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Sony can respond to The Empire building the Death Star using...Moneyball

Men_in_Boxes

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BB sold poorly just like OG Demons Souls but the non exclusive Dark Souls series has always sold well and sales have increased with each sequel. Dark Souls 3 alone has sold over 10 million with a majority of those copies being the PC release. Sekiro also sold far above Activision's expectations.

Right, and Animal Crossing sold 40 million units, on one platform, in 6 months, with no price cuts.

The biggest games over the next 10 years will be games with low skill floors which enables a wider audience to be able to enjoy them.

I mean, Fall Guys is ass, but they got the low skill floor thing right and it sold 10 million copies. Dark Souls has a pretty short ceiling on it considering the level of investment by it's developer+publisher.
 

TheAssist

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Think of what the metrics look like for the following...

Single player revenue+user playtime for consoles (compared to multiplayer) in 1990...then again in 2000...then again in 2010...2020.

The industry is very clearly trending multiplayer. That doesn't mean single player is dying. It's not going away. It's still very profitable.

But that trend, which already skews extremely heavy towards multiplayer, is probably not going to reverse any time soon.

In 2030, even more player time+revenue is going to head multiplayer. If that wave is true, why would Sony not want to catch it?

Then you have this idea...

The Last of Us II is the most polished, formulaic, big production value game there is. Advancing that formula is difficult. Creating more complex levels, with better AI etc is going to require a **** ton of resources.

On the flip side, take a look at Rust. It's a janky game that does a million things wrong, but it's still successful because it does the important things correctly. Making a better version of Rust, Fortnite, PUBG etc is relatively simple.

Many successful single player games feel like the end of the evolutionary chain. Many of the successful multiplayer games feel like the beginning of the evolutionary chain.

Another thing people aren't seeing is that Sony's 2 big single player games a year, results in a lot of discussion for about 2-4 weeks of the year. Outside of those 2-4 weeks, people bring up those games in conversation and the response is "Yeah, I beat that a while ago".

A Rust 2.0 game has friends getting together talking about what they want to do after the next server wipe. That's exponentially more effective marketing that what traditional single player games give you.

Plus, let's be honest. Microsoft is going to be able to out produce Sony in terms of single player games because of GamePass and their developer advantage. 10 more studios means they'll be able to produce +3 extra single player games per year. That's a fight Sony has no interest in.

I still very much disagree with that notion. Sony is a platform holder and as such does not want to compete with its partners. Sony is actively avoiding going up against Fortnite, Destiny, Indie hits, etc. They simply want pubs and devs to put these games on their system, so they can make money by simply offering the platform. Sony doesnt care who is talking about what game fad on the schoolyard right now, the only thing they need to care about is that those people play these games on a Playstation. Because thats what makes them money.

To put it more bluntly, Sony is making low margin, high cost AAA single player games not despite their low margins, but because of them. Because there is hardly any competition on that field and this way they dont anger Activision, or EA, or Ubisoft. Its even the opposite. Sony can claim that they have this offering of incredibly high production value games and on the outside they look like this premium gaming brand. That looks much more enticing for a publishers than a minefield like steam.

Sony wants to be this boutique gaming shop, were devs can show their games next to GoW or Last of Us, which makes their game look more "tasty" in comparison. I mean I go to a more premium supermarket, simply because everything looks a bit better. I guess the food quality is actually quite similar, but I can afford the 10 to 20% price hike compared to a discounter and I just like the more premium feeling of it. Its not the same, but somewhat similar. Sony is the store, not the product. But I'm sure you know lots of stores have their inhouse brands with low margins to entice people to go shopping their for their more basic needs and everything else they get from 3rd parties, so these 3rd parties dont have to make those low margin products.

Actually, I would like to see how much money Sony is making from selling their own games vs how much money they make from selling 3rd party games (talking profits, not revenue since their games sell well but cost a lot). If I am right they should make waaaayyy more money with selling 3rd party games.

Again, the PS store is their "GAAS". They are a platform provider first and a game maker second. And their games exist to pull people towards them, but at the same time do not interfere with the business if their partners.

I also think Sony is very much interested in the fight against MS's studios and offering pubs an alternative against GP. As good as GP is for players and the pubs and devs that are on GP, how good is for everyone not on there?
There is basically 2 ways to go, either

- You are saying you saved so much money with GP that you have more money to spend on some other games outside of GP
- Or you're thinking GP offers you all you need and you buy less games outside of GP because the value proposition of a 70€ game doesnt hold a candle for you against GP, in which case a pub or dev would be more likely to offer full priced AAA games outside of GP on a Sony platform

I dont know wich one will happen more often, we'll have to see about that. Its gonna be interesting at any rate.
 
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Men_in_Boxes

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I still very much disagree with that notion. Sony is a platform holder and as such does not want to compete with its partners. Sony is actively avoiding going up against Fortnite, Destiny, Indie hits, etc.

The way Microsoft, Nintendo, Steam, and Epic don't compete with their partners by...not creating multiplayer games?

Or is it the way Sony is hiring developers who specialize in multiplayer at Sucker Punch, London Studio, Guerilla Games, Naughty Dog, and Arrowhead Studios?

Sony wants to be this boutique gaming shop, were devs can show their games next to GoW or Last of Us, which makes their game look more "tasty" in comparison.

Sony doesn't want to be "boutique". Sony wants to be Google, Walmart, Disney etc...

Again, the PS store is their "GAAS".

That's outdated thinking.

In 1988, gamers bought an NES console for $200 dollars. Then they spent $60 dollars on "microtransactions" called games because games were too shallow to keep players attention for very long.

Now, games routinely provide players with 1,000+ hours of entertainment. In 10 years, developers will be working towards individual games that provide 10,000+ hours of entertainment.

The NES couldn't provide 10,000+ hours of entertainment.

The current crop of GAAS leaders look like this...

 
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You are mostly wrong. People don't buy TLOU for the graphics and they still buy 20 hours story driven games (Jedi Fallen). On the other hand plenty of GAAS games (even using prestige IPs like Marvels) have failed dramatically (Anthem, Avengers and plenty others I forgot).

Niche games like Bloodborne and Dark Souls are selling very well actually (and consistently) and most importantly they are prestige games. People buy Playstation for Bloodborne and God of War (so they'll buy plenty of other content on that console and multiplat with the 30% cut).

Finally most Indies are not really selling well.

You are right about sandbox games like Animal crossing but Nintendo have patiently build that franchise, that game on Switch is mostly using the same formula (like Mario Kart or Monster hunter) invented 20 years ago that have being polished and improved. Those successful IPs are very old and they have found their own market, but it was a very hard and long term endeavour done by people that had a vision and stuck with their guns for years.

Summary: Variety of content (you own) is key.
 
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TheAssist

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The way Microsoft, Nintendo, Steam, and Epic don't compete with their partners by...not creating multiplayer games?

Well lets see. Who exactly is competing against Nintendo on their own platform? Devs dont put a lot of effort into the switch (compared to Playstation and Xbox at least) because Nintendos own offering is simply that strong and caters very specifically to the switches target audience.

Halo was so strong that after a few failed attempts at Halo killers no one wanted to put out another Sci-Fi Online shooter. The only other successful very Halo like multiplayer shooter in recent years I can remember is Destiny. Yeah.

Valve basically has DOTA and Counter Strike. DOTA's hardest opponent is LoL which isnt even on Steam and Counter Strike existed before Steam was a thing. Also I dont think Steam is as depended on the big publishers because those already run their own storefronts on PC anyway so Valve can do whatever.

