On Thursday, Sony announced a corporate name change and a plan to produce mobile games.
It's corporate rebranding time over at Sony's entertainment division, which, as of Friday, is changing its name from Sony Computer Entertainment to Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc. Additionally, Sony also published an official press release announcing "the formation of ForwardWorks Corporation (ForwardWorks), a new company that is aimed to deploy new services toward the ever-expanding smart device market." ForwardWorks, which will kick off on April 1, will "leverage the intellectual property of the numerous PlayStation-dedicated software titles and its gaming characters," and will use PlayStation's game development knowledge to create games optimized for Android and iOS devices. ForwardWorks will only be creating games for users in Japan and Asia, though this may change over time.
Sony previously attempted to move into the mobile games market with PlayStation Mobile, but this venture proved unsuccessful. PlayStation Mobile, which was available for the PlayStation Vita (and select Android devices, including Sony's Xperia smartphones and tablets), shuttered its doors in September 2015, after it failed to gain traction with users. The platform looked to bridge the gap between independent mobile games and the handheld console, and to make PS1 games available on mobile, but it was not enough to woo users. Sony was also forced to close its Music Unlimited service last year. The music service had a poor UI, too many competitors, and a limited music selection. Time will tell if ForwardWorks' content will fare better than PlayStation Mobile.
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