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Your game plan as Sony executive to counterattack Microsoft's latest strategy

Sony is not a company that often acquires developers let alone publishers of the magnitude that people speak of. However having said this, the pressure has definitely been applied by Microsoft. So let's have some fun with this and see how we would run Sony.

Let's first look at the valuation of the following publishers.
EA: 38.85B
Take Two: 19.10B
Bandai Namco: 15.53B
Ubisoft: 7.34B
Konami: 6.14B
Square Enix: 5.81B
CD Projekt: 5.05B
Capcom: 4.82B
Sega: 3.69B
Kadokawa Corp: 2.86B

Now that we have a general sense of the scale and valuation of these publishers, we can start to form a game plan.


My own basic rules:
Back in Q2 2021, Sony announced that it has 18.39B to spend on strategic investments for the next 3 years. So basically 18.39B to spend up to Q2 2024.
This means 6.13B per year. Now of course Sony doesn't just have PlayStation, but also many other branches. However, we know that PlayStation is the most important branch that Sony has. So for the ease of things let's just split 6.13 by 3. Going by this assumption, the PlayStation division has 2.04B to spend per year for 3 years max. The deal of the Activision Blizzard acquisition won't be finalized until June 2023.
This gives us the deadline to try to run Sony as well as possible for the coming 1.5 years by having (2.04 x 1.5) 3.06B at hand. But we have 5.10B to spend up to Q2 2024.
However, realistically speaking these numbers will also be used for other deals already in place, including timed exclusivity deals, upkeep, and whatnot.
So let's divide these numbers by 2. 3.06 / 2 = 1.53 and 5.10 / 2 = 255.
This means we have 1.53B dollars to spend until the Microsoft merger is done and 2.55B dollars until Q2 2024.
To look further into the future let's use the same numbers and calculate what we can spend after that. 1.53 is 1,5 years time. Meaning, we get to spend 1.02B every year that comes after Q2 2024.


With the rules established. I'll go ahead and start to strategize a plan that I think would work best for Sony.


Game plan:
With only a fraction of the money, we are able to spend on strategic partnerships compared to Microsoft, I feel we should focus on Sony's strengths to try to remove as many of its weaknesses as possible.

The weaknesses of Sony are pretty clear at the moment. Sony has no service that can compete with Microsoft's Gamepass. Sony also can't afford to spend the amount of time and money needed to create a service and infrastructure as well as market the service like Microsoft does. So what can we do?

Three key pillars attract people to Gamepass:
  1. The diversity of games that's on there.
  2. The number of games that's on there.
  3. The (low) price point you pay to access that vast library of games.

How to weaken the three key pillars of Gamepass.
  • We can't do anything to Microsoft's pricing strategy. We can also not afford to decrease our own pricing strategy. As in a war where money is important, Microsoft will always win. So we just have to take an L here.
  • BUT we can do something about the diversity of Sony's own games.
  • We can also lessen the volume of games that Xbox can output on their service.
  • We can add the volume of quality games to Sony's catalog.
  • We can take away media buzz surrounding Gamepass and bolster our own.

Now let's focus on Sony's biggest strength first, the quality of its games. Even though the quality is already impressive, strengthening the volume of quality games would make Xbox games seem even less compelling. This is Sony's bread and butter. So this shouldn't pose too much of a challenge.

But we have a problem. And that's that all of Sony's studios are already busy developing games. So to create a bigger number of quality games we would need to acquire developers. And not just any kind, but the kind that can uphold Sony's standards in gaming.
But for that we need money. However, we only have 3.06B to spend until Microsoft's deal with Activision Blizzard is completed and 5.10B to spend up to Q2 2024. So how should we go about it?


Increasing Sony's volume of quality games:
As many of you probably noticed, Sony has great relationship management abilities. This goes for smaller development studios as well as with key individuals.

Sony often acquires smaller studios and somehow makes the studio perform in a way that far exceeds their previous projects once they join the PlayStation family.

Sony also has a way of capturing the right people and putting them in the right positions. When I think of Playstation and its franchises, I think of certain individuals as well. Neil Druckmann, Cory Barlog, Hermen Hulst and Nate Fox come to mind.

Now, if I were Sony, I would make an attempt to add Hideo Kojima, Jade Raymond, and Hidetaka Miyazaki to this already impressive list.

