PS+ Not Required For Free-to-Play Online Games

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PS+ Not Required For Free-to-Play Online Games

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Sony Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida said that Sony won't force free-to-play titles into PS+, leaving the decision up to publishers.

Earlier we reported perhaps the only bit of "bad news" from Sony's E3 press conference: online play of PS4 games will require a PlayStation Plus subscription. Sony executives, in an round-table with JoyStiq talked a little bit more on the how the service will work with its upcoming console, confirming that it won't be required for video streaming services, will remain the same price, and will only apply to free-to-play titles at the publisher's discretion.

"As far as free-to-play games are concerned," said Shuehei Yoshida, Sony Worldwide Studios President, "it's the publisher's decision whether they put it inside or outside of PS Plus." "All video services [on the PS4] will be outside of Plus," added SCE America VP of Publisher & Developer Relations Adam Boyes, going on to assure us the price of the PlayStation Plus service would remain $50 annually in North America.

The Sony PlayStation Plus service currently offers users a selection of free games every month, among other enhanced community features. $50 annually works out to around $5 a month, which puts the service about on par with Microsoft's Xbox Live Gold subscription, which is currently required to play Xbox 360 games online. Existing PlayStation Plus subscriptions will extend onto the new console when it launches this holiday season.

So this is kind of a good news, bad news situation. It's good that Sony won't personally enforce the PlayStation Plus paygate on free-to-play titles, but leaving it "up to the publisher" is a tad worrisome, as a lot of recent "monetization" decisions from certain publishers have left me somewhat, unwilling to trust them when it comes to trying to bleed the customer dry.

Source: JoyStiq

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Howabout this: If it's Free to play, leave it FREE to play. Not "free to play up to the developers/publishers/pony overlords."

Is anyone else completely fed up with all the weasel words in this generation's hype?

Logic: If something is free to play, it can therefore be free online, but if you have payed for a game, you now must pay even more to get it online.

And Sony was doing so well in terms of treating consumers right...

I'm actually ok with this. Currently I have a 360 so i'm used to pay for live, it sucks, but i deal with it. I was hoping that it would be free like the PS3, but right now my mind is allready completely made up on jumping onto the Sony Ship that im going to overlook this.

Zachary Amaranth:
Howabout this: If it's Free to play, leave it FREE to play. Not "free to play up to the developers/publishers/pony overlords."

Is anyone else completely fed up with all the weasel words in this generation's hype?

Hasn't the decision to make a free to play game free always been up to the developers/publisher/pony overlords. I am seriously think about it for a second.

If I were to venture a wild asked guess, I would say that: if it is included in the PS+ membership that Sony is paying to manage servers much in the same way Microsoft currently does with Xbox Live. If it is outside of the PS+ sub the developer/publisher/pony overlords assume all cost a management responsibilities. This sounds completely reasonable to me. Shrug.

On a side note: it really really bothers me that the escapist keeps say annually PS+ cost 5 dollars a month. That is the shittiest mathematics I have ever seen. 50/12 (you know the number of months in a year)= 4.16 which is closer to 4 dollars a month if you feel the need to round.

So ... nothing different then? if its F2P now, i donno why they'd change it. Not when some one could still play it free else where

Now that's a REAL Playstation plus :)

Isn't it already like that?, see DCUO, it's f2p, but if you pay xtra bucks you can acces more stuff

RoBi3.0:

Hasn't the decision to make a free to play game free always been up to the developers/publisher/pony overlords. I am seriously think about it for a second.

If I were to venture a wild asked guess, I would say that: if it is included in the PS+ membership that Sony is paying to manage servers much in the same way Microsoft currently does with Xbox Live. If it is outside of the PS+ sub the developer/publisher/pony overlords assume all cost a management responsibilities. This sounds completely reasonable to me. Shrug.

Half that made no sense. You seriously need to review what you write before you post it. This isn't a flame, but a serious statement. I don't even know how to address the combination of seemingly contradictory statements and non-English used here.

On a side note: it really really bothers me that the escapist keeps say annually PS+ cost 5 dollars a month. That is the shittiest mathematics I have ever seen. 50/12 (you know the number of months in a year)= 4.16 which is closer to 4 dollars a month if you feel the need to round.

I too am outraged that they chose a round figure like five bucks that the number is already close to. And even more so that they include the word "about." Sure, that places it less in the realm of hard mathematics and more in the realm of approximation, but I am outraged anyway.

