According to Epic Games vice president Mark Rein during a roundtable discussion at the Game Horizon conference, both Sony and Microsoft are counting on free-to-ply models to play a big role on their upcoming consoles.

“The next-gen consoles are going to be fully embracing the free-to-play and these [In-App Purchase-type] business models,” Rein said. “So in case you don’t know that I’m putting that out there. Sony and Microsoft are both going heavily in that area.”

Microsoft released the first free-to-play game, Happy Wars, on Xbox Live in October 2012, and it is preparing for the release of another free-to-play game, Ascend: New Gods, in the next few months.

Sony is also jumping on the free-to-play bandwagon with the recent release of Dust 514 on PS3, and they plan to embrace the free-to-play model on the PS4 starting with the free-to-play shooter Blacklight: Retribution.

Development studios are split on the matter. There are big hitters on both sides; Ubisoft believes that free-to-play models and microtransactions are important to the future of AAA games, while Activision does not share the sentiment.

“I think we’re seeing there are a lot of exciting new ways to allow customers to pay for their experiences, there are a lot of new ways for us to monetize our content,” said Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick in an interview with Seeing Alpha. “But I can’t say that you’re going to see any dramatic shifts in the way that we monetize on the console.”

It seems like the facilitators, Sony and Microsoft, are taking the free-to-play business model very seriously, but it may be a while before big studios and publishers jump on the bandwagon.

Source: Gamespot

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Nick C
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I’m Nick, a proud nerd and gamer. I rock my Star Wars tattoos like I’m a real Jedi, and I hope I will be making games first and playing them second in the future!