Red Fox Insights' analysis on free-to-play games and eSports was not originally focused on console vs PC. However, after analyzing our data we realized that more MMO's should come to console based on:
- Proven Success
- PC vs Console Spending Habits
Here's Where It Started
Gamers who play Smite on console are 16.06% more interested in Elite Lord of Alliance. Exciting for ELOA publisher WEBZEN - except ELOA is not available on consoles.
We discovered that 33.34% of gamers who play SMITE on console are interested in playing the MMORPG, Elite Lord of Alliance. This is notably higher than the sample population, where 17.28% of gamers said they were interested in playing ELOA. This is a +16.06% jump in interest for ELOA among console players. The results were collected from over 430 US gamers on MMOHuts.com about their interests surrounding MMOs and MOBAs.
The only concern - ELOA is exclusive to PC. Should publishers, including WEBZEN consider bringing MMORPG’s like ELOA to console audiences?
Consoles have lacked MMORPG’s in the previous generations, but are doing a good job of late picking up the pace and finding success with new audiences. DC Universe Online launched alongside the PS4, PlanetSide 2 has given console players the chance to experience MMO traits wrapped in an FPS and Neverwinter is free-to-play for Xbox Live Gold Members owners seeking fast-paced combat and epic dungeons.
Microsoft smartly partnered with Chinese publisher Perfect World to port Neverwinter to Chinese gamers. China is dominated by PC games and through this partnership they’ve “introduced a game that bridges the gap between” PC and consoles and expands potential user base.
Even the popular Final Fantasy XIV and its Heavensward expansion found homes on multiple platforms. What makes this unique is the “players on the PS3, PS4, and PC versions can all run dungeons, raids, and every other type of content together.” While the game might be slightly different across the three platforms, it manages to expand the Final Fantasy MMO to new players, and more importantly has proved consoles a viable platform for MMORPG success.
Console vs PC Spending Habits
The spending habits of console players should entice free-to-play MMO’s, like ELOA, to expand to PS4 and Xbox One consoles. Speaking with Gamasutra, SOE president John Smedley revealed “the PS4 has been monetizing amazingly well -- between 3 and 3.5x the monetization rate of the PC. Seeing that kind of difference in pay rate between the PC and the PS4 is really astounding -- it shows there’s a real market there.”
The “porting” process is not easy. Challenges in adapting control schemes and standardizing your update processes across multiple platforms are a couple things to a consider. However, the potential for success in the genre, makes it worth researching. PC MMO, Black Desert Online, sold over 400,000 units in the US and EU in its first month - averaging over 100,000 concurrent users. Pseudo MMO’s like The Division and Destiny are incredible new IP’s that are actively shifting the AAA and console landscape.
The Bottom Line
Should publishers, including WEBZEN consider bringing MMORPG’s like ELOA to console audiences? The Red Fox Insights reported +16.06% jump in interest for ELOA among console players, and the new found success other free-to-play MMO’s have found on consoles suggest yes they should.