Fortnite also existed pre EGS much like everything Epic has ever done. I dont think a pusblisher will sign an exclusive deal with them when Epic promotes another new game of theirs on their own store (bigger and greater than the games from other pubs).

Sony doesn't want to be "boutique". Sony wants to be Google, Walmart, Disney etc...

Disney I could see. Like being the Disney+ to Microsofts Gamepass. Google and Walmart I dont quite understand. Maybe you could elaborate on that.
I do think Sony wants its store front to be a more curated experience (compared to steam for example) and wants that to be an argument for publishers to release stuff on their system (higher discoverability and such).
You can be the big tile at the very top on the PS store with your new AAA release. Or you can be somewhere at the end of someones discovery queue on steam.

Now, games routinely provide players with 1,000+ hours of entertainment. In 10 years, developers will be working towards individual games that provide 10,000+ hours of entertainment
Sure there are people who might spend that amount of time in a game, but thats not your average gamer. The average gamer in Europe and the US spends about 7 hours gaming per week (https://img03.en25.com/Web/LLNW/{46b8ee89-c7f0-46b7-a5b3-0976ef1a3253}_2021-MR_SOOG_8.5x11_V06.pdf).

Thats about 2.7 years if they really spend 1000 hours in a game. JUST playing this one game and NOTHING else. Which is why no one will develop a game that provides 10000 hours of gameplay. The average gamer would spend 27 years playing that game by your logic.

Yes a few hundred hours over several years is realistic for multiplayer focused games like Overwatch, CoD, FIFA, Monster Hunter, etc. But there is a very limited amount of games that can work like that and still be successful, simply because of the time people have to spend in them. If every game would be a GAAS, there would only be a few dozen of them, because the rest would be unsustainable. Which is why there will only ever be a limited amount of GAAS games out there.

Sony creating another GAAS is a much higher thread to a publishers than any small scale multiplayer mode like Legends in GoT. I played legends and it was a lot of fun...for about 2 weeks. And 2 months later I played it for another week and I might jump back in another time. But its not consuming my whole gaming life and neither will the last of us multiplayer if I had to guess.
 

Men_in_Boxes

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GaaS and multiplayer are undervalued? Are you out of your mind lol

In 10 years, are we going to see more GAAS / multiplayer at the top of the revenue/time played charts or less?

In which direction is the industry headed?

Why is Naughty Dog spinning off multiplayer into its own "ambitious" project? Why don't they just keep doing what they've done the last 20 years?
 
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Spacefish

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People who talk about games are weird, I don't see fans of books or music or film care this much about the financial success of the creator, feels like some put the sales charts before the quality of the product. When did we transition from encouraging studios to make good games and money as a side product to congratulating and wanting them to make money first and games as a byproduct? So many people dismiss creative bankruptcy and the closure of good studios with claims of Sony or Microsoft making loads of money and winning some arbitrary war so they must be doing the right thing.
 

JORMBO

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Sony just needs to drop a back to back trailer of GoW/Horizon 2 around E3 time. Their biggest problem is they have a bunch of things cooking, but haven't really shown them. We are in a slow period for all companies right now, so things like a baseball game that hardly anyone buys anyways going to gamepass seems like big news. Once this gen actually starts rolling Sony will be fine and this stuff will be forgotten. Instead of having an obvious frontrunner I think all 3 companies will have a good generation.
 
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RedWhiteBlue

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People who talk about games are weird, I don't see fans of books or music or film care this much about the financial success of the creator, feels like some put the sales charts before the quality of the product. When did we transition from encouraging studios to make good games and money as a side product to congratulating and wanting them to make money first and games as a byproduct? So many people dismiss creative bankruptcy and the closure of good studios with claims of Sony or Microsoft making loads of money and winning some arbitrary war so they must be doing the right thing.
I think only Marvel and DC springs to mind. People seemed invested in who would "win" there.

It makes me wonder if there's some secret fanboy battle between Harry Potter and Twilight readers. :)

Gaming has been this way since Sega vs Nintendo waaaaaaaaaay back.
 

GHG

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If they buy what you outlined in the undervalued category then they basically turn in to Xbox of last generation. And you think that would somehow improve their current position?

No thank you.
 
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People who talk about games are weird, I don't see fans of books or music or film care this much about the financial success of the creator, feels like some put the sales charts before the quality of the product. When did we transition from encouraging studios to make good games and money as a side product to congratulating and wanting them to make money first and games as a byproduct? So many people dismiss creative bankruptcy and the closure of good studios with claims of Sony or Microsoft making loads of money and winning some arbitrary war so they must be doing the right thing.
Console warriors have a sliding scope of points. And when the going gets rough, being armchair accountants is another bullet.

Both companies make billions in profits, both companies arent going anywhere, and even funnier..... both companies don't even publicly state how profitable PS Now or GP even are. Their financials are buried in their overall gaming division stats.

So what happens is the warrior will make claims and assumptions hoping nobody on the forum even realizes both companies don't even state sub plan profits to begin with.

That's like many people saying Netflix isn't profitable. Untrue. They've made profit every year since 2003. So even during their mail-in DVD days they made money. But if you are someone who wont bother checking the stats yourself or follow business and stocks, you'll get conned into Netflix losing money because someone told you so. They just announced record profits the past year and their profits have scaled up a lot since 2017. So it's not even a recent covid thing where gaming and movies perked up.

The best fan warrior contest was weeks ago when someone tried to claim victory because one console had a smaller patch size. Ya, it got down to patch size downloads.
 
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Men_in_Boxes

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If they buy what you outlined in the undervalued category then they basically turn in to Xbox of last generation. And you think that would somehow improve their current position?

No thank you.

So play Moneyball for them. What does the market currently undervalue commercially and what does it overvalue?
 

Hezekiah

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Well, Sony has basically dominated 4 generations in a row with a rather unchanging strategy and the PS5 is hitting record sales, so I don’t think adopting those tactics are really necessary for them going forward. At least I really hope not. They should just keep doing what they did in the past to stay successful and relevant even if the market is unfortunately changing for the worst imo.

If Sony starts focusing on things like online multiplayer, GAAS and bloated, longer games, then that will be a huge turn off for me and a healthy amount of PlayStation gamers I’m assuming. Is that strategy really genuinely working out for Microsoft though based on their hardware and software sales during the last few years though?

No I have common sense. The hype behind the ps5 right now is beyond what the ps4 had and we are realistically looking at Sony’s biggest console yet. There is no way in hell Xbox isn’t crazy in the red right now. 23 devs with game budgets being around 100 million nowadays, selling the console at a loss, and all the acquisitions. They need more than just 20 million subs on gamepass for this to make sense. A LOT more
GamePass is costing them tons of cash, they've been forced into this position because of their poor performance over the past decade. As you say, assuming the cost of all those extra development teams (plus the massive cost of the acquisition itself) puts them firmly in the red for that part of the service. All the $1 deals just increases those losses.
BB sold poorly just like OG Demons Souls but the non exclusive Dark Souls series has always sold well and sales have increased with each sequel. Dark Souls 3 alone has sold over 10 million with a majority of those copies being the PC release. Sekiro also sold far above Activision's expectations.
BloodBorne didn't sell badly!
 

GHG

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So play Moneyball for them. What does the market currently undervalue commercially and what does it overvalue?

The irony is that the market typically undervalues single player games and overvalues all of the games you listed in the "undervalued" section of your original post.

If you look at the amount of revenue that is brought in by multiplayer, GAAS and sandbox games over time relative to the initial amount of money companies need to make these games you will see that there is the opportunity for massive profit margins. That is why every man and their dog are trying to make games in this category, it's relatively low risk.

