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PlayStation’s Focus Has Shifted From Game Sales to Actual Play Time, Sony Says

rm082e

Member
The only way you can judge the success of a company is by how much stuff they sell. The ONLY way. Companies that invent metrics that somehow always indicate they are doing great are actually heading down the road of total failure.
Herman Hulst is going to go down as the PS' Mattrick, mark my words.

Tailoring the KPIs (key performance indicators) to make your department look good is all too common. It's especially easy to fall into if you have a charismatic manager running a department who is able to befriend the manager(s) above him. They like him, and he's really good at convincing them his point of view is correct. So he slips into using KPIs that aren't really useful to the business. It takes time for the managers above him to see that while his KPIs are always in the green, his department isn't delivering value to the organization.

I've watched this happen in real time on two occasions. In both, I was flabbergasted that the top guy was suckered by the department heads. Everyone else could see they created their little kingdom within the company and were just burning through money without contributing value. It took way too long for him to eventually realize it and start asking the hard questions.

Leaders in any company should have regularly scheduled sessions to step back and look at how the business is doing, ask if their views, processes, KPIs, core values, etc. are still the best way to serve the business. It's the only way to avoid complacency.
 

diffusionx

Gold Member
Movie theaters literally care more about how much popcorn and soda is sold than tickets because that is where they make their money. You actually gave a great analogy for why game sales arr less important than engagement.
Engagement is totally, completely, 100% irrelevant. It doesn't matter at all, and it is a metric that is incredibly easy to manipulate. Like, just launch your game for free with a marketing campaign and crow about how many people download the game and play it. Then, a year later, when 98% of them left because they had no skin in the game, you shut it down lose a huge amount of money. Yes, you want more people to play your game, obviously. If you have huge engagement with nobody spending money, it's actually a loss because you have to spend more on maintenance, support, servers, etc. So higher engagement is good ONLY because that is a bigger market to sell your cosmetics and battle passes. So, really, what matters is how many cosmetics and battle passes you sell! That is what matters.

This is so fundamental and simple that of course it is lost on a generation of these retarded MBAs and managers and Twitter platform shills.
 
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Killjoy-NL

Member
Well yeah, that's part of the GaaS strategy.

This is like the most obvious statement, because you need GaaS-titles to keep players engaged within your eco-system in between flagship title releases.
 

Player Respawn

Neo Member
Weird. I played so many games from ps1-ps3 era and from ps4 to ps5 (btw, don’t own one yet), I’ve completed about a dozen games within that time… so, not really engaged 🤷‍♂️
 

DJ12

Member
Surely this is good, no one is playing a shit game extensively.

It's not like they are going for number of players ever to play the game like others.
 

Punished Miku

Human Rights Subscription Service
Engagement is totally, completely, 100% irrelevant. It doesn't matter at all, and it is a metric that is incredibly easy to manipulate and game. Like, just launch your game for free with a marketing campaign and crow about how many people download the game and play it. Then, a year later, when 98% of them left because they had no skin in the game, you shut it down lose a huge amount of money. Yes, you want more people to play your game, obviously. If you have huge engagement with nobody spending money, it's actually a loss because you have to spend more on maintenance, support, servers, etc. So higher engagement is good because that is a bigger market to sell your cosmetics and battle passes. So, really, what matters is how many cosmetics and battle passes you sell! That is what matters.

This is so fundamental and simple that of course it is lost on a generation of these retarded MBAs and managers and Twitter platform shills.
Engagement is useful for measuring your ability to compete with TikTok, Youtube, Netflix, etc. Its a literal time war.
 

splattered

Member
Nope. Sony never follows Microsoft's lead. Never ever.

Mr Exam GIF
 

midnightAI

Member
It's funny and sad watching PlayStation march right down the same path of fail that Xbox did.
They are making their own Gamepass and releasing day and date with PC and have a competitor in the home console market who has more mass market appeal?
 

midnightAI

Member
I think Xbox dying is messing with some peoples heads. Like they can't process it and knee-jerk to everything all of a sudden.
It's all about balance I guess, I noticed the same thing, it's going to get even worse once Sony do announce the showcase, can't be having good news without bad, must balance.

The doom and gloom around here lately is insane
 
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feynoob

Member
Engagement is totally, completely, 100% irrelevant. It doesn't matter at all, and it is a metric that is incredibly easy to manipulate. Like, just launch your game for free with a marketing campaign and crow about how many people download the game and play it. Then, a year later, when 98% of them left because they had no skin in the game, you shut it down lose a huge amount of money. Yes, you want more people to play your game, obviously. If you have huge engagement with nobody spending money, it's actually a loss because you have to spend more on maintenance, support, servers, etc. So higher engagement is good ONLY because that is a bigger market to sell your cosmetics and battle passes. So, really, what matters is how many cosmetics and battle passes you sell! That is what matters.

This is so fundamental and simple that of course it is lost on a generation of these retarded MBAs and managers and Twitter platform shills.
Sadly, sales don't justify investments for these type stuff due to uncertainty nature of video games.

