The president on Sony Online Entertainment John Smedley has hammered social gaming giant Zynga for its impact on free-to-play games.

Zynga's rise, courtesy of games like Farmville and Words with Friends, has been well documented, but according to the Sony exec Smedley the company's biggest crime is not, as previously suggested by us, bombarding us with irritating requests on Facebook.

"But the reputation that it got from early in its life, especially in terms of social games, I think Zynga has done free-to-play a terrible disservice because many of their releases are monetisation products - not games," he told PC Gamer.

"The truth is that now there are loads of really great free-to-play games, including ours, and I think Planetside is now a part of the hardcore community's free-to-play library."

Wine?

Of course, some may suggest that, regardless of what you think about Zynga's offerings, Smedley's comments whiff a little of sour grapes, but he remains ebullient about free-to-play going forward.

"We definitely made the right call, and we like what we're doing. I think free-to-play is pure for one simple reason: people can vote right away," he added.

"If they don't like your game they can just walk away because they didn't pay anything for it – it's the most democratic way to make games. And if they don't want to pay for it now, our hope is that they pay for it later, but they don't have to.

"So it makes me feel good that the games we make are being judged on their merit, not just how well we can market them or force them to play and pay like Zynga tried. It's pure and I love that."

Via CVG