Kojima productions isn't a huge company as of now. Meaning it shouldn't be too expensive to acquire. As the boss of Kojima Productions, Hideo Kojima gets to hand-pick its employees.
Of course, he would pick people he trusts, relies on upon, and synergize with the most. One such person is for example Yoji Shinkawa. This means that Kojima Productions already functions incredibly well while staying small. This is proven by its short development time of Death Stranding.
It being small equals it being cheap, but more importantly there's no bloat. No bloat means no restructuring needed which means time saved, and no money wasted for buying non-essential parts of the company.
But what would the valuation be of Kojima Productions? It's tough to say as it is still a relatively new company. The only thing we know is that there are about 80 employees in 2019. I'd imagine that this number has grown by now. If I had to take a guess I would say the company has about 120 people. This is pure guesswork though.
As for sales data, the only thing we know is that Death Stranding sold over 5 million copies in total worldwide back in March 2021. Just for convenience sake let's say they sold 6 million to date for 60 bucks each. Now let's be even more generous and say that they made 30 bucks of profit for each game they sold. Meaning they made 180 million in pure profit. However, companies won't sell just for what they made in profit, plus Kojima Productions sells merchandise as well.
To keep things simple let's double that and say the valuation of Kojima Productions sits at 360 million dollars.

Now Hidetaka Miyazaki. Many people came to the conclusion that Sony should make an attempt to acquire Kadokawa.
Ain't gonna happen. Simple as that.
What people really want is FromSoftware anyways.
Oh no wait, most would probably say that they want FromSoftware because of its Soulsbourne games.
BUT NO AGAIN, because what people really really want is the soul and mind behind the Soulsbourne games. This means Hidetake Miyazaki himself and the people he works well with.
If I were Sony I would try my hardest to not buy Kadokawa, but poach Hidetaka Miyazaki and convince Hidetaka Miyazaki to take his trusted team with him. This way Sony would avoid all the bloat and spend only a tiny tiny fraction compared to buying Kadokawa, or FromSoftware, or even its IPs. Sony doesn't need those IPs. What Sony needs is the talent that created those IPs in the first place.
Compared to Kojima Productions it's even tougher to put a number on the cost it would take to poach Hidetake Miyazaki and his team. All we know is that Dark Souls 3 took about 200 people to make, including people who were used for outsourcing. Let's assume to keep the same quality of the game it would need that amount of people. But it wouldn't just be salaries, the goal is to make it function like its own studio with Hidetake Miyazaki at the helm of it.
Previously we established that Death Stranding took 180 million to make with 80 people. 200 / 80 = 2,5. 180 x 2,5 = 450. But it also takes money to restructure everything, buy inventory, arrange logistics pay rent, etc. Many of these things are already partially accounted for with the 450 million.
But let's round that up just to be sure and say this whole endeavor takes 500 million to pull off.

Even though getting Hideo Kojima and Hidetaka Miyazaki would increase the number of quality games Sony can output, it wouldn't make much of a dent into the library of Microsoft's games. So let's explore this further.


Decreasing Gamepass' volume of games:
To truly take away the volume of Microsoft's offering, we need something much bigger than just Hideo Kojima and Hidetake Miyazaki. We actually need a publisher for this. Which publisher? If I had to pick one, I would definitely pick Capcom.

Here's why I would pick Capcom:
  • Capcom has a vast amount of IPs. These IPs are also multimillion-dollar games when it comes to the revenue they bring in. These include Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Capcom, Mega Man, Resident Evil, Devil May Cry, Dead Rising, Monster Hunter, Sengoku Basara, Onimusha, and Ace Attorney.
  • Street Fighter and Marvel vs. Capcom would provide Sony 2 fighting games that Sony desperately needs.
  • Marvel vs. Capcom might also strengthen Sony's relationship with Marvel. It's far-fetched, but at least there's a possibility.
  • What's most important though, is that this gives Sony the talent needed to create a new fighter IP that will hopefully have a wider audience while using Evo to organize events and garner attention for this new IP as well as for Street Fighter and Marvel vs. Capcom.
  • Resident Evil, Devil May Cry, Dead Rising, Monster Hunter, and Onimusha all have Western appeal. But it also strengthens Sony's appeal in the East. Which is another weakness of Sony.
  • Mega Man, Sengoku Basara, and Ace Attorney would further solidify Sony's position in the East.
  • Many of these titles have heavy ties with Nintendo. Owning Capcom would sever these ties and would not only damage Microsoft but also Nintendo in the process. Making Sony have a stronger position all around.
  • IPs like Pragmata, Dragon's Dogma, Dino Crisis, Lost Planet, etc. might also be able to provide Sony with extra value in the future.