However, having that engagement numbers means you have healthy platform which you can squeeze as much money as you can.

It sucks, but that is how these corporate operate these days.
 

diffusionx

Gold Member
Engagement is useful for measuring your ability to compete with TikTok, Youtube, Netflix, etc. Its a literal time war.
It doesn't matter if you're not making money on your engagement. Again, engagement without revenue is a money drain.

This idea that these companies are doing great if people are just using their platform is ridiculous and on-its-face nonsensical, and it has been proven to be nonsensical because streaming is a horrible business for everyone but Netflix, who has kept their growth by raising prices and shutting down password sharing.

Sadly, sales don't justify investments for these type stuff due to uncertainty nature of video games.

However, having that engagement numbers means you have healthy platform which you can squeeze as much money as you can.

It sucks, but that is how these corporate operate these days.
You need sales. You cannot exist without sales. The sales can come from buying a virtual or physical box, or from buying virtual trinkets, but you need sales.
 
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feynoob

Member
lol they just released Spiderman 2 end of last year and signed deals for Rebirth, Stellarbalde, and Rise of the Ronin. You have no idea what you're talking about.
Spiderman 2: bloated budget that highlighted the big issue with AAA games.

Rebirth did not meet their sales expectations.

Stellar blade isn't a 5m game.

Meanwhile, hell divers 2 sold 12m in just 3-4 months. A game which they can monetize due to it's nature as gaas. Low cost budget, high return investment. Much better than all those 3 combined.
 

feynoob

Member
You need sales. You cannot exist without sales. The sales can come from buying a virtual or physical box, or from buying virtual trinkets, but you need sales.
Sales is important. We know that. But you have to accept the risk of sales. Especially in current AAA game environment.

A small mobile gatcha game brings more money than spiderman or GOW, with small cost and no upfront sale.

All that because people keep spending nonstop.
 

poppabk

Cheeks Spread for Digital Only Future
Engagement is totally, completely, 100% irrelevant. It doesn't matter at all, and it is a metric that is incredibly easy to manipulate. Like, just launch your game for free with a marketing campaign and crow about how many people download the game and play it. Then, a year later, when 98% of them left because they had no skin in the game, you shut it down lose a huge amount of money. Yes, you want more people to play your game, obviously. If you have huge engagement with nobody spending money, it's actually a loss because you have to spend more on maintenance, support, servers, etc. So higher engagement is good ONLY because that is a bigger market to sell your cosmetics and battle passes. So, really, what matters is how many cosmetics and battle passes you sell! That is what matters.

This is so fundamental and simple that of course it is lost on a generation of these retarded MBAs and managers and Twitter platform shills.
Well yeah I am talking about internal metrics for engagement where they have the information on battle pass conversion rates, MTX spend, hours played, hours played per sitting, time spent in the store, click rates for battle pass links, click to purchase rates etc etc.
 

Punished Miku

Human Rights Subscription Service
It doesn't matter if you're not making money on your engagement. Again, engagement without revenue is a money drain.

This idea that these companies are doing great if people are just using their platform is ridiculous and on-its-face nonsensical, and it has been proven to be nonsensical because streaming is a horrible business for everyone but Netflix, who has kept their growth by raising prices and shutting down password sharing.


You need sales. You cannot exist without sales. The sales can come from buying a virtual or physical box, or from buying virtual trinkets, but you need sales.
I didnt say its the only thing you should look at, but its an increasingly studied metric for a reason. If you cant get time captured you are going to end up on mobile or something else.
 

64bitmodels

Reverse groomer.
It's funny and sad watching PlayStation march right down the same path of fail that Xbox did.
Until actions are taken these are just words. It would be really stupid for Playstation to go down the same road that Xbox just died treading
 

midnightAI

Member
Where do you think a focus on engagement over sales leads? This is the future of their brand.
Right, so no proof of them creating their own gamepass? or of games coming to PC day one (I should have specified first party single player, but you probably knew that)? and no new up and upcoming home console that we know of thats going to dethrone PlayStation as the go to home console for the mass market then? Just a 'trust me bro', which is fine, but you appeared so blunt (which I took as confident so maybe my bad) of your 'Yes' answer.

He also said the following, which people seem to miss
This isn’t to say that there’s no emphasis on the number of software units sold
 

hinch7

Member
Doubling down on live service games with stronger focus on monetisation. No doubt due to the success to HD2. Hmm, pass on that.

With SE not looking to lock down its games going forward.. going to just stick to PC after this generation is over and done with.
 
Doubling down on live service games with stronger focus on monetisation. No doubt due to the success to HD2. Hmm, pass on that.

With SE not looking to lock down its games going forward.. going to just stick to PC after this generation is over and done with.
PC is bedrock of GAAS titles.
 

yurinka

Member
PlayStation’s Focus Has Shifted From Game Sales to Actual Play Time, Sony Says
Bullshit, Sony never said this

PlayStation‘s focus has shifted to increasing play time on the PS5 rather than increasing the number of games sold.
No, Sony never said this.

