Sony foresees 100M Free Realms users

Online boss John Smedley says "endless supply of children" will help game rise to new user milestone in five or six years.

Last week, Sony Online Entertainment's Free Realms landed on the PlayStation 3 following over a year of PC exclusivity, where it has racked up over 17 million players. Now--undaunted by the massive layoffs that rocked the studio last week--Sony believes the game's user base can quintuple in size.

Sony thinks Free Realms will just keep on growing.

Speaking with GamesIndustry.biz, SOE president John Smedley said Free Realms is currently in a great spot in terms of registered users, but he also believes the user base can vault to 100 million over the course of "five or six years" based on what he called an inexhaustible reservoir of youths.

"[17 million] is a phenomenal number, and we're very pleased with its success--and it's really keeping going. I don’t see this thing stopping until it hits 100 million. I think it could take five or six years--that should give you some idea," he said.

"That endless supply of children that have a hunger for gaming, as long as we keep improving it and make sure it’s still relevant--which we do every month with patches--means that we expect the game to have a long life."

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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62 comments
Muisee
Muisee

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

RossRichard
RossRichard

Here's hoping that some of the horrible WoW kiddies become some of that 100m.

blackace
blackace

@IrishBulldog93 so before i read this ! if he expects 100m people then how come ive never heard of it before ?? *********************************************************** I just heard of this game recently as well. I didn't realize it was a kiddie game that sucked. My little niece plays the Disney MMO online, but not this crap. Even with the Disney games she usually only plays for about an hour before moving on to something else. I was going to check Free Realms out, but now that I know who the game is aimed for, I won't even waste my time. They may have over 17 million registrations, but chances are good only about 20% or less is actually login on and playing on a regular basis. Bad word of mouth for a game will eventually kill its growth.

TheWarscent
TheWarscent

I dont see why so many people are complaining. Its a kiddie game targeted at kids and its free mostly.As horrible as this game would be if i were playing it without my kids,id prefer them play this than so many other violent and sex oriented games like most kids get thier hands on.I like the way that female character skins are well clothed and not in thong showing miniskirts with stripper boots for one thing.We dont need 2nd graders influenced by horny developers that try to sell a product based on thier strip club character models. Good to see a game that DOESnt conform to that rule..Very very rare.

TheWarscent
TheWarscent

I believe it.My kids love the game.Ive played with them ....grinding out one of thier characters to level 10 much like in WOW,but packed with lots of minigames that the younger ones eat up.Not complaining as long as its free and my kids still prefer playing outside over video games during daylight hours. If they want to buy something on the game i have no prob with them spending thier own allowance that they earned in the damp dark ore mines nestled underneath the hardwood floors of our cottage.

lordkorosh
lordkorosh

marketing folks that how they advertising their game.do not believe everything they say. free means many people just joined to try the game it dose not mean they are active players and they count all those accounts.probably many free game have high account number due to people who want to try the game, I DID JOIN (RUNES OF MAGIC,CHAMPION ONLINE)TO TRY THEM,AT THE END I AM PLAYING RIFT SO MY ACCOUNTS ON THOSE GAMES ARE DEAD WETHER THEY COUNT THEM IN OR NOT.

uberjannie
uberjannie

Yes well. I too am a user there. But how many ACTIVE players are there? I haven't touched the game since the simplified it for the consoles and made it all retarded.

Gamma_Fit
Gamma_Fit

100M?? Seriously?? What the hell are they smoking!? lol

Shadow_Fire41
Shadow_Fire41

anyone else laughing at their idea of 100 million users? i don't care if it IS free, not alot of people are interested in MMOs.

GeneralShowzer
GeneralShowzer

Registered users maybe. I doubt anyone can continue playing this for more than an hour. It's such a rip off.

Stonecutters908
Stonecutters908

oh look. Another schizophrenic game for kids but instead of Pokemon or Dragon ball Z this looks like it was made by Disney, which is worse. If I saw my kids playing this I would immediately try to lower their self esteems for doing so and then wait ten years for them to thank me. What garbage.

DarkGamerkill
DarkGamerkill

1 more note world of warcraft the most popular MMO to date doesn't have 100m subscribers how does a game that your 5 year old plays ever gonna surpass wow?

megakick
megakick

fun for all ages? nope unless ya a pedophile.

AuronAXE
AuronAXE

@TheDarkCrucible They will never brag about active accounts. Never.

dkdk999
dkdk999

@RadicalToenail nah man. My little brother is badass. Sony is touching him.

joshroy311
joshroy311

Is it just me, or does referring to children as an "endless supply" make them sound a bit too much like livestock. Oh wait...to game execs, they are like livestock...

