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

Tschumi

Member
How do you counterattack against a company so large they can just buy you if the they get sick of competing. People have finally come to realize Playstation and Nintendo are around only because Microsoft allows them to be.
Some Microsoft fans are starting to get downright totalitarian about gaming these days

waka flocka GIF
 

DavJay

Member
If I was Sony I’d go with a PlayStation Golden Ticket subscription. Obviously a game pass clone with day one exclusives and ps plus benefit. Sony have the exclusives to compete even with MS getting Bethesda and ActiBlizzard. It’s possible Sony could also work out a deal to get EA play if they aren’t exclusives with Microsoft. Might be beneficial to keep buying out smaller studios and get creative new titles. That’s the only way PlayStation can compete.
 
You see right here is wording playing into a narrative. "Brute force" acquisition. "Defensive" acquisition. "Organic growth", etc. Microsoft isn't "brute forcing" content output, otherwise we'd already be seeing a deluge of new games from the Zenimax studios but...they're taking their sweet time. Because that new content they're making is being curated and polished, not simply shoved out the door.



This isn't as true as people have convinced themselves it is. There's a decent bit of overlap between the three, and there is clearly more overlap between Sony and Nintendo than Nintendo and Microsoft. People leave Nintendo out of the discussion so that it's more convenient a discussion for them to have.

Also by your own words here you seem to suggest Sony lacks an identity, a niche, that works for them which doesn't revolve around Microsoft. Whether you believe that's true or not is besides the point (I personally don't believe it which is a big reason why I don't get involved deeply into speculative acquisitions especially when they're reactionary).



It's not the age demographics you should pay attention to so much as the genre demographics. And isolating a platform holder's focused target to only the 1P content is flawed especially considering you're mainly doing this with Nintendo but not Sony. All platform holders leverage 3P content to their advantage in terms of the audiences they target based on genre demographics, and there is a lot more overlap between Sony and Nintendo once that's taken into consideration than you give credit.



Again you're simply isolating the push for 3P content exclusivity being a factor in this particular part of your argument, even though your larger speculation on acquisitions hinges on acquiring 3P content. If your logic here carried through the entire premise of the thread, wouldn't the discussion focus more on new internal 1P studio upstarts from within Sony itself rather than acquiring 3P developers and publishers?

Just goes to show how paramount 3P content, particularly exclusive content or content positioned as exclusive in that regard, is to the platform holders. They leverage that specific 3P content to bolster the image and allure of their platform within the market. And yes, Nintendo ALSO does this, so acting as though Nintendo isn't as affected by acquisitions as Microsoft on the grounds their 1P aims at some different demographics than Sony's, while simultaneously not considering how major a role exclusive 3P content factors into Nintendo's platform allure (and we can see this when looking back at prior Nintendo consoles/handhelds, too) makes no sense.

Similarly, acting as though the reason to



Uh, this isn't really true. In a way for Nintendo it might be to some extent, but their 30% cut from 3P sales do add up. For Sony and Microsoft, the VAST majority of their money comes from 3P sales. Even in their best year, Sony's 1P output only accounted for roughly 18% of PlayStation's total revenue for the prior FY (the one that ended March 2021).

The other 82%? 3P sales.



Sony did exactly what you're suggesting with the PS2 and PSP; the PS2 was up against Dreamcast, Xbox, and Gamecube while the PSP was up against GBA and later the Nintendo DS. They managed to make that work, and it would've continued to if the PS3 didn't screw up in the beginning as badly as it did, but you can't really blame that on the PSP.

A few other things here I don't quite agree with; Nintendo's big strength is that they make money on their hardware from Day 1. Sony have stated they're paying close attention to the Switch OLED's performance, and they also aggressively pushed to make the PS5 (at least the Disc version) profitable in a matter of months. Additionally, considering the role Japan still serves for Sony (and knowing Nintendo dominates in that market), there's more incentive still for them to make some type of new portable for regions like it (IMO I think they're planning for one, roughly on par with PS4's specs, probably a couple years from now).

Basically I guess what I'm saying is it isn't as difficult as you think to design something to compete with Nintendo and do so without ruining their brand image. This goes for both Microsoft and Sony but especially the latter considering they've done exactly this in the past.



