Sony Online Entertainment Restructuring, Moving Towards PlayStation Development

Sony Computer Entertainment announced today that EverQuest (PC) and Star Wars Galaxies (PC) publisher Sony Online Entertainment will be restructured to help streamline development of the PlayStation brand's online offerings.

As part of the restructuring, SOE will report directly to Kaz Hirai, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment and its studios. SOE, which recently launched PC MMO Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, is currently developing its spy-themed MMO The Agency for release on the PlayStation 3 and PC.

"I am excited to be able to work with SOE even more closely, as online games and services become a more integral part of the PS3 entertainment experience," said Hirai.

The realm of console MMO development is often cited by developers as a vast untapped market. While difficulties in bringing MMOs to consoles are manifold—including hardware and disk space limitations, and networking issues—many studios have made it a priority to crack the traditionally tricky market in the console realm.

"Of course there's going to be MMOs on consoles," said Blizzard employee and lead World of Warcraft designer Rob Pardo at this year's GDC. "The types of MMOs that are out there right now work much better on PC...Decide yourself what the game is you want to make and make sure you pick the system it will be most fun on."

In addition to SOE's The Agency, several other studios are engaged in concurrent development on titles for both PCs and consoles, including Funcom's Age of Conan (PC, X360) and Cryptic Studios' Champions Online (PC, X360), with NCSoft tapped to bring online titles to the PlayStation as well.

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