Are PS5 players buying less games than ever before?
The amount of money spent on fames PS players kept increasing every year since minimum FY17, as can be seen in their fiscal reports, reported as software revenue (I did check it yesterday).

“The business model up to and including the PlayStation 3 was focused on increasing the number of software units sold in relation to newly sold hardware for each console generation,” said SIE chairman Hiroki Totoki. “After a transition period during the PS4 generation, the PS5 model has shifted to one where playtime on the platform has increased due to expansion of the user community beyond console generations.”
He means that compared to PS3, now a huge chunk of software revenue comes from addons (so, mostly GaaS). And most of the top grossing games on PS are GaaS. So the common business model for top performing games in PS3 was to sell games and in some cases make maybe a dlc or two for it. And now moved to GaaS.

And on average, the more time you spend in a game the more likely is that you end paying for an addon of that game (DLC, battle pass, IAP, season pass, etc).

So now GaaS are way more important, and for them playtime spent on them is way more important, so to increase the playtime spent on the platform now is a way more important KPI than back in the PS3 times.

TLDR: Totoki meant that most of the money in the PS3 days was made by games as a product and now is GaaS instead.
 
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Kilau

Member
Right, so no proof of them creating their own gamepass? or of games coming to PC day one (I should have specified first party single player, but you probably knew that)? and no new up and upcoming home console that we know of thats going to dethrone PlayStation as the go to home console for the mass market then? Just a 'trust me bro', which is fine, but you appeared so blunt (which I took as confident so maybe my bad) of your 'Yes' answer.

He also said the following, which people seem to miss
Just like you knew exactly what I was talking about when I said following Xbox but you wanted to play some stupid "gotcha" and expected me to jump through your hoops.

If you haven't noticed. The Switch has been curb stomping two generations of PlayStations in hardware and software sales.

Now begone.

Go Away Do Not Want GIF
 

midnightAI

Member
Just like you knew exactly what I was talking about when I said following Xbox but you wanted to play some stupid "gotcha" and expected me to jump through your hoops.

If you haven't noticed. The Switch has been curb stomping two generations of PlayStations in hardware and software sales.

Now begone.

Go Away Do Not Want GIF

You are the one who started this by saying Sony was marching down the same path MS did, but MS's failures are mainly due to Gamepass (therefore no profit from game sales) and day one on PC (giving no reason to buy an XBox in the first place) and of course, competition from PlayStation (hard to get a foothold when you are trying to compete with an established platform due to the PS1 and PS2 era, they are always behind in the public mindset, and I didnt include Nintendo because they are doing their own thing in the handheld/hybrid market)

So, no, Sony arent following MS down the same path, its a different path, if they F up in the future thats on them doing it their way not by doing the same as MS.

So....
Not Leaving Season 4 GIF by This Is Us
 
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Kilau

Member
You are the one who started this by saying Sony was marching down the same path MS did, but MS's failures are mainly due to Gamepass (therefore no profit from game sales) and day one on PC (giving no reason to buy an XBox in the first place) and of course, competition from PlayStation (hard to get a foothold when you are trying to compete with an established platform due to the PS1 and PS2 era, they are always behind in the public mindset)

So, no, Sony arent following MS down the same path, its a different path, if they F up in the future thats on them doing it their way not by doing the same as MS.

So....
Not Leaving Season 4 GIF by This Is Us
They are following MS, sorry you can’t see that.
 

_Ex_

Member
In other words, the data they can scrape from your play sessions and console engagement, is worth more than your initial $70 investment.
 

midnightAI

Member
They are following MS, sorry you can’t see that.
Nope, not really, certainly not yet anyway, now if Sony decide to give up on the hardware side of things then obviously my opinion would change but I dont see any evidence of that, at all.
 

Men_in_Boxes

Snake Oil Salesman
In other words, the data they can scrape from your play sessions and console engagement, is worth more than your initial $70 investment.
No. The larger amount of money they earn from engagement style games is preferable to the smaller amount of money they earn from old style games.

The data scraping is just the cherry on top.
 

Three

Member
Imagine if movie theaters stopped caring about how many tickets they sold but how long people are watching the movie or going to see it again.

Sound stupid? Yes, because it’s stupid there and in games.

Sell good products without insane budgets. It’s just that simple.
Now ask what neflix does and you'll see why we've headed into this hours of engagement hole with gaming too. Less people seem to want to buy games anymore. Subs, f2p and mtx have all seen a massive rise at the cost of continued game sales.
 

NickFire

Member
They are following MS, sorry you can’t see that.
I think you are making a leap too far IMO.

Sony is definitely (IMO) borrowing a buzzword or PR theme from MS. And it feels like obvious cover for a shift away from single player games towards GAAS. Beyond that though, it seems business remains unchanged IMO.
 
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