In comparison, single player games are an increasingly more difficult and risky undertaking. If the market doesn't respond well to the game there is very little you can do to shift momentum in favour of your game, that's just the nature of single player games since the product is largely set in stone from day one.

My current issue with Sony is that they are going all in on the blockbuster AAA games which means the game releases will become much more infrequent. They are more expensive and take more time than ever to produce. They have typically always had a breadth of games/experiences of various budget sizes being released on a frequent basis. You take that away and they don't have a meaningful edge that sets them apart anymore.

So if you were to ask me what I'd want them to do, it's what they've always done and focused on since the introduction of the PS1.
 
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Bo_Hazem

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Timestamped for "I told you so"...




Here's Jeff confirming is Sony is much more supportive and takes risks better than other companies and never driven by spreadsheets like EA and Activision, which deliver much better games than Xbox anyway, and that's something he'll miss from Sony along with other things:




Yeah Sony is the best in the industry for a reason.
 
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hangdang69

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In 10 years, are we going to see more GAAS / multiplayer at the top of the revenue/time played charts or less?

In which direction is the industry headed?

Why is Naughty Dog spinning off multiplayer into its own "ambitious" project? Why don't they just keep doing what they've done the last 20 years?

Anyone with a brain knows the industry is trending towards more multiplayer, not less. The biggest games out right now are all multiplayer. I don't see how this equates to multiplayer being undervalued.
 

yurinka

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Overvalue:

Big budget graphics - The market would rather play Minecraft and Fortnite than The Last of Us II or Resident Evil 2 Remake. Gamers don't value graphics like we did back in the day.
This is false. Most top seller games have AAA (big budget) graphics. Only a few have low tier cheap graphics. This is the reason of why all big companies bet on expensive visuals.

Quirky Japanese games (KojiPro) - There's a reason Japan has fallen off a cliff over the last 20 years. Kojima, we love him, isn't commercially relavent anymore.
Kojima's last game sold over 6M copies and will continue selling. In fact, with Director's Cut will get a nice bump. He sells better than ever.

20 hr single player games w/no replay value. These games come and go so quickly out of the zeitgeist that it's not worth pursuing if you're spending crazy time and resources on them.
These are the best selling, most profitable games for publishers like Sony. So even if they will try more things like GaaS, they will continue making them.

High skill floor games - Games that can't be picked up by a wide variety of gamers are putting a ceiling on their success. The Bloodborne/DarkSouls type games are never going to be big sellers.
Wrong. Dark Souls III sold over 10 million copies as of last year.

Western Indie - Valheim is closing in on 7 million sold. That's approaching The Last of Us II numbers.
99.99% of western indies have shitty sales of a few thousand copies, this is a very rare case. This number is way more common in AAA games.

GAAS - In 10 years, the amount of people playing their "one game", is going to increase. Sony needs to be leading that charge.
True, and this is why they are working on multiple GaaS (which basically means multiplayer) games and why they partner with people who worked on Destiny, CoD or Ubisoft.

Sandbox - Stardew Valley sold 10+ million, Animal Crossing sold 40+ million, Terraria sold 25+ million. These games appeal to a bigger audience and they traditionally have longer legs.
Most games in this genre don't sell a shit, these particular games are very rare cases inside this genre. AAA companies typically invest in more mainstream genres, where there is a big % of games with very good sales.

But as a whole company, Sony can't outdo MS. MS paid $7.5 billion cash alone for Zenimax.
Sony has more than enough money/cash to make acquisitions like this one. PlayStation division made $25B this fiscal year.

If Sony doesn't make a move like this one is because they think they don't need it. They are dominating their business and have enough top IPs and talented studios to develop them and create new top IPs.

MS spent over $10B in the recent years with acquisitions because they needed to have more top IPs and talented studios to develop them and create new ones to match Sony's output.

Sony only made acquisitions in strategic areas where they could improve, like getting a studio to make PC ports so their existing devs don't have to worry about that and can focus on console instead, getting EVO to secure their positioning in the growing fighting game genre and eSports, someone to make VR games and marrying girlfriends after a long, nice relationship with them (productive, profitable folks who released good rated exclusives for them and have been growing and became AAA studios): Housemarque, Firesprite and Fabrk (these two last ones with a good amount of former Studio Liverpool and Evolution pedigree). These new devs will also help to develop the huge amount of big IPs they have sleeping, and also to increase the amount of released games because development times get longer every generation, so unless they buy or create new teams their output would decrease.
 
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Men_in_Boxes

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This is false. Most top seller games have AAA (big budget) graphics. Only a few have low tier cheap graphics. This is the reason of why all big companies bet on expensive visuals.


Kojima's last game sold over 6M copies and will continue selling. In fact, with Director's Cut will get a nice bump. He sells better than ever.


These are the best selling, most profitable games for publishers like Sony. So even if they will try more things like GaaS, they will continue making them.


Wrong. Dark Souls III sold over 10 million copies as of last year.


99.99% of western indies have shitty sales of a few thousand copies, this is a very rare case. This number is way more common in AAA games.


True, and this is why they are working on multiple GaaS (which basically means multiplayer) games and why they partner with people who worked on Destiny, CoD or Ubisoft.


Most games in this genre don't sell a shit, these particular games are very rare cases inside this genre. AAA companies typically invest in more mainstream genres, where there is a big % of games with very good sales.


Sony has more than enough money/cash to make acquisitions like this one. PlayStation division made $25B this fiscal year.

If Sony doesn't make a move like this one is because they think they don't need it. They are dominating their business and have enough top IPs and talented studios to develop them and create new top IPs.

MS spent over $10B in the recent years with acquisitions because they needed to have more top IPs and talented studios to develop them and create new ones to match Sony's output.

Sony only made acquisitions in strategic areas where they could improve, like getting a studio to make PC ports so their existing devs don't have to worry about that and can focus on console instead, getting EVO to secure their positioning in the growing fighting game genre and eSports, someone to make VR games and marrying girlfriends after a long, nice relationship with them (productive, profitable folks who released good rated exclusives for them and have been growing and became AAA studios): Housemarque, Firesprite and Fabrk (these two last ones with a good amount of former Studio Liverpool and Evolution pedigree). These new devs will also help to develop the huge amount of big IPs they have sleeping, and also to increase the amount of released games because development times get longer every generation, so unless they buy or create new teams their output would decrease.

You sound like these guys...


The premise is to find unexploited areas in the market the less funded publisher can benefit from.
 

yurinka

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The premise is to find unexploited areas in the market the less funded publisher can benefit from.
I think they will continue focusing on their main revenue source (selling mostly 3rd party games for their consoles, which also means continue selling hardware at record levels and juicy exclusives). Regarding the games they publish, I think they will continue mostly betting on the same type of games they did until now: traditional blockbusters combined with smaller and more creative games, with a healthy amount of new IPs and some small experiments.

I think they are also going to invest (or are already investing) in new markets where they have room to grow, but as a secondary thing keeping their current main revenue source as top priority:
-Multiplayer GaaS games published by them
-PC ports of old games
-Updating and improving PS Now for the next gen improving its tech, adding PS5 games and bring it to more countries and devices like smartphones, tablets and smart tvs
-To include the option to buy any PS4 or PS5 game to play them streamed a la Stadia even if they aren't included in the PS Now subscription
-F2P specially for mobile and PC to approach Asia, specially big markets like China or Korea where consoles are small
-VR (with PSVR2 and related games)
-Bringing the biggest PlayStation game IPs to cinema movies, tv shows, anime and beyond
-To continue growing their internal development teams, creating or acquiring new ones to milk better their many active and dormant big IPs in the gaming side
-To invest more than ever on moneyhatting 2nd and 3rd party exclusives for PS5
 
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Men_in_Boxes

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Regarding the games they publish, I think they will continue mostly betting on the same type of games they did until now: Traditional blockbusters...