Going "tit for tat" isn't necessarily just about the money, it's about the strategy as a whole and the reasonings/motivating factors behind such a strategy. Again the premise of the thread at least IMO is driven by a reaction to MS's acquisitions, so on some base level it's going tit-for-tat. And in terms of ideological consistency, some of your speculation here is contrary to other points you've mentioned in earlier parts of your reply.

Again, if (to you), the 1P content is strong enough and Sony's biggest source of revenue, why would they need to acquire any outside devs or pubs to begin with, given whatever they provide generates less than Sony's own current 1P output? If you want to throw away that thought (which would be a good idea, since it isn't backed up by actual financial data provided by Sony themselves), then you have to realize if the driving idea behind these speculative acquisitions isn't reactionary, people can just think it's because Sony lack a brand identity or niche, and therefore have to do so buy acquiring 3P devs and publishers. You didn't say this outright, but it can be inferred in your statements about Nintendo and what those statements imply to a company like Sony.

If you're wanting to dismiss that idea (which IMO would also be a good idea to do), then similarly it gives room for people to reject the implications that MS's acquisitions are out of a need to find a brand identity or niche, or at least ALL of their acquisitions are for that purpose. I'm not saying this is something you've ever said or implied, but it's just something I'm putting out there to other people who think such a way when it comes to these acquisition discussions.



Your numbers are too low because they aren't considering the reality of other companies looking to purchase those same entities, which would drive up the purchasing cost. If Capcom's $6.9 billion in market cap, they are likely going to sell for at least 1.5x that amount if not more, considering what other companies would look to acquire them for. That alone drives up the asking price, meaning more for Sony to pay if they won the bid.

That's why I said the risk is a notable one. Sony wouldn't be pushing for these acquisition bids in a bubble.



The devs yes, maybe. But you also threw Capcom in there, and I'm speaking cumulatively here.



None of this is exclusive to Sony, though, and of the major companies ones like Tencent are the outlier in terms of driving potential employees to leave. What you're saying CAN happen, but in the case of various game-related acquisitions over the years it's been fairly rare of a happening.

There are instances where some companies would prefer to be acquired by certain other companies but I can assure you it's not out of some idealistic notion of "improving" under the wings of a certain platform holder. Which, quite frankly, is a bit insulting to the talents of the company that would be acquired, as if they aren't good enough as-is without being acquired and in such a case...why would they be the target of an acquisition in the first place?

Unless by "improving" you mean money for funding, because that is almost always the #1 driving factor in these kind of deals. The company being acquired should generally already have the talent, they just may need the resources and money, and in case of the former, perhaps specific resources that can be gathered by leveraging networking of the parent company looking to buy.



This is me looking at it from a business perspective. Sony's strategy, regardless of any acquisitions, clearly involves opening up to and expanding further within the PC platform, to generate even more revenue and profit for the PlayStation division. If they're going to expand further in that space regardless, and want to mitigate any potential losses in console sales by doing so, they are going to want to create a launcher where they can 100% own the storefront and monetize that storefront even without a person making purchases on the store.

Which means offering PS+/PS Now style perks to subscriptions and an ad-supported version for those who don't subscribe. By doing that they are able to justify Day 1 releases, leverage the PS brand in the PC space to provide an alternative storefront from Steam, GOG, Epic etc., use the strength of their 1P content to drive engagement with their storefront/launcher on PC, leverage a linking of their PS side and PC side to allow devs to publish their games on both (as well as physically distribute their games in retail stores) while only paying a single licensing fee for both storefront types (instead of two separate ones like many do when publishing on PS and then porting to Steam, where they pay Sony a 30% cut for PS sales and Valve a 30% cut for Steam sales), and pair this with driving their PS console revisions into territory where slight profits (if not more) can be made on consoles sold, massively mitigating financial risks across the board and enabling a much wider audience for their 1P content sales.

And realistically, if anything, THAT would be the driving impetus for them making most further 3P developer acquisitions, let alone a major 3P publisher one. Without it their reasons of justification dramatically reduce.



This makes no sense; Sony making their own storefront/launcher that competes with Epic doesn't mean they suddenly lose access to UE5! Otherwise MS wouldn't have access to it at all considering all of their games go to Steam and not EGS. Sony's "effort" to strengthen their relationship with Epic was buying a 2.5% stake into the company, which is minuscule in almost any respect.