You get the tar, I'll get the feathers.

I just know I'm looking forward to Warframe. It was the game that hyped me up for the original PS3/Xbox360 generation, and I've heard it's pretty awesome after they decided to return to that vision.

Zachary Amaranth:

RoBi3.0:

Hasn't the decision to make a free to play game free always been up to the developers/publisher/pony overlords. I am seriously think about it for a second.

If I were to venture a wild asked guess, I would say that: if it is included in the PS+ membership that Sony is paying to manage servers much in the same way Microsoft currently does with Xbox Live. If it is outside of the PS+ sub the developer/publisher/pony overlords assume all cost a management responsibilities. This sounds completely reasonable to me. Shrug.

Half that made no sense. You seriously need to review what you write before you post it. This isn't a flame, but a serious statement. I don't even know how to address the combination of seemingly contradictory statements and non-English used here.

On a side note: it really really bothers me that the escapist keeps say annually PS+ cost 5 dollars a month. That is the shittiest mathematics I have ever seen. 50/12 (you know the number of months in a year)= 4.16 which is closer to 4 dollars a month if you feel the need to round.

I too am outraged that they chose a round figure like five bucks that the number is already close to. And even more so that they include the word "about." Sure, that places it less in the realm of hard mathematics and more in the realm of approximation, but I am outraged anyway.

You get the tar, I'll get the feathers.

Fair enough proof reading on an iPad while watching my kids play outside is not a strong suit of mine. I was saying it is stupid to complain that Sony is giving the choice to keep a F2p game "free" to the people making the game in the first place.

I was also making a guess that if a f2p game ends up requiring a PS+ sub to access that Sony may be helping cover the costs of running servers. And that if it does not require a PS+ then the developer covers all costs. This is a guess.

Last "around $5" takes more effort to write then "$4.16" so I still don't see the point of rounding.

ooh, you're doing something we expected you to do anyway. Still, I find trusting the "leave it to the pubs" approach to be shaky.

I don't really get this. From what I can make out, developers may supply their own servers to allow consumers to play online without being PS+? Does anyone have a more accurate description?

I'm okay with this.

Come on guys, I called this before and people are STILL looking at this wrong.

By free to play that means it's not a subscription per month game. That includes any games you buy that have multiplayer options..but don't charge for them. Pretty much all of the games for the Ps3 are like that. In other words, it's basically what they have on the Ps3....but they are forcing any MMO's to require PS+ for the next system.

Take Red Dead Redemption as an example. It has a multiplayer option, but it has never charged for it. With the PS4...you could still play online without the PS+, as it does not charge for multiplayer.

Now a MMO like DC universe online....that would require PS+ because it has a monthly fee.

That is how I see them implementing this, and I don't see anything wrong with that at all.

Are we talking about F2P MMOs or is now any game with multiplayer considered some sort of F2P game?
If we talk about F2P MMOs then this is good news since the business model is build around easy access without subscription fees.
If we talk about general multiplayer then this is bad news since it will then simply replace online passes.

so you too have the right to publishers to punish us, just not as much?
yeah, you know, sony is getting praised for what was common sense and minimum requirements before jstu beucase there is worse evil out there. all this new "sony did it better" sounds a lot like "but heroin is worse therefore alcohol is good".

Waaaiduhminutt.

Its 5AM, so please excuse my lack of coherence, but could I get some clarification on this ?

Steven Bogos:
...and will only apply to free-to-play titles at the publisher's discretion....

To make things simple, someone define 'free-to-play' in terms of this announcement. Are we talking games such as DCUO and Planetfall? I was under the impression that PS+ would be basically XBLG; paying for multiplayer access across all games (plus, of course, free games every month). If this is not the case, while I don't see the big argument, I do see a strangely targeted one. Why just F2P games? They've been slowly coming to consoles now, mainly for the PS3, but they are not huge, as far as I can tell (or lack the wherewithal to cite the sources).

I've also noticed the bit of console-manufacturer rhetoric displayed as 'it's the publisher's decision'. I find this statement, shared by now both Microsoft and Sony to be significantly unsettling. I get an impression that publishers -cough-EA-hack- are just bypassing online passes and whatnot and mangaging that straight through the consoles.

