關於索尼進軍手機遊戲領域的計劃

作者:Serkan Toto

不久前在東京舉辦的新聞發佈會上,索尼詳細描述了想要進入手機遊戲業務的決定。

即他們打算通過名爲Forwardworks的全資子公司將現有的PlayStation IP轉變成手機遊戲。

在我看來他們所提到的10款遊戲可以分爲3大類別。

類別1是那些基於早前/現有IP的遊戲,缺少足夠的大衆吸引力:

Arc The Lad(from page.auction)

Arc The Lad(from page.auction)

RPG遊戲《妖精戰士》和《狂野歷險系列》

戰術RPG遊戲《魔界戰記》(Nippon Ichi所發行)

恐怖遊戲《Yomawari》(Nippon Ichi所發行)

益智行動遊戲《No Heroes Allowed! DASH!》

冒險遊戲《我的暑假3》

模擬遊戲《Dokedemo Issho》

類別2主要是擁有更廣泛大衆吸引力的早前IP:

《Hot Shot Golf》

音樂遊戲《啪啦啪啦啪》

而唯一出現在類別3的遊戲是基於全新IP的遊戲《Sora to Umi no Aida》。這款模擬遊戲是Forwardworks和Square Enix共同進行的一個項目。

索尼在發佈會上所展示的產品中最讓我感到興奮的便是他們那結合現實的平臺“Project FIELD”,即能讓玩家在手機遊戲中使用真正的名片。

爲什麼索尼要進軍手機領域?

有人可能會認爲索尼並不需要在這時候重新擠進一個新戰場,因爲他們在主機遊戲領域已經表現的非常出色了。

現在Vita只是索尼的一個副業,所以也有人會認爲索尼應該更多地專注於推動PS VR和PS4 Pro的發展。

該公司之前曾經想要擠進手機領域的嘗試都失敗了,那爲什麼他們還要再次嘗試?

對於索尼來說最顯著的動機當然是錢:根據Newzoo,2016年全世界手機遊戲的銷量將達到369億美元,到2019年更是將到達525億美元。

單單去年日本市場便創造了90億美元的收益:就像任天堂那樣,手機市場真的太大了,索尼不可能忽視它。

還有一個推動因素便是《Fate/Grand Order》,即來自索尼子公司Aniplex的一款手機RPG在日本獲得了巨大成功。

當然也還有來自《Pokemon Go》的推動:Dorwardworks創建於2016年4月,即在《Pokemon Go》的熱潮席捲全世界之前,索尼首席執行官Hirai表示是這款遊戲的成功推動着他們做出走向手機遊戲的計劃。

索尼未來的機會

我認爲從整體上看,索尼能在手機遊戲領域發光發亮的機會非常有限。

主要原因是:

索尼的第一方IP作品集雖然很靠譜,但卻不夠強大。

Project FIELD雖然是個很酷的理念,但是目標羣組還是太小(遊戲邦注:儘管大型授權遊戲《妖怪手錶》已經聲稱要支持該平臺),這也是爲什麼到現在爲止還沒有可行的手機遊戲配件的原因。

目前所提到的所有遊戲的業務模式還是未知的(許多遊戲都是基於固定價格進行出售,這大大限制了它們的收益潛能)。

所有遊戲都是隻面向日本/亞洲市場(我認爲在亞洲,大多數這些遊戲都沒有很好的表現,甚至一些遊戲也不適合在西方市場發行)。

手機領域的競爭非常激烈,已經達到過度飽和狀態,遊戲已經很難去迎合玩家需求了。

在我看來,已經成爲手機領域巨頭的任天堂將成爲他們不可忽視的強大競爭對手。

關於第一點,IP:

一些類別1的遊戲是基於早前給硬核玩家留下深刻印象的PlayStation遊戲(特別是《妖精戰士》和《狂野歷險系列》)以及今天仍在更新的授權遊戲(《魔界戰記》)。

但在我看來這裏的重點是,許多手機遊戲的主流用戶都不是很瞭解這些遊戲。

當然我並不是說這些遊戲註定會遭遇失敗,只是他們的IP力量不夠強大。

但是對於《 Hot Shot Golf》和《啪啦啪啦啪》來說情況就不一樣了:這兩款遊戲能夠有效吸引大衆市場的注意,但雖然如此索尼還是很難將其變成熱門的大型免費手機遊戲。

本文爲遊戲邦/gamerboom.com編譯,拒絕任何不保留版權的轉發,如需轉載請聯繫:遊戲邦

Sony’s Mobile Gaming Plans Are Solid, But Are They Enough?

by Serkan Toto

At a press conference in Tokyo today, Sony (6758) detailed its next attempt to move into the mobile gaming business.