Additionally, them doing their own launcher/storefront has no bearing on their licensing of UE5 for software and film/television production/development. Those things are being done by two different departments within Epic Games, and there are plenty of business relationships out there where two companies are cooperating closely in one space/area while being competitive in another. I mean, we see that already between Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo!



And this is just more to show that the driving impetus in this discussion is a reactionary one but realistically, Sony don't need to be reactionary here. No one does. Sony don't need to acquire a dev or publisher to get new talent per se, though it is a pathway towards getting such talent.

So what if their stock dropped $20 billion? Why do you think Microsoft put out the COD statement so soon? Part of that was to stop Sony's stock from dropping any further, which should already somewhat indicate MS's intent here isn't what some other people might want to think it is. If Sony sticks to their strengths and deliver quality products that perform very well on the market, they'll make back that lost market cap value swiftly if it hasn't happened already.

You're also only looking at this from a Microsoft and Sony POV; there ARE other companies out here with major purchasing power, including other 3P publishers like Take-Two, EA, etc. Who's to say none of them end up buying some of these other 3P developers, or enter mergers with them? And that's not even to say anything about Tencent or Embracer Group.



The example was given because it just goes to show that what's happening now isn't very different fundamentally from what's happened in the past. The Sega example is to show what happens when you're too reactionary to the market around you instead of playing to your strengths; the people who are constantly saying "Oh now Sony GOTTA acquire (insert company here)!" , they don't realize it but with the degree and emphasis of it the give, they're asking for Sony to be very reactionary.

And that could hurt them. Perhaps significantly. If it comes down to who has the money to spend, Sony can't necessarily play in that space for very long.



The PC launcher example is just me noting a logical next step for a part of their strategy they are already moving towards, so I don't see what's so outlandish about it. For a company like Sony, if they want to do Day 1 in their own service, they'd want to find a way to make that on a per-game basis, most likely. If they want to do Day 1 on PC, they'd want to do that in a way where they control the storefront 100%.

For the latter, whether that's fully on their own or perhaps in a significant partnership with Epic Game Store, the concept itself would be one they'd pursue for Day 1 on PC.
Wow with this thesis I can get a doctorate degree in university.
 

Plantoid

Member
I don't think people that say kadokawa know what they're talking about, most of the revenue that fromsoftware makes is on PC, if Sony bought em, no more PC releases, and we know souls don't sell that well (sadly)

Imo Sony should double down on first party and start releasing on steam day 1, launch a gamepass equivalent with 2 tiers, actually they could merge all ps services into this one

Psvr2 is also very interesting because that's something Xbox isn't doing
 
Maybe its true, though im old enough to have seen plenty of people dreaming a ps2 like era with a playstation monopoly in place.
Difference was Sony wasn't buying exclusives for the PS2 it was just the most successful platform so publishers favored it. Dev teams weren't as big as they are now and console hardware was more specialized, it wasn't easy to do 3 versions of a game at once so the smart money was PlayStation first than xbox and gamecube after IF they wanted to invest in the other two platforms and couldn't do all 3 at once. Remember when THQ did a different wrestling game for each platform?
 
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poodaddy

Member
well, if I was 15 I'd still be more mature than you.
My Neighbor Totoro Tongue GIF


You're being a brat, just calm down. Look, it's ok, you were wrong, don't get all pissy about it. In 2000, I can tell you as I was in 8th grade at the time, and I lived in rural ass nowhere Tennessee, the internet was extremely wide spread, alive, and well. Basically everyone had it man. Stop thinking it's some new technology, we've had it almost four decades now, and more than two of those decades saw extremely widespread adoption.
 

JLB

Member
The internet barely existed back then - who were you talking to? your high school friends?
I mean people to this date. I recall having a conversation about it here last year with someone mentioning how good owould be to return to a PS only ecosystem.
 

JLB

Member
Difference was Sony wasn't buying exclusives for the PS2 it was just the most successful platform so publishers favored it. Dev teams weren't as big as they are now and console hardware was more specialized, it wasn't easy to do 3 versions of a game at once so the smart money was PlayStation first than xbox and gamecube after IF they wanted to invest in the other two platforms and couldn't do all 3 at once. Remember when THQ did a different wrestling game for each platform?
This is not true. Sony bought soccer game exclusive to definitely kill Dreamcast.
But in any case, why anyone would like to return to a monopoly situation? Its always awful for the end user. I mean, PS2 was still charging crazy amounts of money for ridiculous memory cards.
 

