Sony Trashes Paper Toss, Developer Responds

An STP reader recently alerted us to a new online attack ad from Sony, trashing a made-up game called “Wastebasket” that sounds exactly like the popular Paper Toss games from Backflip Studios. Watch the ad and read Backflip’s exclusive comment to us after the jump.

The ad stars a character named Marcus Rivers, who complains that the iPhone game “Wastebasket” is a waste of your time and money. Marcus implores you to “put down that garbage and play something nice,” namely, PSP games.

Julian Farrior, CEO and Founder of Backflip Studios, wants to be clear that he’s not at all upset with Sony for being singled out. “I have to say, this is a pretty funny ad and in general I really like the campaign,” Farrior said. “I don’t really take too much offense, especially since it speaks to the mass popularity of Paper Toss. We have more than 22,000,000 downloads and an extremely active user base.”

“I think they are aiming at a slightly different sector in the market, which is fine,” Farrior said. “I would like to point out that Paper Toss is a free game on the iPhone and not a paid application as referenced in the video.” Ad-free and premium versions of Paper Toss for the iPhone and iPad do cost between one and three dollars.

Our opinion is that Sony’s argument doesn’t hold much water. As Farrior pointed out, the original Paper Toss is an extremely popular example of a free game that makes its money off of in-game advertising. This is a business model which doesn’t even exist yet on the PSP.

More importantly, Paper Toss is just one of over 70,000 games on the iPhone, and it’s disingenuous to say that they’re all as simple as Paper Toss. There are plenty of much deeper experiences to be found, including many console and handheld ports.

Do you think Sony’s case against iPhone games holds up? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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