The valuation of Capcom sits at 4.82B. But to acquire Capcom this would take a lot of money and time. And because we don't have the money to do so yet. It would take even more time. Taking more time would mean that Capcom might get other bids and also give Capcom's stock prices room to rise. So we can't assume the valuation stays the same.
For simplicity's sake, I will just add another 20% to it, making Capcom's price tag 5.78B by the time we have the resources to buy Capcom.

As of right now we have bolstered the volume of quality games as well as taken away the volume of games from both Microsoft and Nintendo. And even though we increased our diversity of games with this, we are still lacking in the FPS genre as well as on the Games-as-a-Service side.


Increasing the diversity of games:
We already know that Guerrilla is working on an FPS game. But one FPS game doesn't hold a candle to Microsoft's offering. Especially considering the fact that Xbox will have Call of Duty on its side when June 2023 comes around.

Enter Deviation Games. Deviation Games is working on an FPS game and if things work out the way we hope, we probably have to acquire Deviation Games. Deviation Games has 131 employees. Deviation Games' annual revenue is at 26.9 million dollars. This isn't much. But I imagine that their revenue will skyrocket once their FPS game hits the market. I mean, we would want it to, as we will only acquire Deviation Games once it has proven to be a success. So let's not look at that as of right now. Let's apply the logic that we applied to Kojima Productions. As Kojima Productions is also a new studio with only 1 title released so far. According to Hideo Kojima, Death Stranding is deemed as a success. By the time we are willing to acquire Deviation Games, it would've put out 1 game. So the situation is comparable I'd say.
We assumed Kojima Productions took 360 million to acquire, with 80 employees. 131 / 80 = 1.64. 1.64 x 360 = 590.4 million dollars.

We now only have GaaS to tackle and then I'd say we are pretty solid. We know that Naughty Dog is working on a multi-player game set in The Last of Us universe. This will most likely be a GaaS title. But one is definitely not enough. So we need at least another one.

This is where Jade Raymond and her Haven studio come into play. Again, to keep things simple I will use Kojima Productions and Deviation Games' logic of valuation for Haven. With Haven, however, we don't have any info. No revenue figures and no employee figures. So to keep things fair let's add Kojima Productions' number of employees to the number of Deviation Games' employees and divide that by 2. 80 + 131 = 106. 106 / 80 = 1.33. 1.33 × 360 = 478.8.
So the valuation would be 478.8 million dollars.


Conclusion:
Now we basically have the total amount of money we would need to achieve our goals. Let's see what that gives us:
360M + 500M + 5.78B + 590.4M + 478.8M = 7.7092B.
So let's round this down to 7.7B dollars in total.

We only have 3.06B to spend until Microsoft's deal with Activision Blizzard becomes a reality. So we would need to prioritize which studios to buy and which to leave out for a later date.
If I were to be in charge. I would with pain in my heart leave out Capcom. Time is of the essence. We can't wait to have enough money to be able to acquire Capcom. So what would the cost be if we leave out Capcom? 7.7B - 5.78B = 1.92B dollars.
This would mean that we can acquire almost every single studio, individual, and genre we need about half a year after the Microsoft deal is complete. Which is perfect timing, as we also need to wait and see how both Haven studio and Deviation Games performed anyways. Assuming that all goes to plan, at the end of 2023 we would have covered almost all of our weaknesses.
We miss out big on Capcom but having the studios that we have now, we are set to be in a position to create our own Capcom like games now anyways. And should Capcom remain independent for another 6 to 7 years, we can always make another bid on Capcom.

However, if I were Sony, I would actually forget Capcom for now and much rather try to acquire Game Science, the studio behind Black Myth: Wukong. Game Science has about 40 employees last year, considering that they put together a trailer to try to attract as many talented developers as possible, it would be safe to assume that they are double that now. Employing the logic I used for all the valuations, this would put the valuation the same as Kojima Productions'. Meaning it would cost 360 million dollars to acquire them. This would not only get Sony a great set of developers and hype but also bolster its position in China. By now we would've spent 1.92B + 0.32B = 2.24B dollars. I would spend the remainder of (2.55B - 2.24B) 310 million dollars to acquire other promising talents from China. I would then place employ their talents to make mobile, as well as GaaS games. By Q2 2024, Sony would have reached the point where it will finally begin to have a range of games to appeal to every market, every genre, and every area in the world.


Your turn:
So what do you guys think? I've made many assumptions, but this is the only way I'm able to come up with very rough estimates with the info we have.
Don't agree with my logic and basic ruleset? Make up your own ruleset. Let's hear your approach and master game plan. Remember this is only for entertainment purposes only. Keep things cordial and let's just have some fun with it.
 
