Smedley said DC Universe Online is the largest revenue generator across PS3 and PS4 combined, even though the game is free to play.
Fortune, Interview with John Smedley about SOE
That is a pretty amazing, given how DC Universe Online stumbled almost immediately after a hot launch.
Then again, the article says that the PlayStation people are just starting to embrace free to play, so there isn’t much competition. (Warframe is the top on PS4 alone, and I wonder where PlanetSide 2 stands?) And the game itself was designed around playing with a controller, one of my primary complaints about the game when I tried it on the PC. It is very much a console title.
I suppose there is some irony in that DC Universe Online was something of the last stand for subscriptions at SOE back in early 2011, with Smed making a pretty strong statement about what customers of a subscription game should expect. By the end of 2011, the move to free to play was in full swing at SOE. Now, in this article, it is all about free and harnessing the user base for content and not depending on subscriptions. The article closes with:
SOE continues to evolve as a company. The days of charging a subscription for online games are part of its history.
Well, except for that one subscription they still have.
Once known as Station Access…
SOE All Access is still a thing, and as good of a deal as it seems these days compared to the past, you still pretty much have to subscribe to get the fullest out of games like EverQuest or EverQuest II. So call it mostly part of SOE’s history.
I was going to be late last time around. My wife and I were watching the pilot for The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency on HBO, which it turns out runs two hours. That was going to push me about 15 minutes passed the planned game start time.
But I figured that would be okay. I could let the AI run my empire for a while. Last time around Potshot and I had evicted our only continental neighbor, so aside from just bankrupting me again and selling off city improvements, I would probably be okay. So we finished up watching the show before I meandered over to my computer to see how things were going. Last week we finished up at turn 430. We try to stop at a round number and always finish that turn, so in this case, when we started the game up again, it would be the start of turn 431. Given our usual rate of advancement, I thought we might be somewhere between turn 440 and 450.
However, when I joined the game, it seemed that things had not been moving forward at all.
When things finally loaded up for me, we were still at turn 431. I had not missed a thing.
Well, I had missed something.
It seems that up to that point Mattman and his antique coal fired Ye Olde ThinkePayde portable difference engine had been trying to get into the game via the WiFi connection at the Dili Beach Hotel in East Timor. However, after a couple attempts at getting into the game even as an observer failed, the idea was dropped. Just because we were playing a world spanning game that featured 19th century technology did not mean that such things were going to integrate smoothly over Steam. Charles Babbage wept.
And that is when I showed up. Just in time!
More after the cut.