This is really the only thing we disagree on. I don't see Sony maintaining course on the big budget, 20 hour, single player game.

The Order 1886, Days Gone, Bloodborne, Shadow of the Colossus, Death Stranding, Nioh, and Detroit Become Human all feel like games the new regime will be less interested in pursuing.

They won't all disappear of course (the biggest of those types will stick around), but it looks like Jim Ryan is more interested in taking chances on different types of games (multiplayer). GamePass is simply too strong a competitor to invest years into games people blow through in a long weekend.
 

yurinka

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This is really the only thing we disagree on. I don't see Sony maintaining course on the big budget, 20 hour, single player game.

The Order 1886, Days Gone, Bloodborne, Shadow of the Colossus, Death Stranding, Nioh, and Detroit Become Human all feel like games the new regime will be less interested in pursuing.

They won't all disappear of course (the biggest of those types will stick around), but it looks like Jim Ryan is more interested in taking chances on different types of games (multiplayer). GamePass is simply too strong a competitor to invest years into games people blow through in a long weekend.
Jim Ryan and Hermen Hulst said they will continue focusing in the big variety of game types they always made (big and small, sequels and new ips, more traditional and more unique/creative, etc). But they were very focused on single player, an now they will also bet more on multiplayer (which doesn' mean they will reduce their output of single player games).

Just look at their exclusives they have announced or we know they are coming plus the recently released ones, they are mostly the traditional single player focused game. They have some MP games but are way less than the SP focused ones and are mostly developed by new 2nd party studios.

You can also look at their acquisitions: Firesprite, Nixxes, Housemarque, Fabrik and Bluepoint all make single player games.

They are dominating the market with their current strategy and type of games, it would be retarded to break it and stop making this type of games. In fact, they are expanding their studios and making acquisitions to make more games of this type. To make some GaaS/MP games to try to get their slice of that pie is ok, but as something secondary that doesn't overshadow their current main business.
 
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This thread seems kind of silly to me. Everyone here should want both Sony and Microsoft to be successful and compete against one another, because in the end the winner is all of us. For most of last gen it was a tough case to recommend anyone but die hard gamers owning both systems, with the edge going to PS4 if you could only main 1. I feel like the Series X and PS5 are both worth owning and will deliver a ton of great games.
 

leo-j

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Microsoft is goin to buy EA and or Take 2 and make madden, Star Wars, gta, exclusive to game pass just you watch.
 
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Men_in_Boxes

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Jim Ryan and Hermen Hulst said they will continue focusing in the big variety of game types they always made (big and small, sequels and new ips, more traditional and more unique/creative, etc). But they were very focused on single player, an now they will also bet more on multiplayer (which doesn' mean they will reduce their output of single player games).

Just look at their exclusives they have announced or we know they are coming plus the recently released ones, they are mostly the traditional single player focused game. They have some MP games but are way less than the SP focused ones and are mostly developed by new 2nd party studios.

You can also look at their acquisitions: Firesprite, Nixxes, Housemarque, Fabrik and Bluepoint all make single player games.

They are dominating the market with their current strategy and type of games, it would be retarded to break it and stop making this type of games. In fact, they are expanding their studios and making acquisitions to make more games of this type. To make some GaaS/MP games to try to get their slice of that pie is ok, but as something secondary that doesn't overshadow their current main business.

Interesting to note, Demons Souls and Returnal, two high skill floor, 20 hour single player blockbusters, sold pretty underwhelmingly for Sony. Both greenlit by the old regime. I don't think modern Sony will be interested in tying up talented studios for 4 years to make games that project to sell 500k - 1.7 million copies (after heavy discounts). That's like using a water pokemon to combat Pikachu (GamePass).

Those types of games feel like the Jonny Damon types of players from Moneyball. Overvalued by old thinkers.

Sony wont produce less single player games, (though they will produce less in terms of percentage output), they'll explore the kinds of single player games that have the potential to sell 10+ million copies.

Firesprite seems to be devoting most of their resources to a "huge multiplayer game", Nixxes doesn't make new games as they're a port studio, Housemarque just bombed with Returnal, Fabrik is a small studio, and we haven't seen Bluepoints original game yet.

Again, single player isn't going anywhere for Sony, but the big budget 20 hour, low replay value games don't feel particularly relevant in todays market. Big name IP need to be attached to those projects in order for them to make sense.

The only other thing we disagree on is the idea that "Sony is dominating with their current strategy". The market from 2023 onward is going to look vastly different than the market from 2016. What worked before isn't going to cut it when the landscape has changed so much. We really haven't seen anything that suggests Days Gone type of games are a big part of Sonys future. In fact, Days Gone 2 was scrapped in favor of some kind of open world multiplayer game from Bend.

Everything we're seeing from Sony suggests that they understand this.
 

Topher

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These moneyball analogies are just silly. Sony isn't trying to build up a stable of awesome studios. Sony already has a stable of awesome studios. The smaller studio purchases fill specific needs and bring a bit of depth to their first party offering, but Sony is not the one playing catch up here. The most significant purchase Sony has made was Insomniac and that is paying dividends in ways very few devs can match.
 

Ezekiel_666x

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Interesting to note, Demons Souls and Returnal, two high skill floor, 20 hour single player blockbusters, sold pretty underwhelmingly for Sony. Both greenlit by the old regime. I don't think modern Sony will be interested in tying up talented studios for 4 years to make games that project to sell 500k - 1.7 million copies (after heavy discounts). That's like using a water pokemon to combat Pikachu (GamePass).

Those types of games feel like the Jonny Damon types of players from Moneyball. Overvalued by old thinkers.

Sony wont produce less single player games, (though they will produce less in terms of percentage output), they'll explore the kinds of single player games that have the potential to sell 10+ million copies.

Firesprite seems to be devoting most of their resources to a "huge multiplayer game", Nixxes doesn't make new games as they're a port studio, Housemarque just bombed with Returnal, Fabrik is a small studio, and we haven't seen Bluepoints original game yet.

Again, single player isn't going anywhere for Sony, but the big budget 20 hour, low replay value games don't feel particularly relevant in todays market. Big name IP need to be attached to those projects in order for them to make sense.

The only other thing we disagree on is the idea that "Sony is dominating with their current strategy". The market from 2023 onward is going to look vastly different than the market from 2016. What worked before isn't going to cut it when the landscape has changed so much. We really haven't seen anything that suggests Days Gone type of games are a big part of Sonys future. In fact, Days Gone 2 was scrapped in favor of some kind of open world multiplayer game from Bend.

Everything we're seeing from Sony suggests that they understand this.
For Demons soul's and Returnal, notice that both games are exclusive to PS5, a console with around 10 million units sold. I think that context is really important to factor in when evaluating if they were a 'success', and not purely how many units were sold.

Sony for sure considers that context.

And no they haven't been 'heavily discounted'. Their MSRP is still 70$.

I'm sure every gaming company wishes for small indie hits that become extremely popular. But those are very rare. For every 'Among us', there's hundreds of forgettable games released.
 

yurinka

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Interesting to note, Demons Souls and Returnal, two high skill floor, 20 hour single player blockbusters, sold pretty underwhelmingly for Sony. Both greenlit by the old regime. I don't think modern Sony will be interested in tying up talented studios for 4 years to make games that project to sell 500k - 1.7 million copies (after heavy discounts). That's like using a water pokemon to combat Pikachu (GamePass).
Not true, they sold very well considering the userbase of the single console where they were released and that were $70 games weird games: one a remake of a niche hardcore game nobody bought and the other a unique mix of different genres and with an old woman as main character and very high hardcore difficulty.

