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SOE moved under SCEI to strengthen PlayStation 3

Samuel Axon

Sony Online Entertainment (the group behind EverQuest, Star Wars Galaxies, and other landmark MMO titles, for the types of readers who need answers to questions like "Vhat eez zees ... 'video game' theeng?") is relocating within the Sony empire. Starting April 1, SOE will operate under the Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc. banner.

That means that SOE prez John Smedley will be reporting directly to Kazuo Hirai, who is President and CEO of SCEI, and one of the masterminds behind the success of the PlayStation brand. According to the press release, they're making this move so that Sony can use the talent and resources at SOE to push its online gaming agenda on the PlayStation 3 console. Currently, SOE reports to Sony Pictures Digital.

SOE has already been working on PS3 projects for a while now, including the spy-themed shooter MMO The Agency, and Free Realms, a family-friendly, microtransaction-fueled endeavor. Even though the press release didn't come with new game announcements, it's big news. There's been a lot of debate about whether the XBox 360 or the PS3 is the best online gaming platform, but this new structure could give Sony a new edge.

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