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So we are in the middle now…that was quick


Edit
Buy fucking sega…before ms do next wed they are sitting on a fuckload of ip which could either be dug up or used on Mobile games and they are basically the gaming equivalent of Cher in the fact they are cockroach like in their ability to survive
 
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Perrott

Member
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment + Square Enix
Arc System Works + Arrowhead Game Studios + Camouflaj + Climax Studios + Creative Vault Studios + Impulse Gear
+ Kojima Productions + Lucid Games + Polyarc + Supermassive Games + WhiteMoon Dreams + Wushu Studios


That should be within their budget.
 
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ACESHIGH

Member
Hopefully they don't buy anything. I trust MS with having games available on PC but not Sony. What they should do is double down on the PC ports strategy, improve their streaming service and services in general. And look into their back catalog of IPs. Make all those 1st party games available on PS5/PC.
 

Flintty

Member
Sony don’t need acquisitions. They just need to double down on what they do well and experiences that can’t be had on other consoles. A decent first party line up, but more output. PSVR2 at a killer price and offer experiences on there you can’t have anywhere else.
 

Ozriel

Member
They need to grab Capcom, Konami, and Square-Enix. Would cost 16.7 billion.

Y’all keep forgetting that Japan is completely dominated by the Switch now. This will end up pissing off the Japanese public unless they ensure these folks will remain multi-platform with the Switch.
 

Perrott

Member
However, if I were Sony, I would actually forget Capcom for now and much rather try to acquire Game Science, the studio behind Black Myth: Wukong. Game Science has about 40 employees last year, considering that they put together a trailer to try to attract as many talented developers as possible, it would be safe to assume that they are double that now. Employing the logic I used for all the valuations, this would put the valuation the same as Kojima Productions'. Meaning it would cost 360 million dollars to acquire them.
Also, what is it with these arbitrary numbers you're making up OP? 360 million for the unproven studio with no IP behind that shit prototype/tech demo called Black Myth: Wukong? You crazy or what? Not even Insomniac Games, the veteran studio behind the Spyro, Ratchet & Clank, Resistance, Sunset Overdrive and the million-seller Marvel's Spider-Man, was worth that much lol
 

Papacheeks

Gold Member
Playstation doesn't need to do anything. MS has to abide by contractual agreements. And even after the contract has concluded thats still a lot of IP that will make it to Playstation Let alone its going to be a year or so before we see COD on GAmepass.

Now If I was Sony I would buy Capcom/Square and that would solidify Japanese market. I still think Sony is fine with how they have positioned themselves with PSVR2, and their staple of multiplayer games they have in the works. This changes nothing but an increase in gamepass subs when these IP's hit the service. Which wont be for at least a year or so.
 
Sony don’t need acquisitions. They just need to double down on what they do well and experiences that can’t be had on other consoles. A decent first party line up, but more output. PSVR2 at a killer price and offer experiences on there you can’t have anywhere else.
When they lose Activision it can only mean less output. How do you think Sony pays for this stuff?
 
Also, what is it with these arbitrary numbers you're making up OP? 360 million for the unproven studio with no IP behind that shit prototype/tech demo called Black Myth: Wukong? You crazy or what? Not even Insomniac Games, the veteran studio behind the Spyro, Ratchet & Clank, Resistance, Sunset Overdrive and the million-seller Marvel's Spider-Man, was worth that much lol
Haha like I said, you don't have to agree. If you don't like my rules or my logic, feel free to share your own.
 

Warnen

Can he swing from a thread? Take a look overhead / Hey, there, there goes the Spider-Man
Buy square and Capcom maybe Sega if you can. Shore up the Japanese market. Make Sony the place to go for that kind of gaming experience. Port all games day and date to pc to recoup lost casuals.
 
Buy square and Capcom maybe Sega if you can. Shore up the Japanese market. Make Sony the place to go for that kind of gaming experience. Port all games day and date to pc to recoup lost casuals.
One good thing about Nintendo having almost a monopoly in Japan is that i don't think Sony would have a lot of trouble acquiring Square and Capcom like that. Sega i'm not so sure.
 

Papacheeks

Gold Member
The suggestions that Sony just "make their own COD" are the funniest so far.

Yeah, just make the new Call of Duty. Real simple.
People are talking in terms of an optional multiplayer for people to play. As it sits Sony has relied on GTA online, COD for a long time instead of investing in new multiplayer games. You dont need to try and replace COD with 1 game. They have multiple games cooking that are have online components and some that are dedicated online titles.
 

Godot25

Member
Form a PlayStation Militia with Bryank at the helm and take the fight to Phil
Good reminder
Where is Bryank for last few days?