Tschumi

Member
Maybe its true, though im old enough to have seen plenty of people dreaming a ps2 like era with a playstation monopoly in place.
I find it hard to understand your post...

Maybe you're trying to say something reasonable, but to me you're saying "at some unknown time some unspecified people had vague dreams about Sony's console being as successful as ps2"

That's a really useless statement.

Anyway, monopoly means one company running everything, PS2 was not a monopoly. Maybe in whatever country you came from, i was in Germany at the time and i had a GameCube.

Your original comment seemed to threaten that Microsoft could buy out Sony on a whim.. if that happened i don't think there would be any doubt about which company was morally bankrupt
 
The difference with mobile was that MS entered the market when Android and IOS was already established and had the ecosystem. Xbox is already an established ecosystem.
They arent making these moves out of success.

This is them conceding of being unable to built a decent competitor for Playstation and Nintendo. If you look at Xbox without bethesha and activision. It’s sad results, that they have to hide their sales.

Revenue is pretty much guaranteed with the Activision purchase. But they still have the ability to fuck it up.

This is no different if Google bought Activision, Take 2, and EA Games and say maybe in three years they will all be exclusive to Stadia. That Hail Mary could work, or can destory the profits of all those companies they just bought.
Like when Microsoft forced their Nokia and “Sidekick” (Danger) purchase to use Windows Phone Mobile and completely destroyed two companies.
 

Sosokrates

Gold Member
This is the focus of this thread though. It's literally in the title. You as an executive of Sony, countering Microsoft's latest strategy. Which is acquiring as many developers, publishers and IPs as possible to brute force content output. Making Gamepass seem more compelling than ever with sheer volume and exclusives.

I wouldn't have expected Microsoft to acquire Activision Blizzard either. Solely because anyone smaller than Microsoft acquiring them would just be insane and not a good business decision. But Microsoft does have fuck you money. So even though I didn't see that coming, I was like ye makes sense.


Bandai Namco and Sega do get referred to a lot by others. But you were speaking about th OP. And in there I never mentioned anything about these 2 parties.

Yes if Sony gets Capcom and makes some current Nintendo games exclusive it will hurt the gamers. But that's the name of the game. Every company needs exclusives. Fans would have to take either or then. But most Nintendo games will still stay on Nintendo anyways. Only the IPs that Capcom owns would be exclusive to Sony (going by the assumption that we discussed earlier).

It's logical Nintendo often gets left out of most discussions. That's because Nintendo has no direct competitor. Their target audience is way different compared to Sony and Microsoft. Nintendo has done it themselves. They carved out a niche of which works perfectly well for them.

The overlap between Sony and Nintendo are marginal. Nintendo targets a way younger age group even though some of their games still speak to adults. Sony titles speak to some Japanese gamers mostly because of their 3rd party titles. Look at the best selling 1st party titles of Sony and then look at the best selling 1st party titles of Nintendo. They can't be further from each other. Now look at the best selling 1st party titles of Sony and that of Microsoft's. Much more similar right?

Remember, the 1st party exclusives are where the big 3 make the most money with. The way you use a Switch compared to the PlayStation and Xbox is also vastly different.

In the world of entertainment, content is king. If Sony or Microsoft were to wanna compete with Nintendo directly they would first need a console that plays similarly to that of Nintendo's. So you would need to make an extra console. Not only that but then you'd need to make titles that are comparable to that of Nintendo's. Both Sony and Microsoft made the right decision to not compete with Nintendo as they'd spread themselves way too thin then. They are having a tough enough time competing with each other. Now imagine doing that times 2. It would be nuts. It would be chaos and they would both lose their brand identity, even if they were to have enough studios to make Nintendo-like games.


You get me wrong, and you'd know if you read exactly what I said. The ones I want Sony to acquire if I were to be a Sony executive are the ones that are way smaller, with way less bloat and are the ones that are upstarts. I'd want them to acquire key individuals together with the people they work the best with. Aside from Capcom I don't want Sony to acquire any publisher. How's that going tit for tat? The acquisitions I calculated cost 7.7B, nowhere close to the 77B that Microsoft put on the table.