And these are sales until now, obviously over 100M people will buy a PS5 in the future and some of them will buy these games later (plus existing customers who may be waiting for a discount or to complete other game that keeps them busy, plus people who will buy the possible future PC port).

They got great reviews and (considering the available userbase) good sales enough to make Sony buy them. And, well these water Pokemons (Sony next gen 1st party exclusives) sold more units than all water Pokemons from MS (next gen 1st party exclusives) released until this summer combined, which are 0 units.

And that MS Pikachu generates less revenue than Sony's (Gigantamax) Pikachu (their game subscriptions) even if MS spends way more money on it paying 3rd party games to be there plus sacrifizing sales from their own games putting them there day one. Which means Sony's strategy with game subscriptions is more profitable. So Sony isn't worried about it. And not only because of that, but because they also sell more consoles, more games for their consoles, their exclusives sell more and win more GOTY awards and -specially- their game division generates way more revenue and profit.

So the new regime is so happy with these two games that bought their studios, will help them grow and make more ambitious games (Housemarque said they will make a bigger game than Returnal and Bluepoint will make a new game instead of a remake) providing them more resources than they had before.

Firesprite seems to be devoting most of their resources to a "huge multiplayer game",
, Fabrik is a small studio,

No, they are also working on a:
"AAA quality new action shooter IP" and a "AAA branching narrative adventure game" which also is an "ambitious dark narrative blockbuster". They are working in another game with Fabrik, which may or may not be one of these two. No mention of multiplayer.

Fabrik has many former Evolution Studios employees, but also people from Supermassive. And the 2nd games sounds like an Until Dawn sequel. With them now Firesprite has 265 employees and have 40 open job positions, so soon will be over 300 people.

Housemarque just bombed with Returnal
I don't know what are you smoking, but I suggest you to quit. It got great reviews and nice sales for its first weeks as a launch window full exclusive, specially being a niche new IP. Will continue selling during years as more consoles get available and as it gets discounted. Sony is so happy with it that not only mentioned it as a success, but they also bought the studio.

Again, single player isn't going anywhere for Sony, but the big budget 20 hour, low replay value games don't feel particularly relevant in todays market.
Again, stop smoking that. With these kind of games Sony is selling over 10 and sometimes even over 20 million copies plus earning tons of GOTY awards.

Big name IP need to be attached to those projects in order for them to make sense.

The only other thing we disagree on is the idea that "Sony is dominating with their current strategy". The market from 2023 onward is going to look vastly different than the market from 2016. What worked before isn't going to cut it when the landscape has changed so much.

Yes, the market from 2023 onwards will see Sony having a bigger market share that they ever had before (they plan at least to have a bigger one than during PS5). They will get rid of chip shortage issues, their production channels will be ready to highly scale console production and will have many great exclusive games recently released and being released. So console sales will skyrocket.

This will continue during all the generation because they plan to have more exclusives for PS5 than they ever had. This means mostly 3rd party exclusives, but they are also investing in 2nd party more than ever, and they are highly growing their internal studios and making acquisitions.

For them PC, mobile, VR and streaming will continue being a small portion of their revenue but plan to grown and improve in all these areas during this generation.

We really haven't seen anything that suggests Days Gone type of games are a big part of Sonys future. In fact, Days Gone 2 was scrapped in favor of some kind of open world multiplayer game from Bend.
They are working on games like Horizon 2, GoW, Spider-Man 2, Wolverine, GoT 2, TLOU1R, Bend's new IP, (seems that Death Stranding 2 according to its actor) and so on.

They said Bend new's IP is going to be an open world game built on the tech and mechanics they made for Days Gone. We know it will have multipayer elements, but it can be only a secondary multiplayer game as happened in GoT, ND games and so on.

Hermen also said they will continue working on smaller games like Astro, Sackboy or Morales. And some mobile games too, plus old games being ported to PC (and seems that at least some of them remastered to PS5).

So multiplayer focused games will continue being a minority of Sony's portfolio. Due to job offers we know some of their other projects feature multiplayer, but in many of them may be only a secondary game mode as happened in many previous Sony games.
 
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Men_in_Boxes

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Not true, they sold very well considering the userbase of the single console where they were released and that were $70 games weird games: one a remake of a niche hardcore game nobody bought and the other a unique mix of different genres and with an old woman as main character and very high hardcore difficulty.

And these are sales until now, obviously over 100M people will buy a PS5 in the future and some of them will buy these games later (plus existing customers who may be waiting for a discount or to complete other game that keeps them busy, plus people who will buy the possible future PC port).

They got great reviews and (considering the available userbase) good sales enough to make Sony buy them. And, well these water Pokemons (Sony next gen 1st party exclusives) sold more units than all water Pokemons from MS (next gen 1st party exclusives) released until this summer combined, which are 0 units.

And that MS Pikachu generates less revenue than Sony's (Gigantamax) Pikachu (their game subscriptions) even if MS spends way more money on it paying 3rd party games to be there plus sacrifizing sales from their own games putting them there day one. Which means Sony's strategy with game subscriptions is more profitable. So Sony isn't worried about it. And not only because of that, but because they also sell more consoles, more games for their consoles, their exclusives sell more and win more GOTY awards and -specially- their game division generates way more revenue and profit.

So the new regime is so happy with these two games that bought their studios, will help them grow and make more ambitious games (Housemarque said they will make a bigger game than Returnal and Bluepoint will make a new game instead of a remake) providing them more resources than they had before.




No, they are also working on a:
"AAA quality new action shooter IP" and a "AAA branching narrative adventure game" which also is an "ambitious dark narrative blockbuster". They are working in another game with Fabrik, which may or may not be one of these two. No mention of multiplayer.

Fabrik has many former Evolution Studios employees, but also people from Supermassive. And the 2nd games sounds like an Until Dawn sequel. With them now Firesprite has 265 employees and have 40 open job positions, so soon will be over 300 people.


I don't know what are you smoking, but I suggest you to quit. It got great reviews and nice sales for its first weeks as a launch window full exclusive, specially being a niche new IP. Will continue selling during years as more consoles get available and as it gets discounted. Sony is so happy with it that not only mentioned it as a success, but they also bought the studio.


Again, stop smoking that. With these kind of games Sony is selling over 10 and sometimes even over 20 million copies plus earning tons of GOTY awards.





Yes, the market from 2023 onwards will see Sony having a bigger market share that they ever had before (they plan at least to have a bigger one than during PS5). They will get rid of chip shortage issues, their production channels will be ready to highly scale console production and will have many great exclusive games recently released and being released. So console sales will skyrocket.

This will continue during all the generation because they plan to have more exclusives for PS5 than they ever had. This means mostly 3rd party exclusives, but they are also investing in 2nd party more than ever, and they are highly growing their internal studios and making acquisitions.

For them PC, mobile, VR and streaming will continue being a small portion of their revenue but plan to grown and improve in all these areas during this generation.


They are working on games like Horizon 2, GoW, Spider-Man 2, Wolverine, GoT 2, TLOU1R, Bend's new IP, (seems that Death Stranding 2 according to its actor) and so on.

They said Bend new's IP is going to be an open world game built on the tech and mechanics they made for Days Gone. We know it will have multipayer elements, but it can be only a secondary multiplayer game as happened in GoT, ND games and so on.