But to the point.
EA is out of reach
Take-Two also (after Zynga)
Ubisoft does not want to sell and hostile takeover failed once (Vivendi)

And for others Microsoft can easily outspend Sony, like EA did it to Take-Two with Codemasters.

Sony need to continue with their path. Making great first-party games and bringing smaller teams (Housmarque) in.
 

AV

We ain't outta here in ten minutes, we won't need no rocket to fly through space
People are talking in terms of an optional multiplayer for people to play. As it sits Sony has relied on GTA online, COD for a long time instead of investing in new multiplayer games. You dont need to try and replace COD with 1 game. They have multiple games cooking that are have online components and some that are dedicated online titles.

They're not. Read up. "a Call of duty", "their own game" (singular).

Online components to single player games to not shift units. In the grand scheme of things nobody is buying TLOU2 Factions that hasn't already bought TLOU2 to play the campaign.

Sony making an online-only game that even gets close to their platform's Call of Duty numbers will be nothing short of a miracle. COD4 was the cultural zeitgeist of the time and it's been riding that wave for 15 years.
 
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Ezquimacore

Member
They're kinda fucked not gonna lie.
Microsoft already invested in the future of Xbox, they're set.

Nintendo will be Nintendo for at least another century, they're set.

Playstation has at least one more console under Sony if they don't change tactics. A few pretty cinematics games aren't going to maintain the company forever.
 

Black_Stride

do not tempt fate do not contrain Wonder Woman's thighs do not do not
Copium is a hell of a drug.

Unless they can somehow steal EA or Take-Two for ~50 billion dollars they dont have then realistically fuck it.
Kojima already doesnt work with MS, and explicitly wants to be independent.
SquareEnix pretty much already a Sony studio with all the deals they have in place....fuck needing to actually to take on all the baggage that SquareEnix comes with.



Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment + Square Enix
Arc System Works + Arrowhead Game Studios + Camouflaj + Climax Studios + Creative Vault Studios + Impulse Gear
+ Kojima Productions + Lucid Games + Polyarc + Supermassive Games + WhiteMoon Dreams + Wushu Studios


That should be within their budget.
WBD is not getting rid of Warner Bros Interactive....and Sony couldnt afford them anyway.
SquareEnix comes with alot more baggage than just their gaming division it wouldnt really be worth it.
Arc Sys doesnt work with MS already....why bother?
Kojima doesnt work with MS as is and likely doesnt want to be bought up again anytime soon.
 

reinking

Member
Sony don’t need acquisitions. They just need to double down on what they do well and experiences that can’t be had on other consoles. A decent first party line up, but more output. PSVR2 at a killer price and offer experiences on there you can’t have anywhere else.
I agree to a point but part of what they do well is buy exclusives. If MS is buying up the studios Sony takes a big hit on one of their big strategies. PSVR2 will be niche compared to MS buying out studios. I do not think they need to go crazy, and I did not think they needed to buy anything when MS purchased Bethesda, but at this point they need to respond. MS is going to continue to buy out the market and Sony needs to have enough studios to continue their competitive advantage.
 
Good reminder
Where is Bryank for last few days?

But to the point.
EA is out of reach
Take-Two also (after Zynga)
Ubisoft does not want to sell and hostile takeover failed once (Vivendi)

And for others Microsoft can easily outspend Sony, like EA did it to Take-Two with Codemasters.

Sony need to continue with their path. Making great first-party games and bringing smaller teams (Housmarque) in.

He was permed a while back

God rest his soul
 

damiank

Neo Member
I gotta ask...why do people want Sony to buy SEGA? For Persona, Yakuza, Virtua Fighter and Sonic?

Square-Enix and Capcom are much more interesting choices. Hell even the rumor about Sony buying 3 videogame IPs to Konami (Metal Gear, Silent Hill and Castilvania) sounded better to me.
Yes! M$ has Crash and Spyro so I want Sony to have Sonic, Morgana, Teddie and especially Koromaru.


lol
 
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Sanepar

Member
It is easy and simple and they can do, but they won't because Jim Ryan and PS border are really stupid and out of touch with game market right now.

Buy Bungie, Remedy, Emberlabs, KojiPro
Buy kadokawa and get from
Buy rights or a deal to explore on the next XX years on Konami IPS(Metal Gear, Castlevania and Silent Hill), get PES team and IP

Buy Square and Capcom and get a deal with Japan gov keeping games on Nintendo devices and PC.

All this you can do with less than 20 billion(they have 45) would block xbox on Asia and Europe and would guarantee their survive as a platform on the long term.
 
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