I gave the companies pretty generous valuations, in reality the total valuation of the actual acquisitions themselves are therefore pretty damn close to the 7.7B I mentioned. It will probably go towards 9B max. Which Sony can definitely afford. The risk wouldn't be too big. If they lose all of that it would set them back a little bit more than half a year, and that's only if they lose it all. Which let's be real, the hype alone would not make that happen. And even if it did, the positive buzz would also add valuation to Sony. It would add to Sony's public perception and image. Even if that can't always be put into numbers, that stuff is invaluable.

The selling price of the devs I mentioned will again probably be max 9B. Remember that I gave them super generous valuations. And even though they aren't mired in any way shape or form, they are upstarts with limited cumulative sales. Whereas Activision-Blizzard has proven over a decade long without fail that they are one of the best in the game sales wise.

As said previously, companies aren't static assets. People work there. People have preferences, dreams and aspirations. If people dont agree with the huge companies you mentioned who are able to make bigger bids, they will eventually leave. What will you have bought by then by overbidding? A shell of a company that basically is nothing more than just a name and showing how big your dick is. Game Science, the studio behind Black Myth: Wukong left Tencent to work on their own stuff. You can say all you want about Sony, but very few publishers give their devs almost free reign to what they develop. That and Sony being seen as this prolific publisher, offering the highest quality that people have ever experienced would want to make devs and companies join them. Many devs want to improve. Within Sony they can. It's no secret many studios share their tech and ideas with each other within Sony.

Isn't Sony acquiring the devs I mentioned and making them make great quality games not them doubling down what they are already doing? In contrary you just mentioned the idea of Sony putting their 1st party games on PC day 1 with a PC launcher. How is that even doubling down on what they are doing? They've never done that before. Plus this would not only make them compete with Microsoft, this will also make them compete with Epic Games. I imagine Sony would want to keep Epic Games as their ally and not their enemy. Making them your enemy might make you lose out on their Unreal Engine 5, which everyone is so impressed by. That would definitely hurt Sony in some areas. Sony just made an effort to strengthen their relationship with Epic Games, it makes no sense to create that relationship and then instantly destroying that. You would've been basically investing into that without reaping any rewards from that. That's just not a good business move.

Oh yeah, staying complacent and not doing anything when your competitor just acquired one of the biggest publishers ever and hoping for the best gives you control. Like how's that even logical lol. If Microsoft can buy Activision-Blizzard, they can buy any other publisher. Sony's stock dropped 20B in a day time. Not acquiring anything would put them on the spot where they will have less and less choice of the ones they wanna buy, it would only mean it's harder for them to hire any new talent. Not to mention they risk of getting their stock value drop more and more while the competition is getting stronger and stronger. Sony now just lost 20B with nothing gained. Better to spend that 20B and get something in return wouldn't you say?

I don't know why you gave that example, that was a different time with different circumstances. It's really not comparable by any means.

Your last paragraph just described what I said earlier. The acquisitions I mentioned are all devs who have a good relationship with Sony and aside from Capcom, they are all quite new. Some of them havent even put out a game yet. Also what I mentioned just means they are doing exactly what they are doing now, they would just be more aggressive about it and speed up the process they were going towards anyways. I never said they should change their approach, unlike you did. For example putting their 1st party titles on PC with a PC launcher. They've never ever done what you suggested. If they followed your approach THEN they'd be changing their ways of how they tackle things now.

I think Microsoft could compete with Nintendo.
They could make a hybrid system in nov 2024 with the same power as a series S, it would play all games the series S can play.
 

JLB

Member
I find it hard to understand your post...

Maybe you're trying to say something reasonable, but to me you're saying "at some unknown time some unspecified people had vague dreams about Sony's console being as successful as ps2"

That's a really useless statement.

Anyway, monopoly means one company running everything, PS2 was not a monopoly. Maybe in whatever country you came from, i was in Germany at the time and i had a GameCube.

Your original comment seemed to threaten that Microsoft could buy out Sony on a whim.. if that happened i don't think there would be any doubt about which company was morally bankrupt

Not unespecified time, I said all these years to date.
And lets not pretend ps2 was not a monopoly with a "but I have a Gamecube". Yeah, I had a PC with Mandrake Linux in the 90s and Windows was a monopoly nonetheless.
 
