Sony is seeking to further expand its mobile gaming team, and is currently advertising for seven new team members including lead mobile game designer, senior mobile product manager, and senior project manager.
The company has been making concerted efforts to break into the mobile space over the past several months, hiring a slate of industry veterans to accelerate growth in December. Most recently, rumours began circulating that Sony is eyeing an acquisition of Take-Two Interactive, which would bring mobile gaming giant Zynga into the fold.
Although details on what direction the company is planning to take with its mobile development, the application for lead game designer notes that the successful candidate will have experience “as a lead/senior game designer in the free-to-play mobile space, with a proven track record of building and running successful games,” highlighting the company’s commitment to the free-to-play space.
A new focus?
Free-to-play remains a relative rarity in the console space, despite the model’s established strength on mobile platforms. Mobile remains the world’s most profitable and popular gaming platform, with a variety of monetisation options available which appeal to a variety of different players. Compared with other platforms, mobile gaming has a faster development cycle and lower costs, making it ideally suited for the free-to-play business model.
Notably, the company has made comments regarding its desire to bring its slate of first-party titles to mobile, with leaks indicating that a mobile adaptation of the popular Horizon series is in the works. A move into the free-to-play market could serve to promote the company’s console offerings.
It’s also worth considering the elephant in the room: Microsoft’s continued attempts to acquire Activision Blizzard. Microsoft has continuously stated that the prime motivator for this deal is the company’s strength on mobile platforms and, while Sony has previously stated that it wants to acquire mobile studios to help accelerate its expansion into the space, it has yet to make any significant moves in this direction. By focusing on expanding its own capabilities, it’s possible that Sony is hoping to bolster its own development capabilities as it attempts to carve out its own niche in the world’s most profitable gaming space.
Earlier this month, Sony and EA found themselves at the centre of a court case regarding the use of lootboxes in FIFA.