Also if that pic Mr.Bogos posted is any indication of Virtue's Last Reward coming to PS+, well, as the kids say, 'hnnnng!'

As I understand it they're only talking about games that have no initial cost, because having to pay anything to play them undermines the whole stupid business strategy. Then again, seeing as I hate most F2P games for their monetisation I don't think I'll be particularly affected.

wulfy42:
Come on guys, I called this before and people are STILL looking at this wrong.

By free to play that means it's not a subscription per month game. That includes any games you buy that have multiplayer options..but don't charge for them. Pretty much all of the games for the Ps3 are like that. In other words, it's basically what they have on the Ps3....but they are forcing any MMO's to require PS+ for the next system.

Take Red Dead Redemption as an example. It has a multiplayer option, but it has never charged for it. With the PS4...you could still play online without the PS+, as it does not charge for multiplayer.

Now a MMO like DC universe online....that would require PS+ because it has a monthly fee.

That is how I see them implementing this, and I don't see anything wrong with that at all.

Wait what? I dont even...
Ok to get this out of the way Buy-to-play and Free-to-play are two DIFFERENT things. Using your Red Dead Redemption
example: It has a multiplayer option but it has never charged for it. With the PS4...you could still play online without the PS+, as it does not charge for multiplayer.

^
That statement is false, you can not play multiplayer on the ps4 without ps+ this has already been reported. This is also an example of buy-to-play not free-to-play

Now a MMO like DC universe online....that would require PS+ because it has a monthly fee.
^
Ignoring the fact that DC universe online actually doesnt have a monthly fee and went Free-to-play quite a while back, this is wrong as ps+ is required for MULTIPLAYER this simply gives Free-to-play games an option to not have a ps+ requirement.

sethisjimmy:
Logic: If something is free to play, it can therefore be free online, but if you have payed for a game, you now must pay even more to get it online.

And Sony was doing so well in terms of treating consumers right...

well i think 5$/€ /month NOT only to play online(like xboxgold) no, you get aa heckton of games for that, games for which you would pay more than 5/month.. i mean if i can get xcom and other cool games on a rent for 5/month-that is A very very very good price for service-thing

and if they say, the publisher can decide to not use +, than thats okay fo me, i hope/think that it might have other ways for publishing it-if you can go into internet, maybe you can dowload free to play games on your console or such..

so, if i compare xboxgold with +, then the latter is better-its cheaper and it offers better service, because i cant remeber being able to play games like xcom&co while i used the xboxgold-thing,

Steven Bogos:
...but leaving it "up to the publisher" is a tad worrisome, as a lot of recent "monetization" decisions from certain publishers have left me somewhat, unwilling to trust them when it comes to trying to bleed the customer dry.

I don't get it. What would publishers gain by making it PS+ exclusive? Maybe I'm mistaken, but doesn't all the money from PS+ go directly to Sony? If that was the case then there'd be no point. Also, it would deter people without PS+ from playing their game. The entire point of F2P is to reel in players with their "Well, there's no harm in TRYING it, right? It's free!" policy. Then bleed them slowly with micro-transactions.

There are no upsides for publishers to do this.

Why would this happen? Is it basically if F2P games want to piggyback off PSN servers or something...or if they want to run one themselves?

Or maybe making it ps+ exclusive means sony pays them a lump sum and they share the profits of microtransactions?

I don't understand how online works..but that kind of makes sense either way.

It's good to see Sony are getting people to join by providing an attractive service rather then making it mandatory.
What would be cool is if they had a psn lite for half the price of PS+. The same but without the free games....for the consumers that are picky about games.

If everyone who wants multiplayer has to pay for ps+ (which will probably be everyone) then I can't help but wonder if all the great benefits will shrink over time.
Since ps+ is no longer an added incentive but a requirement.

sethisjimmy:
Logic: If something is free to play, it can therefore be free online, but if you have payed for a game, you now must pay even more to get it online.

And Sony was doing so well in terms of treating consumers right...

Sony is leaving it up the the publishers. However, I don't think there's too much to worry about. Because when publishers find people aren't paying extra for online gaming for their games, and instead flocking to rival company's games, who're doing online for free, they'll likely drop charged online all-together.

The only publishers I can imagine taking advantage of this are companies like Activision, where games like CoD are so popular, where online is the meat of the game, fans might be willing to dish out extra money. That, and MMOs.