Hermen also said they will continue working on smaller games like Astro, Sackboy or Morales. And some mobile games too, plus old games being ported to PC (and seems that at least some of them remastered to PS5).

So multiplayer focused games will continue being a minority of Sony's portfolio. Due to job offers we know some of their other projects feature multiplayer, but in many of them may be only a secondary game mode as happened in many previous Sony games.

So two things seem to be happening here.

1. You pose that Sony does not need to, and is not going the Moneyball route. It does not matter that PlayStation, for the first time in its history, is being wildly outspent by a direct competitor and is going up against a platform we've never seen (GamePass). Sony is going to do what they've always done and it will bring them success. Fair enough.

2. NeoGAF has largely turned on Jim Ryan for some unknown reason. The collective here seems to appreciate old era Sony. The PlayStation that made traditional single player, 20 hour blockbusters. The PlayStation that let 3rd parties make multiplayer.

Don't the two points above kind of contradict one another?

NeoGAF has turned on Jim Ryan precisely because he's going the Moneyball route. Refer to the OP.

1. Quirky Japanese games have gotten the axe from Jim Ryan. Japan Studio has been shuttered. KojiPro walked to XBox. Sony has invested exclusively into western (N American + European) studios. The market has long overvalued Japanese games and PlayStation finally adjusted.

2. Multiplayer. The PS4 went 7 years without a single AA or AAA multiplayer exclusive. PlayStation is now flush with AAA multiplayer projects in the pipeline all set to release in the first half of the PS5's life. Firewalk, Deviation Games, Firesprite and Haven Studio are all new partnerships with heavy multiplayer focus. Every single one of PlayStations AAA studios (except for SSM) is now hiring for multiplayer developers. Naughty Dog is making its first ever standalone multiplayer. To go from 0 AAA multiplayer games in 7 years to having more than 10 scheduled in the first half of PS5's life represents a Sea change in philosophy. Moneyball philosophy.

3. High skill floor games. We can disagree about how successful Demons Souls + (less so) Returnal was. I think we can agree that Sony probably wants both studios next projects to sell more than 1.4 million and 600k. Jim Ryan doesn't seem like a gaming romantic (like Shawn Layden). Those numbers probably don't excite him too much.

All the other points in the OP are still TBD because we're still getting the results from Shawn Laydens initiatives.

A large part of PlayStations success is due because they produced 1 or 2 buzzworthy exclusives each year, while their competition was flailing. The flailing seems to be over, which is why strategy needs to change.

Edit: AND ONE MORE THING!

How do you explain the abrupt departure of Shawn Leyden if all Sony was going to do was "stay the course". Could it be that Sony knew a strategic shift was in order and Jim Ryan was better suited for it?
 
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Topher

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So two things seem to be happening here.

1. You pose that Sony does not need to, and is not going the Moneyball route. It does not matter that PlayStation, for the first time in its history, is being wildly outspent by a direct competitor and is going up against a platform we've never seen (GamePass). Sony is going to do what they've always done and it will bring them success. Fair enough.

2. NeoGAF has largely turned on Jim Ryan for some unknown reason. The collective here seems to appreciate old era Sony. The PlayStation that made traditional single player, 20 hour blockbusters. The PlayStation that let 3rd parties make multiplayer.

Don't the two points above kind of contradict one another?

NeoGAF has turned on Jim Ryan precisely because he's going the Moneyball route. Refer to the OP.

Your basic premise here is simply false. The primary reason many here have turned on Jim Ryan is for porting PS games to PC and making more games cross-gen after his "generations" statement.
 
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PropellerEar

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So two things seem to be happening here.

1. You pose that Sony does not need to, and is not going the Moneyball route. It does not matter that PlayStation, for the first time in its history, is being wildly outspent by a direct competitor and is going up against a platform we've never seen (GamePass). Sony is going to do what they've always done and it will bring them success. Fair enough.

2. NeoGAF has largely turned on Jim Ryan for some unknown reason. The collective here seems to appreciate old era Sony. The PlayStation that made traditional single player, 20 hour blockbusters. The PlayStation that let 3rd parties make multiplayer.

Don't the two points above kind of contradict one another?

NeoGAF has turned on Jim Ryan precisely because he's going the Moneyball route. Refer to the OP.

Platform we never seen?
Copy of PS Now....

20hours for 1st playthrough for Demon's Souls?
You're def not that good.
 
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BlackTron

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I appreciate some speculation, but this adamant stance that Sony is going to be the next Kodak if they don't respond to a changing market that will be dominated by Microsoft, tbh makes me laugh. There are problems with this on so many levels.

Microsoft's special ability is to invest money in products that get curbstomped by their competition. Just ask Apple and Google who have been having fun wrecking Microsoft for decades now. It has been proven time and again that throwing money at an issue does not guarantee success. Look at how many resources got wasted on Halo Infinite.

Sony put out a MP game...Destruction All Stars. Just because they decided to invest in multiplayer, doesn't mean their idea will be a hit. The gaming community will keep deciding what games to attach to, just like sleeper hit Minecraft. How assured of success was Square of the big Avengers game? Microsoft has no way to guarantee success with their direction either. They all must keep trying to maintain a diverse portfolio and react to changes.

This is not a spending war, in my opinion the critical question is which company can better manage the resources it does have. So far, I see no reason or evidence to assume that MSFT will suddenly eviscerate Sony in that regard. Anything can happen but where does the idea come from? Not from history or real events.
 

yurinka

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1. Quirky Japanese games have gotten the axe from Jim Ryan. Japan Studio has been shuttered. KojiPro walked to XBox. Sony has invested exclusively into western (N American + European) studios. The market has long overvalued Japanese games and PlayStation finally adjusted.
Lies. Ryan signed a deal with Kadokawa, signed exclusives with Japanese devs, said to be strengthening bonds with devs and publishers from there and said PS5 will get more (worldwide) exclusives than ever. They released a Astro last year, Death Stranding Director's Cut this year and will release GT7 next year. Signed many 3rd party exclusives like Guilty Gear Strive, FFXVI and many more.

They restructured Japan Studio changing their leadership after decades of unsuccessful games, focused their internal development merging their different internal teams into one of them: Team Asobi (and rebranded it). And separated their XDEV Japanese 2nd party publishing team to be now under XDEV (as happens in the rest of the world) instead of under Japan Studio. Both Team Asobi and XDEV Japanese teams are highly hiring to grow after restructuring, as is Polyphony and the other Sony teams.

So they didn't shut down Japan Studio, they restructured it. They did shut down Liverpool Studio, Evolution, Big Big, Incognito, Guerrilla Cambridge, Manchester Studio or Zipper for being losing money and not making hits during way less time than Japan Studio.

Acquiring Firesprite+Fabrik Jimbo and Hermen basically did was to resurrect Studio Liverpool and Evolution (+ Bizarre Creations) since many of their former coworkers are there, in a now way bigger studio of soon 300 people (have 256 people + 40 open job positions).

For indies / very small 3rd party games (not only for Japan), now exactly like Nintendo or Microsoft, instead of publishing themselves as 2nd party and keeping their IP and the exclusive forever, they decide to keep the indies selfpublish it, keep the IP for the indie and only ask them for a timed console exclusive. Because in this way it gives way more revenue for the indie so the relationship is more healthy for them while the 1st party still gets the PR benefit.

2. Multiplayer. The PS4 went 7 years without a single AA or AAA multiplayer exclusive. PlayStation is now flush with AAA multiplayer projects in the pipeline all set to release in the first half of the PS5's life. Firewalk, Deviation Games, Firesprite and Haven Studio are all new partnerships with heavy multiplayer focus. Every single one of PlayStations AAA studios (except for SSM) is now hiring for multiplayer developers. Naughty Dog is making its first ever standalone multiplayer. To go from 0 AAA multiplayer games in 7 years to having more than 10 scheduled in the first half of PS5's life represents a Sea change in philosophy. Moneyball philosophy.
More lies.