The big idea this time is to turn existing PlayStation IP into smartphone games, via a wholly owned subsidiary called Forwardworks.

In my view, the 10 titles shown today can be grouped in 3 categories.

Category 1 are games based on old/existing IP with limited or almost no mass appeal:

RPGs “Arc The Lad” and “Wild Arms”

tactical RPG “Disgaea” (by Nippon Ichi (3851))

horror game “Yomawari” (by Nippon Ichi)

puzzle action game “No Heroes Allowed! DASH!”

adventure “Boku No Natsuyasumi”

simulation “Dokedemo Issho”

Category 2 are games based on old IP with somewhat broader mass appeal:

Hot Shot Golf

music game “PaRappa the Rapper”

The only title falling into category 3, content based on new IP, is “Sora to Umi no Aida”. This simulation is a joint project between Forwardworks and Square Enix (9684).

The product Sony showed today that excited me personally the most was their “mixed reality” platform “Project FIELD” that will allow players to use physical trading cards in mobile games:

Why Did Sony Enter Mobile?

One could make the argument that Sony didn’t need to open a new battle field at this point in time, given their console game business is doing so well. (The company just shifted 50 million PS4s and left Microsoft in the dust in this console generation.)

The Vita is now only a side business for Sony, and one could argue they should better focus on making PS VR and the PS4 Pro a success.

The company’s previous attempts to break into mobile have totally failed. So why again?

The most obvious motivation for Sony’s move into mobile is of course money: Newzoo, for example, is predicting US$36.9 billion in worldwide mobile game sales for 2016 and US$52.5 billion for 2019.

The Japanese market alone reached US$9 billion last year: just like for Nintendo (7974), mobile is simply too big a market to ignore for Sony .

Another driving factor is Fate/Grand Order, a mobile RPG from Sony subsidiary Aniplex that is seeing massive success in Japan and contributing to the company’s numbers.

And there is surely “Pokemon Go envy” as an additional force: Forwardworks has been established in April 2016, before the Pokemon Go craze came over the world, but Sony CEO Hirai himself said it was that game’s success that drove him to accelerate his company’s mobile gaming plans.

Sony’s Chances Going Forward

I think that overall, Sony’s chances to make it big in mobile games are limited.

The main reasons are:

Sony’s first-party IP portfolio is solid but not big enough

Project FIELD is a very cool concept, but I think the target group is too small (even though mega franchise Yokai Watch has been announced to support the platform) – which is why no mobile game accessory has ever worked so far

the business models for all games mentioned so far is unknown (it’s likely that many will be sold at fixed prices, limiting their revenue potential)

all games have been announced to be Japan/Asia-only (I think even in Asia, most games are almost sure to underperform, while others are not even suitable for release in the West)

the competition on mobile is already fierce, with an almost hopelessly oversaturated supply side and an increasingly hard-to-please demand side

Nintendo is a future competitor that has, in my view, everything it takes to be become the superpower on mobile

On the first point, IP:

Several category 1 games are based on older PlayStation titles hardcore users have in good memory (especially Arc The Lad and Wild Arms) and on franchises that are still being updated today (Disgaea).

But the key factor here is that in my view, none of these are really well known among the mainstream user base on mobile – a market that is all about scale nowadays.

I am not saying that these games will necessarily flop, but their IP power is not critically high.

Just look at Sony’s screenshots for No Heroes Allowed! DASH! – which doesn’t look like a hit from any angle:

Things are a bit different for Hot Shot Golf and PaRappa: these two titles are more appealing to the mass market, but here too, Sony will have a hard time turning them into big, free-to-play mobile hits.(source:gamasutra)