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I think Microsoft could compete with Nintendo.
They could make a hybrid system in nov 2024 with the same power as a series S, it would play all games the series S can play.
Microsoft might be able to compete if they choose to do so, but that definitely wouldn't be a wise business move.

They would need to put in many more billions to restructure their studios or buy new ones as well as bolster their RnD departments AND divide their marketing strategy and brand identity. To me, Xbox's brand identity is already the weakest out of the big 3. Keeping up or improving their brand identity as well as creating a new one for their Nintendo competitor is just asking for trouble.

Also, we all know how loyal Nintendo fans are. Microsoft could spend all this money and not reap any rewards in return, while also increasing their chances of failing with their current strategy.
 

RoboFu

One of the green rats
I don’t know what’s sadder.. fanboys who think Sony needs to buy someone to “ counter “ ms because their team pride is hurt …. Or the fact that current day Sony could never buy someone for billions.
They are on the up swing now though thanks to deals like Spider-Man saving their movie business and their TVs are gaining traction again .. so maybe one day. 🤷‍♂️
 

Tschumi

Member
Not unespecified time, I said all these years to date.
And lets not pretend ps2 was not a monopoly with a "but I have a Gamecube". Yeah, I had a PC with Mandrake Linux in the 90s and Windows was a monopoly nonetheless.
No mate.. I'm sorry but "monopoly" is not the right word... I'm not saying they weren't the most successful, I'm just saying it wasn't a monopoly.
 

yurinka

Member
I don't think people that say kadokawa know what they're talking about, most of the revenue that fromsoftware makes is on PC, if Sony bought em, no more PC releases, and we know souls don't sell that well (sadly)
Both From Software, Kadokawa and otther publishers and gamedev studios that Kadokawa owns made dozens of PS exclusives since the PS1 generation. They know what they are doing and who are they partnering with when teaming up with Sony.

Sony now also makes successful late PC ports, and allowed people like Kojima to port these games to PC faster. So if desired Sony would allow them to publish on PC faster. In fact, Sony may help push Kadokawa games even if aren't exclusive. Maybe for Sony is enough with a timed console exclusive for their current partnership. And in case Sony would acquire them, maybe they would be ok with releasing the PC port half a year after the PS5 version.

Kadokawa partnered with Sony in games because they wanted Sony to help them to make their games more appealing to the global market, and to help them also reach that global market. Because as happened with many other Japanese companies, they were too focused on Japan specific games but they saw the Japanese console market heavily shrinking, while heavily growing in the west. So they are moving from games targeting Japanese audience to games targeting a global audience.

Kadokawa even gave Sony 2% of their company in exchange for this help + also helping them doing the same with anime.

I think Microsoft could compete with Nintendo.
They could make a hybrid system in nov 2024 with the same power as a series S, it would play all games the series S can play.
They also want to compete with VR, at least with Facebook's VR Second Life/PlayStation Home (and any other ones making their 'metaverse'). So I think that if Valve ever wants or needs to sell (something that as of now doesn't seem likely, but who knows once Gaben decides to retire) MS would spend a shit ton of billions on them mostly for Steam (MS would kill to own it), but also to get their VR headset and their PC handheld. And well some cool IPs more too.
 
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JLB

Member
No mate.. I'm sorry but "monopoly" is not the right word... I'm not saying they weren't the most successful, I'm just saying it wasn't a monopoly.

Yeah, no. a 95% marketshare its a monopoly, independent if the company did well or not. Thats irrelevant. Google is doing great with search and its a monopoly as well.
 

Tschumi

Member
Yeah, no. a 95% marketshare its a monopoly, independent if the company did well or not. Thats irrelevant. Google is doing great with search and its a monopoly as well.
Ps2 150m, xbox25m or so , Gcn 21.5m... what body hole did you pull "95%" out of?
 

Sosokrates

Gold Member
Microsoft might be able to compete if they choose to do so, but that definitely wouldn't be a wise business move.

They would need to put in many more billions to restructure their studios or buy new ones as well as bolster their RnD departments AND divide their marketing strategy and brand identity. To me, Xbox's brand identity is already the weakest out of the big 3. Keeping up or improving their brand identity as well as creating a new one for their Nintendo competitor is just asking for trouble.

