Sony Announces Entry Into Smartphone Gaming Space With New Company 'ForwardWorks'

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Sony is forming a new company, ForwardWorks, that will be focused on providing gamers with "full-fledged game titles" on their smartphone (via The Verge). ForwardWorks will begin operations on April 1, the same day that Sony has announced of all of its various PlayStation arms are set to be joined under the unified umbrella brand Sony Interactive Entertainment.

The new company plans to create gaming experiences for users in Japan and Asia, but the company has hinted that there's a possibility for expansion into other territories after initial launches in those countries. While ForwardWorks has yet to confirm the specific smartphone operating systems it will be launching games on, it did tease the content of the upcoming mobile experiences, which will "leverage the intellectual property" of Sony's vast catalogue of well-known characters and franchises to use in each title.

iPhone-6s-sony-characters

ForwardWorks will leverage the intellectual property of the numerous PlayStation® dedicated software titles and its gaming characters as well as the knowledge and know-how of gaming development expertise which was acquired over the years with PlayStation® business to provide gaming application optimized for smart devices including smartphones* to users in Japan and Asia. The company will aim to deliver users with opportunity to casually enjoy full-fledged game titles in the new field of the smart device market.

The exact franchises in question that the Tokyo-based company plans to focus on have yet to be confirmed, but the terminology of the announcement suggests that ForwardWorks will be going a more traditional gaming route in transplanting its characters onto mobile than Nintendo has. Sony has tried to break into the smartphone game space before, specifically on Android, but the focus of its past initiative was more of a cross-platform synergy with the company's game-ready PlayStation Vita handheld.

A shift to smartphone-only games is interesting, especially considering the library of classic franchises ForwardWorks could employ in clever ways to make up for the lack of tactile controller inputs. Nintendo has made a similar promise recently regarding the use of its most popular characters in upcoming mobile games, but its first game, Miitomo, has left most fans disappointed due to its sole focus on character creation and social network-skewing gameplay.

Tag: Sony

Top Rated Comments

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59 months ago
While I'm pretty sure it's not a Sony property per se, I'd LOVE to see the old Crash Bandicoot titles ported to iOS and tvOS.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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59 months ago
I love my Vita. Apart from neko atsume i abandoned gaming on phones because mostly the games suck and touch screen controls too.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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59 months ago
I'm still waiting for Nintendo's offerings!
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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59 months ago
iOS developers/the platform itself needs to work on some form of backwards compatibility testing or compatibility modes for these complex games. It's a lot of programming to go through to find that they don't work on the next version of iOS.

I see that BioShock is in that picture, but that was on the AppStore briefly along with titles like Monster Hunter and Mass Effect.

I don't think that AAA games can be made for a platform that only lets their games work for one year vs handheld consoles that make their game work indefinitely. I can go out and buy a 2004 Nintendo DS game and expect it to work in my N3DS, but I can't expect a game I bought while iOS 8.4 was out to work now.

If you purchased Monster Hunter Freedom Unite on launch day and kept your iOS device updated, you would have only had 14 months to complete the game before the iOS 9 update broke it.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
59 months ago

iOS developers/the platform itself needs to work on some form of backwards compatibility testing or compatibility modes for these complex games. It's a lot of programming to go through to find that they don't work on the next version of iOS.

I see that BioShock is in that picture, but that was on the AppStore briefly along with titles like Monster Hunter and Mass Effect.

I don't think that AAA games can be made for a platform that only lets their games work for one year vs handheld consoles that make their game work indefinitely. I can go out and buy a 2004 Nintendo DS game and expect it to work in my N3DS, but I can't expect a game I bought while iOS 8.4 was out to work now.

If you purchased Monster Hunter Freedom Unite on launch day and kept your iOS device updated, you would have only had 14 months to complete the game before the iOS 9 update broke it.

It is definitely an issue, unfortunately it's one that shouldn't really exist at all.

With each revision of iOS, as we all know, Apple introduce new features, tweak or completely abandon old ones. It can mean a lot of work for us to keep apps up to date and running nicely. Obviously the more complex the app, the higher the potential for a good deal of work required.

Conversely though, apps which are built completely around Apples own technologies and don't require any, or very little, in the way of complex third party libraries or backend solutions tend to work with little or no changes.

I've got games that I released years ago (no longer on sale thankfully) which use nothing but that which is included in the iOS SDK and I can fire them up in Xcode, install them on my iPhone and they just work even now.

But like I say, the bigger and more complex the game and particularly the bigger the company. As they then want to cram it full of all of their own libraries to track user activities and tie into their own custom built gaming portals and so on. All of which means there's more work to be done keeping things up to date and the bigger companies often just won't pony up the cash to let the development teams do the work. So the issue isn't really changes that Apple make, so much as the greed and reluctance of companies to spend money, dedicate time and resources to support their user base.

You could of course vote with your wallet. If a developer/company has a bad track record of supporting us, the consumer, don't spend money on their products. Yes, that includes my own apps, though I do my best to keep them up and running for as long as possible. And make them aware of your displeasure at their actions.


*Edit*
Dear god I can waffle on. I only came in here to say, oh goody, more quickly made, in-app purchase stuffed cash grab games incoming. :D
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
59 months ago
Well, that's good. The mobile gaming industry certainly needs sprucing up.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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