Regarding their future games, we only know that a few of them will be focused on multiplayer. There are a few other games that we know they will feature multiplayer due to a job offer, but it may be only for a secondary game mode in a single player focused game as happened in many of the games they released in this 7 years (PS4 generation) like Uncharted 4 or Ghost of Tsushima. Combined with some more focused in MP like GT Sport.

As an example (won't list all the ones for the 7 years) Ghost of Tsushima, Sackboy, Destruction All Stars, Dreams, Predator: Hunting Grounds, MLB are some of the games with multiplayer they published in the last year or so (you could in some way to include Demon's Souls or Death Stranding as some sort of weird multiplayer). They also get 3rd party exclusives, some of them being multiplayer like Guilty Gear Strive or Street Fighter V.

3. High skill floor games. We can disagree about how successful Demons Souls + (less so) Returnal was. I think we can agree that Sony probably wants both studios next projects to sell more than 1.4 million and 600k. Jim Ryan doesn't seem like a gaming romantic (like Shawn Layden). Those numbers probably don't excite him too much.
Facts say the percentage of consoles that bought these games is way higher than usual in this type of niche games. Their publisher mentioned them as successful titles (or IP in case of Returnal) and they are so happy they even bought these studios.

In total sales the number as of now is low but it's because they are exclusive for a recently released console that still has a low userbase. Over time the console will sell way more units and the games will get discounts, so they well continue selling. But even considering that, for these types of games these sales are good.

As an example, Bloodborne sold 2M copies in half a year or so exceeding Sony expectations, and this was in 2015 when PS4 had an installbase of around 30M. Demon's Souls instead of a brand new game is a remake (which means less apealing for sales and cheaper to develop so more profitable) released at launch and achieved 1.4M when the console has ~10M sold. This means Demon's Souls first half a year has been way more than the Bloodborne one. And obviously the game will continue selling, won't stop here.

How do you explain the abrupt departure of Shawn Leyden if all Sony was going to do was "stay the course". Could it be that Sony knew a strategic shift was in order and Jim Ryan was better suited for it?
He's 60 years old, the executive side of huge corporations is too stressful and to make games is too stressful. It was time for him to move away to something smaller and more relaxed before completely retiring.

He quitted after being chairman/CEO of Worldwide Studios for a year and a half, so his influence in long term strategy was limited. Before that he was in charge of SIE America, not the worldwide SIE or worldwide studios. So he was mostly a PR face for the E3 and interviews and was in charge of shipments, marketing or sales for USA. He wasn't making the worlwide decisions for SIE worldwide or Worldwide Studios when he was in charge of SIE America.

The strategy with Ryan and Hermen is almost exactly the same Sony had before them. In terms of hardware, services and OS make something dev friendly easy to program for but powerful even if keeping it at a decent, appealing pricing and focusing on tweaking/fixing issues of the previous generation while adding some requested (by devs or players) or nice additions.

In the game side, to keep betting on a lot of different type of games for 1st (and 3rd party) exclusives: big and small, a lot of different genres, mainstream traditional blockbusters or weird/unique stuff, sequels and new IPs, single player and multiplayer, betting hard 1st party and 3rd party exclusives, keep growing internal teams and acquire long term partners with a nice relationship with them, continue focusing on sales for your console but investing and growing in areas to grow (VR, game subscriptions, streaming, mobile, movies, PC). They also make marketing deals with top multiplatform games that dominate their genres (CoD, Fortnite, GTA, etc).

The only difference is that now Ryan and Hermen have more money available because PlayStation generates more money, so they are reinvesting more in all these areas. And since they are bigger, to expand they need to invest more in the new (for them) things than they did before.
 
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Tschumi

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I just think.. looking at PS4... Any narrative that Sony are in any way underdogs who need to break the game to survive.. i don't see it.

I think the narrative is more of one company under pressure to carry on a run of very high quality releases, and another company trying to artificially make up for no such run with huge financial investment.

These are two viable modes, I don't think there's anything to be gained from comparing them.. i think the best comparison will probably be had 3 years after release.
 
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Men_in_Boxes

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Lies. Ryan signed a deal with Kadokawa, signed exclusives with Japanese devs, said to be strengthening bonds with devs and publishers from there and said PS5 will get more (worldwide) exclusives than ever. They released a Astro last year, Death Stranding Director's Cut this year and will release GT7 next year. Signed many 3rd party exclusives like Guilty Gear Strive, FFXVI and many more.

They restructured Japan Studio changing their leadership after decades of unsuccessful games, focused their internal development merging their different internal teams into one of them: Team Asobi (and rebranded it). And separated their XDEV Japanese 2nd party publishing team to be now under XDEV (as happens in the rest of the world) instead of under Japan Studio. Both Team Asobi and XDEV Japanese teams are highly hiring to grow after restructuring, as is Polyphony and the other Sony teams.

So they didn't shut down Japan Studio, they restructured it. They did shut down Liverpool Studio, Evolution, Big Big, Incognito, Guerrilla Cambridge, Manchester Studio or Zipper for being losing money and not making hits during way less time than Japan Studio.

Acquiring Firesprite+Fabrik Jimbo and Hermen basically did was to resurrect Studio Liverpool and Evolution (+ Bizarre Creations) since many of their former coworkers are there, in a now way bigger studio of soon 300 people (have 256 people + 40 open job positions).

For indies / very small 3rd party games (not only for Japan), now exactly like Nintendo or Microsoft, instead of publishing themselves as 2nd party and keeping their IP and the exclusive forever, they decide to keep the indies selfpublish it, keep the IP for the indie and only ask them for a timed console exclusive. Because in this way it gives way more revenue for the indie so the relationship is more healthy for them while the 1st party still gets the PR benefit.


More lies.

Regarding their future games, we only know that a few of them will be focused on multiplayer. There are a few other games that we know they will feature multiplayer due to a job offer, but it may be only for a secondary game mode in a single player focused game as happened in many of the games they released in this 7 years (PS4 generation) like Uncharted 4 or Ghost of Tsushima. Combined with some more focused in MP like GT Sport.

As an example (won't list all the ones for the 7 years) Ghost of Tsushima, Sackboy, Destruction All Stars, Dreams, Predator: Hunting Grounds, MLB are some of the games with multiplayer they published in the last year or so (you could in some way to include Demon's Souls or Death Stranding as some sort of weird multiplayer). They also get 3rd party exclusives, some of them being multiplayer like Guilty Gear Strive or Street Fighter V.


Facts say the percentage of consoles that bought these games is way higher than usual in this type of niche games. Their publisher mentioned them as successful titles (or IP in case of Returnal) and they are so happy they even bought these studios.

In total sales the number as of now is low but it's because they are exclusive for a recently released console that still has a low userbase. Over time the console will sell way more units and the games will get discounts, so they well continue selling. But even considering that, for these types of games these sales are good.

As an example, Bloodborne sold 2M copies in half a year or so exceeding Sony expectations, and this was in 2015 when PS4 had an installbase of around 30M. Demon's Souls instead of a brand new game is a remake (which means less apealing for sales and cheaper to develop so more profitable) released at launch and achieved 1.4M when the console has ~10M sold. This means Demon's Souls first half a year has been way more than the Bloodborne one. And obviously the game will continue selling, won't stop here.


