposed to the more casual, mainstream audience.

“It’s truly the gamer that drives our industry, that drives our business as a platform holder,” Buser said in an E3 interview in L.A. on Tuesday. “If you don’t have that center in this industry, you’re quickly going to lose the plot.”

A critical part of Sony’s digital strategy is PlayStation Mobile (formerly PlayStation Suite), an initiative that Buser said will bring the PlayStation brand to mobile users. Sony has its own line of mobile devices that can host PlayStation Mobile-certified games, and the company announced this week that HTC will be the first third-party PlayStation Mobile hardware partner. And the third-party mobile hardware partnerships won’t end there.

“You’re seeing the very early stages of what will be the future of this industry,” said Buser. Sony’s handheld PlayStation Vita is gaining more PlayStation Network features that lets it interact with the living room-based PlayStation 3. As PSN serves as the backbone to Sony products, it’s easy to imagine that PlayStation Mobile will become increasingly connected with other PlayStation products.

“I think you can expect to see us take this notion of the PlayStation Network connecting an ecosystem of devices together forward in the future,” said Buser. “But we’ve got nothing to announce specifically in regards to PlayStation Mobile.”

“This is the most open development platform we’ve ever had at PlayStation. For around $100, you can actually get the full-on SDK and you can for the very first time, for a lot of developers, actually start building PlayStation games,” he added.

And as the boss of digital at PlayStation, surely Buser is looking into Sony-developed Facebook games… right? “Well, I’ve got nothing to announce,” he said, looking to his publicist. “But we certainly watch that space very, very closely. There’s a tremendous amount of innovation there.”

Gamasutra will have more from Buser in the near future.

Related Jobs

Digital Extremes
Digital Extremes — London, Ontario, Canada

Sound Designer
Disruptor Beam, Inc.
Disruptor Beam, Inc. — Framingham, Massachusetts, United States

Lead 3D Artist
Red 5 Studios
Red 5 Studios — Orange County, California, United States

Graphics Programmer
Red 5 Studios
Red 5 Studios — Orange County, California, United States

Gameplay Programmer


Joe McGinn
profile image
Marketing fluff. If they cared or even knew what core gamers wanted, they'd have showed Last Guardian.

Keith Thomson
profile image
I forgive them for not showing something that has so many questions surrounding it. Hopefully they'll actually finish it and have it out here before the next E3. I imagine they're waiting for the next TGS to show anything on it.

Ron Dippold
profile image
It sounds like Last Guardian's been completely implementation rebooted. Figure two years, so they'll maybe be showing it off at next year's E3 while Sony announces the next gen console. It can be the last major game on the PS3 - Team Ico seems to like doing that.

Dave Endresak
profile image
Sony, here's a clue:

Work with Crypton Future Media and Sega in order to offer the Hatsune Miku games worldwide at least via digital versions. The Crypton's Vocaloids, particularly Hatsune Miku, already have a global audience who has been busy downloading music tracks and videos from various etailers. Gamers are forced to import the games (or pirate them, which is very unfortunate for Crypton, Sega, and Sony).

You have a global market for a product that is already established. All three companies stand to gain enormously by supporting that market by offering a major product for it globally (i.e., the Project Diva games) rather than attempting to leave it in a specific country.

This is all the more obvious when you consider that Miku's English voice bank is due out sometime this year.

The market is waiting.

Keith Thomson
profile image
I believe I saw an article somewhere about how they were showing the Vita version at E3, though it was untranslated.

Eric McVinney
profile image
So what I'm getting from this is:

"Hi, we grow apples. But in order to grow them, we need water and that is one of the key elements that every other farmer who grows fruit needs. So far, we've been doing a pretty good job and even got our scientist farmers working on a new type of apple. This one will contain a variety of flavors, some of which you'll never care for or even want. Sure the price is high right now, but people will buy because of our brand (that's what's keeping us afloat)."

Close or did I miss the target?

russell mckee
profile image
Why would a developer want to build for a "Sony Playstation Mobile-Certified Game". Do these devices have a joystick or something I don't know about? I think I would see more revenue having my game on all iOS, Android devices rather than a very small percentage of mobile devices.(Maybe if they hooked up with Samsung and apple) I don't think people are going to see Sony Playstation Mobile-Certified Games as a must have for gamers.

Kris Graft
profile image
I did ask that question, and we'll post a larger interview with Jack's take on that in the near future.

Emperador Alencio
profile image
12 new games for PS+ members is a nice one.

Dave Long
profile image
I'm glad that at least one of the big three is still focussed on pushing core games. Ninty seems confused between core and casual (and 'Ninty', Mario and co, which is a strange lovechild of the two), Microsoft is very heavily focussed on its media capabilities (sure, it's doing enough to keep its core from jumping ship, but it's hardly where it was at this start of this gen) and Sony, which is taking a generally 'core first, casual trailing' approach. I'm not sure which one will yield the best business in the long-term, but I know which one suits me as a customer best (Sony's, by some margin). The issue'll be where the money is, as while the money and profit from casual games is growing strongly, this is partly because casual and mobile games are so cheap to make, which has already created issues with market over-saturation (not to say that core gaming doesn't seem pretty saturated at the moment as well).

Sorry - lots of ideas there, but no clear messages, but that's just because it's hard to see the future :).