Japanese console giant Sony PlayStation is ready to re-apply itself to mobile gaming, with new studio ForwardWorks dedicated to “full-fledged” smartphone games.
The move comes a week after Nintendo’s social network and gaming hybrid app Miitomo launched in Japan for iOS and Android devices, tallying one million users in its first three days of availability. As fans worldwide look forward to a simpler, regionally appropriate method of sharing the peculiar joys of Miitomo Sony Computer Entertainment — the company behind the PlayStation brand name — is announcing a smartphone drive of its own.
In contrast to Nintendo’s atypical approach, and on the same day that SCE renames itself Sony Interactive Entertainment, April 1 2016, ForwardWorks will start out on its mission to deliver “full-fledged game titles” on Android and iOS. It’s to harness PlayStation’s “numerous dedicated software titles and its gaming characters,” emphasizing Sony’s background in traditional gaming pursuits. It’s a background that also included an earlier, now shuttered venture into mass-market portable devices by way of PlayStation Mobile, a cross-platform publishing program which ran from 2012 to 2015. But that was mainly for smaller, independent developers rather than a concerted push onto mobile by a dedicated internal studio.
Perhaps recognising differences in global gaming tastes, as well as the particular niches that mobile games can fill, ForwardWorks is being set up with a focus on users in Japan and Asia, at least at first, and while emphasizing Sony’s history in console gaming, these full-fledged games will be developed with casual enjoyment in mind.