He's 60 years old, the executive side of huge corporations is too stressful and to make games is too stressful. It was time for him to move away to something smaller and more relaxed before completely retiring.

He quitted after being chairman/CEO of Worldwide Studios for a year and a half, so his influence in long term strategy was limited. Before that he was in charge of SIE America, not the worldwide SIE or worldwide studios. So he was mostly a PR face for the E3 and interviews and was in charge of shipments, marketing or sales for USA. He wasn't making the worlwide decisions for SIE worldwide or Worldwide Studios when he was in charge of SIE America.

The strategy with Ryan and Hermen is almost exactly the same Sony had before them. In terms of hardware, services and OS make something dev friendly easy to program for but powerful even if keeping it at a decent, appealing pricing and focusing on tweaking/fixing issues of the previous generation while adding some requested (by devs or players) or nice additions.

In the game side, to keep betting on a lot of different type of games for 1st (and 3rd party) exclusives: big and small, a lot of different genres, mainstream traditional blockbusters or weird/unique stuff, sequels and new IPs, single player and multiplayer, betting hard 1st party and 3rd party exclusives, keep growing internal teams and acquire long term partners with a nice relationship with them, continue focusing on sales for your console but investing and growing in areas to grow (VR, game subscriptions, streaming, mobile, movies, PC). They also make marketing deals with top multiplatform games that dominate their genres (CoD, Fortnite, GTA, etc).

The only difference is that now Ryan and Hermen have more money available because PlayStation generates more money, so they are reinvesting more in all these areas. And since they are bigger, to expand they need to invest more in the new (for them) things than they did before.

The tactics you seem to employ are the following...

- Treat generic PR statements as gospel.

- Obfuscate the massive shifts in investment we're seeing by pointing to obscure deals and imply that nothing has changed.

- List small scale multiplayer titles (likely green lit after the promotion of Jim Ryan/Herman Hulst) as a way to show nothing is changing at PlayStation regarding multiplayer.

- Ignore all the strange conditions around the release of Shawn Layden and imply that Jim Ryan/Herman Hulst have exactly the same strategic philosophies as Layden.



I think what you're trying to do is imply that I'm saying new Sony is flipping switches off. No more Japanese games. No more big budget graphics...or 20 hour single player games. Now it's all western developers, multiplayer, GAAS, sandbox games from PlayStation. Let me go on record saying that this was never my position.

There's a scene in Moneyball where they talk about a well known player by the name of Johnny Damon. Think of Johnny Damon as "old era PlayStation". (time stamped)


Johnny Damon wasn't a bad player. He was actually a good player. Demons Souls + Bloodborne + Days Gone + The Order 1886 aren't necessarily bad games. They just don't deliver on the kind of investment that's possible elsewhere.

This conversation isn't a toggle switch board. Very few things are OFF/ON. It's this...



Shawn Layden departed the sound board looking one way. Jim Ryan is obviously playing with it after Laydens release.

Sony can't compete with a competitor who's likely outspending them by 50 - 100 percent every year using old thinking. GamePass was specifically designed to beat old era PlayStation. Microsoft identified PlayStations weakness (producing 1-2 buzzworthy games a year, released those 1-2 games at a high price) and designed GamePass to be buzzworthy year round, or at the very least to be buzzworthy every few weeks/months.
 
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Jigsaah

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"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve." - Jim Ryan, yesterday, probably.

We've all had to hear XBox fans talk about Microsoft's fearsome war chest since 2003. "Just you wait. They can buy anyone they want. Then we'll see who's laughing". Well, it seems like the war chest is finally in play.

But what can Sony do?

The answer is Moneyball. There's a bunch of great YouTube videos explaining it but I'll give you Hollywoods description, as it can be pretty dry.

Context: MLB baseball doesn't have a salary cap, which means wealthy teams can construct rosters by paying the best players. In the clip, Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) is the GM of the lowly Oakland A's. His owner hires a non baseball mathematician (Jonah Hill) who assesses a players talent using non traditional means.



Sony can't outspend Microsoft. They don't have the stomach for it, and frankly they don't have the ability.

In order for Sony to compete over the next 10+ years, they must identify what the market overvalues, what it undervalues, and spend accordingly.

The question I pose to NeoGAF is "What does the industry currently overvalue, and what does the industry currently undervalue?"


Overvalue:

Big budget graphics - The market would rather play Minecraft and Fortnite than The Last of Us II or Resident Evil 2 Remake. Gamers don't value graphics like we did back in the day.

Quirky Japanese games (KojiPro) - There's a reason Japan has fallen off a cliff over the last 20 years. Kojima, we love him, isn't commercially relavent anymore.

20 hr single player games w/no replay value. These games come and go so quickly out of the zeitgeist that it's not worth pursuing if you're spending crazy time and resources on them.

High skill floor games - Games that can't be picked up by a wide variety of gamers are putting a ceiling on their success. The Bloodborne/DarkSouls type games are never going to be big sellers.



Undervalue:

Multiplayer - SteamCharts and XBox Live most Played Games List shows that people are overwhelmingly playing multiplayer games today.

Western Indie - Valheim is closing in on 7 million sold. That's approaching The Last of Us II numbers.

GAAS - In 10 years, the amount of people playing their "one game", is going to increase. Sony needs to be leading that charge.

Sandbox - Stardew Valley sold 10+ million, Animal Crossing sold 40+ million, Terraria sold 25+ million. These games appeal to a bigger audience and they traditionally have longer legs.
This post makes sense and I hate it.

I just want Sony to keep doing what they're doing. Also you're talking about trying to compete...in what way? Are you saying buy studios that focus on the undervalued things you've mentioned??
 
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Men_in_Boxes

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You do realize that PlayStation is crushing XBOX sales-wise at this point, right OP?

Of course we do. Everyone who posts on NeoGAF understands the hardware race.

When Microsoft bought Bethesda, did anyone think that was going to impact the hardware race in 2020? Or 2021?

No, because that would be insane.

The Bethesda purchase was all about making XBox a more attractive buy in 2023 onwards.

Games now take 4+ years to make. 2018/2019 investments were never going to make a difference in the 4 years after.
 
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yurinka

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The tactics you seem to employ are the following...

- Treat generic PR statements as gospel.
I just post factual data, it's better than what you do, to lie and ignore facts and reality. Like saying they aren't releasing 20 hours single player games when they released a ton of them, have been super successful and plan to release more and we even saw some of them. And same goes with Japan, they released many games, will continue releasing them and said they are interested on signing more. But you keep saying the opposite like a parrot.

- Ignore all the strange conditions around the release of Shawn Layden and imply that Jim Ryan/Herman Hulst have exactly the same strategic philosophies as Layden.
These people are executives, not philosophers. But your fanfic conspiracy theories are fun.

GamePass was specifically designed to beat old era PlayStation. Microsoft identified PlayStations weakness (producing 1-2 buzzworthy games a year, released those 1-2 games at a high price) and designed GamePass to be buzzworthy year round, or at the very least to be buzzworthy every few weeks/months.
Sony's game subscriptions require way less investment and generate way more money, so they are more profitable. Maybe before of trying to compete against the whole PlayStation business they should start trying to compete against Sony's game subscriptions.
 

Men_in_Boxes

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May 31, 2020
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I just post factual data, it's better than what you do, to lie and ignore facts and reality. Like saying they aren't releasing 20 hours single player games when they released a ton of them, have been super successful and plan to release more and we even saw some of them. And same goes with Japan, they released many games, will continue releasing them and said they are interested on signing more. But you keep saying the opposite like a parrot.

Yeah, you're reading things I'm not saying. Refer to the toggle switch vs sound board point above.