TheDarkCrucible
TheDarkCrucible

@AuronAXE: doesn't matter how many people are "leaving" if they still have a account on it Sony can brag as much as they want about having X amount of registored accounts. tho when they start bragging about active accounts that will be the intresting part ;P

Shardz7
Shardz7

Well, since the PC is the modern babysitter these days, it's not too difficult to understand how this game already got 17 million kids signed up. And, of course, that would equate to approximately 35 million parents not watching their kids dodging strangers online inviting them over for some Mike's Hard Lemonade. I guess it's either this or WoW or Guild Wars...and I'd much rather have them all playing this game to stay out of my way. lol

caketoo
caketoo

It was free so naturally alot of people would try it. Too bad it was a total disaster and you couldnt even play it on release day. It took me 4 days before i could play it and after about 40 mins i was bored with it.

AuronAXE
AuronAXE

He's assuming the rate of people joining the game won't change in the next 6 years. I wonder whats the rate of people LEAVING?

gamemaster2200
gamemaster2200

@catsith Yeah, it sounds like it's a theme song for a show on the Disney channel.

TEBellant
TEBellant

In 1 year this game is going to be extinct...Guarantee it.

catsith
catsith

omg what the hell is up with the music I feel like i am watching a kids' tv ad

awarriorg
awarriorg

...can't even play it with Google Chrome. Boo!

Arsenal193
Arsenal193

Smedley reminds me of Dr Cortex from Crash Bandicoot

IrishBulldog93
IrishBulldog93

so before i read this ! if he expects 100m people then how come ive never heard of it before ??

SteveTwo
SteveTwo

Yeah... that number is nothing but marketing. They don't remove users who have created an account, they also count users who created an account but never played or played once and quit. It's like saying everyone who walks past your house is currently visiting you and never leaving.

alexLmx6
alexLmx6

And this is why we need serious population control initiatives NOW!

KC_Hokie
KC_Hokie

John Smedley is officially on the crack now.

Freezezzy
Freezezzy

...and thus, the Matrix was created.

TheTrainer1980
TheTrainer1980

Even the music is horrible... here's to a game that will flop, regardless if it's free or not.

InflictedOwned
InflictedOwned

@Barighm And for every child that may move on to more mature activities, there's always another one to replace them on top of a growing population.

Barighm
Barighm

The funny thing about kids...their tastes change as they mature. Eventually they will decide Free Realms is for "babies" and will want to play the "cool" games. If all fads among children lasted forever, we'd still love hoola-hoops.

RadicalToenail
RadicalToenail

@dkdk999 That's too bad because your little brother will soon be another human battery for FreeRealms; he will be part of the endless supply of child-based fuel (better than fossil fuels, yes?) and will help Smedley take over the world.

dkdk999
dkdk999

my little brother prefers lego universe.

Sarcerok
Sarcerok

I want to know what Smedley is smoking that causes him to suffer from such manic bursts of optimism as he grinds his company into the dirt.

Poncho_Hachacha
Poncho_Hachacha

@ziproy. lol I'm glad I'm not the only one that noticed that. They said that likechildren are some kind of untapped natural resource.

ziproy
ziproy

I'm sorry but nothing good can come from a phrase like "endless supply of children". Why don't they put some of those kids to work on releasing the Agency

ronnet
ronnet

I tried this on the PC, does that make me a user? If so then sure, something that is free can reach 100 mil certainly. If they mean active player (playing once a week or even once a month) then I seriously doubt it can reach 100 mil.

punanisher
punanisher

Smedley has proven himself to be clueless and a failure so many times now that this has to be a joke. He has personally overseen the destruction of a few SOE games (SWG and MXO come to mind). 17 million registered users for a free game that has been out for a year is not really "phenomenal" at all. 17 million paying customers would probably have saved those jobs SOE cut last week.

Chargrilled
Chargrilled

as a casual gamer i found the game quite igood tbh. although i didnt really like the 'freemium' nature of it. even though im 39 i still prefer freerealms to rift, age of conan or aion. im never going to converse with anyone on there because they all seemed about 12 yrs old, but it satisfied my love of match-3 games with rpg elements.

Icehearted
Icehearted

The smarter money would have been teaming up with Arena Net, cooking up a ftp game and charging a fairly discounted price for it (let's say $30 or so), and releasing something people want to play rather than something people will try because it's free.

UnknownPerson55
UnknownPerson55

Ive played better MMOs, so this one is like shoving a pine cone up my...er...um...you get the idea... :P

hohohoyes
hohohoyes

Keeping a game relevant over 5 or 6 years is very difficult. Trying to get 100 million is highly unrealistic. They are going to be sorely disappointed

JAYSC81
JAYSC81

"endless supply of children" Did anyone else get good laugh out of that cause I sure did lol.

shadowhunter0
shadowhunter0

it was ok if it wasn't for that fact that you have to play to get anywhere in the game then I'll probably play it some more I mean it is supose to be free I have played other free mmos and they don't don't have lvl resection

gohoanq
gohoanq

I played it for a while.. I'm with the others.. it's not too great lol I've played a crap load of ftp mmo's and there are way better ones out there.. This has charm I'll give it that. So yea, children will love it.. probably.. but anybody else, specifically those that have played Better games, will dislike and/or hate it lol