Sony officially announces the forthcoming launch of its brand new studio known as ForwardWorks, a mobile game development division set in Tokyo, Japan.
According to an official press release from Sony, the tech firm is set to begin operations of its freshly minted mobile game development studio, ForwardWorks, on April 1, 2016, and it will also be changing its full company name to Sony Interactive Entertainment. Although the multinational didn’t confirm this to be the case, the organization is ostensibly revamping its branding in order to accommodate the new mobile game division.
Sony’s initial plans for ForwardWorks is to court fans who use “smart devices” — that is, products with Android and iOS operating systems — in Japanese and Asian markets by producing mobile games using PlayStation-exclusive intellectual properties. However, the company has yet to divulge specifically which titles will be ported under the subsidiary’s umbrella.
ForwardWorks is set to begin business with ¥10 million in capital, which roughly translates to almost $89,000, and will have its board of directors headed up by president of Sony Interactive Entertainment Andrew House, along with SIE Japan / Asia president Atsushi Morita. Regarding the mobile development subdivision’s mission, a snippet from Sony’s announcement reads:
“ForwardWorks will leverage the intellectual property of the numerous PlayStation dedicated software titles and its gaming characters. . . . The company will aim to deliver users with opportunity to casually enjoy full-fledged game titles in the new filed [sic] of the smart device market.”
As many gaming fans may be aware, this isn’t Sony’s first time foraying into mobile gaming. Back in 2012, in fact, the company tried its hand at making cross-compatible titles for Android devices and PS Vita with the PlayStation Mobile initiative. Unfortunately, even after producing popular titles such as Lemmings, Alien Breed, and Super Crate Box, Sony failed to successfully keep the venture afloat after a dearth of interest from developers and fans alike, and the company closed the effort last year.
With other major platform-holders jumping into the smartphone market — Nintendo’s DeNa partnership to make games for smartphones and tablets started this year, for instance — it’s obvious Sony wants a piece of the pie as well. After all, once the Big N announced its decision to dip into the mobile gaming trade, its stocks rose after the announcement. Even so, the most important thing for both Sony and Nintendo to do while porting its titles for Android and iOS devices is to make quality games. Sure, a God of War title or a Super Mario Bros. release for tablets and smartphones looks decent enough on paper, but if the final product is poorly executed, what were once viable brands could go on to be seen as tarnished in the eyes of fans.
What do you think about Sony’s opening of ForwardWorks? Do you believe the company is moving in the right direction, or is it possible that the tech firm’s push into the medium will fail to launch yet again? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Sony‘s next major video game release is the Naughty Dog-developed Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, which is set to release on May 10, 2016, exclusively for PlayStation 4.