Traditional MMORPG games have had a mixed history on consoles, but the PSP has had some success (particularly in Japan) with online titles like Monster Hunter. Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley thinks that the NGP could take portable MMOs to the next level, hinting at FreeRealms coming.

“With the console, we’re selling to an audience that already has the PS3 obviously – and by the way not just the PS3, but in the future I can see other devices. Sony’s announced the NGP, and if that isn’t a perfect machine for doing MMOs on, then I don’t know what is,” he said. “So it’s too soon to tell for sure but I think you’re going to start seeing free-to-play gaming on console as well. People will realize that getting a lot more folk to try their games using that kind of business model will help; it’ll just be in addition to the Blu-ray business model.”

Speaking of FreeRealms, Smedley sees its growth as only just beginning from the 17 million mark it is at now. “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 [of the time frame we’re looking at], said Smedley. But I don’t see any reason why it can’t go to 100 million, because there are so many kids out there. And the great thing about a kids’ game, and this is different for an adult audience and people don’t think about this, is that there are always more kids.”

“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, he added. One of our other games, Everquest, has just hit its twelfth birthday – and I can definitely see FreeRealms doing that.”

Source: IndustryGamers {link no longer active}