Zachary Amaranth:
Howabout this: If it's Free to play, leave it FREE to play. Not "free to play up to the developers/publishers/pony overlords."

Is anyone else completely fed up with all the weasel words in this generation's hype?

If you don't want the "weasel words", or indeed the option of actual free to play, just go with Xbox One (or 360) where all online play needs Gold membership :)

Alfador_VII:

Zachary Amaranth:
Howabout this: If it's Free to play, leave it FREE to play. Not "free to play up to the developers/publishers/pony overlords."

Is anyone else completely fed up with all the weasel words in this generation's hype?

If you don't want the "weasel words", or indeed the option of actual free to play, just go with Xbox One (or 360) where all online play needs Gold membership :)

Or you know, use your PC. Free online multiplayer you know.

Zachary Amaranth:
Howabout this: If it's Free to play, leave it FREE to play. Not "free to play up to the developers/publishers/pony overlords."

Is anyone else completely fed up with all the weasel words in this generation's hype?

You haven't been paying attention, have you? Since "Free to play" became a thing, there has ALWAYS been a catch, and publishers ALWAYS have a say. Turbine with DDO, EA with TOR, NCSoft with its gaggle of games, Perfect World with STO, FunCom with The Secret World, Etc etc etc. "Free to play" as it's pitched is a lie most of the time, this is nothing new or out of the ordinary. If a publisher wants the game to be truly free, they will not ask Sony to charge for it. But it's THEIR CHOICE.

Very few publishers making free-to-play games are going to restrict their potential audience by making it only available to PS+ users.

People need to stop latching onto lines like 'it's up to publishers' and deciding it's always negative without applying it to the situation.

That said if Sony had kept online play free this distinction wouldn't be a problem :\

Evil Smurf:
Or you know, use your PC. Free online multiplayer you know.

Well obviously, sticking with the PC Gaming Master Race will always be better, but I didn't want to get into console bashing just yet :)

RoBi3.0:
[quote="Zachary Amaranth" post="7.818595.19714151"]Howabout this: If it's Free to play, leave it FREE to play. Not "free to play up to the developers/publishers/pony overlords."

Is anyone else completely fed up with all the weasel words in this generation's hype?

Hasn't the decision to make a free to play game free always been up to the developers/publisher/pony overlords. I am seriously think about it for a second.

If I were to venture a wild asked guess, I would say that: if it is included in the PS+ membership that Sony is paying to manage servers much in the same way Microsoft currently does with Xbox Live. If it is outside of the PS+ sub the developer/publisher/pony overlords assume all cost a management responsibilities. This sounds completely reasonable to me. Shrug.
quote]

I agree.. Are people just looking for the negative. Do they think these companies can just manage servers for free?

Why is it people are trying to bash down good news? Sony is basically saying that if a player is primarily interested in free to play and streaming services they don't need to invest in PS+. This makes a LOT of sense considering that if someone was getting it just for those two features the PS+ membership has no real benefits.

Also, I feel like someone needs to get a blow horn cleared out to shout out every time this subject comes up, but in order for there to be games on the system, the publishers have to want to publish on it! If a publisher wants a requirement for their game and a console manufacturer refuses to provide the means for it, they can quite easily not publish their game on the said system and put it on the competing systems only. The only way a console manufacturer could get away with forcing publishers to withhold some arbitrary requirement on their game is if all the console manufacturers unilaterally blocked the option, which Microsoft is never going to do and therefore Sony, who also depends on third party publishing, is going to have to follow suit.

Sony was quoted a year after launch that they viewed making online free a "mistake." This has been like 10 years incoming, but everyone is surprised? Being said, I don't care, and like mostly what they're doing with the PS4.

I'd really like to know how they deal with MMOs, as the console is slated to have several at or near release. If I'm paying monthly for ESO (no clue if its sub model), do I have to pay again to play it? It'd make a lot more sense to charge only for non-sub games due to someone having to maintain the servers.

Wait... do publishers get a cut of the PS Plus fee? If they don't why would they intentionally segregate a portion of gamers from playing their game? O.o

Free to play just means pay to win anyway. I've never played a free to play game that was also free to enjoy.

That is if you don't count when APB first went free to play and you could earn the most powerful cars through in game currency.

Ohhh hours of fun driving a fleet of muscle cars into people on missions.

Then of-course, they brought in paid vehicles and all the free ones were powered by hamsters.

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