Also, we all know how loyal Nintendo fans are. Microsoft could spend all this money and not reap any rewards in return, while also increasing their chances of failing with their current strategy.

Uh? Theu would not to do anything to there studios, it would simply be another system in the Series family.
 

RydarGaf

Member
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 som
 
Uh? Theu would not to do anything to there studios, it would simply be another system in the Series family.
Ask anyone if Xbox games appeal to most Ninetndo fans as well as their current branding is anything similar to that of Nintendo's and you got your answer.
 

RydarGaf

Member
Best move Sony could make, is revive the old style Killzone games to rival Halo & Call of Duty.

2ndly, make legal moves to block Microsoft from acquiring any additional large publishers.

Invest into lobbying congress and European Union to block Microsft from monopolizing the gaming industry.

Insure that EA and Epic Games stay out of the hands of Microsoft.

Note: Microsoft may not have any desire to buy EA anyway due to already having EA Play embedded within gamepass ultimate.
 

Sosokrates

Gold Member
Ask anyone if Xbox games appeal to most Ninetndo fans as well as their current branding is anything similar to that of Nintendo's and you got your answer.
Then it would sell to those people. But portable current gen + xbox vast catalog would be pretty appealing on a hybrid system.
 
Then it would sell to those people. But portable current gen + xbox vast catalog would be pretty appealing on a hybrid system.
I disagree, you basically won't gain any new customers this way as you are just keeping the things as is. This is an even worse business choice imo. Making a handheld now would also be the worst timing with the current covid situation.
 

yurinka

Member
Talking long game, Sony probably is gonna have to compete with GamePass in a real way, and that's not a small task. But I think we're talking about years before that's really going to decide a console war.
If Spartacus is real, it will start with ove 50M subs, around 2X the GP ones. Plus remember, having no top games day one there means it's profitable, or at least more than GP.

Then if we mix stuff mentioned to investors with their original PS Now long term plans announced in their original 2014 announcement, plus recent patents and the supposed Bloomberg (these guys frequently lie and spread fud to damage Sony, so maybe the Spartacus thing is a lie) they would implement several important things that would help them grow pretty fast:

-Plus and Now merged into a multi tiered service
-A download only PS Now cheaper tier without cloud gaming that unlike the othr PS Now one this one would be available worldwide and wouldn't require big ass bandwith and to be near the server for decent gameplay, so would sky rocket the subs
-Hundreds of more PS2, PS3 and PS4 games added highly improving the catalog, plus PS5 games in the future
-PS1 and PSP games added (probably cloud gaming only using the emulators available on the PS3s that PS Now has and using the digital PS1/PSP games that already were there)
-Heavy push on 1st & 2nd party games added, not day 1 but including most old games and not waiting that much to include future ones
-Bigger push to get 3rd party games there, both old classics and relatively newer games plus from time to time some day 1 game for smaller scale games (think past cases of Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown or Rocket League)
-Cloud gaming also released for smartphones and tablets (both Google Play, iOS) and smart tvs
-Cloud gaming expanded to some countries more and incresing the number of servers
-Game streaming over 5G, with specific optimizations
-Improvements and optimizations in streaming tech reducing input lag and increasing image quality
-Improvements on the pricing/business model and promotions side
-Big marketing push

With all these things, plus considering they are also growing all their dev teams and acquiring new ones, and that PS5 is on track to break all userbase records once the chips issues allow them to release all the consoles they want (remember, a good % of them will get this service), I'm pretty sure they will continue dominating MS on game subscriptions without needing to include their games day one here.

I disagree, you basically won't gain any new customers this way as you are just keeping the things as is.
Even if currently hit by the chips issue, PS4 and PS5 did broke many gaming history records regarding selling consoles and amount of games for them both in total and as average amount of games sold per console. In the recent years they also had a good growth on Plus and Now. Their game division revenue is also growing these recent years.

They are also growing all their internal gamedev studios and acquiring more studios plus combined with some things they said or numbers they shared, seem they are also investing more than ever in 2nd party and 3rd party games.

If we assume Zenimax games sold around 50M on PS4 that would be less than 3% of the over 1700M total games sold on PS4. If CoD generates let's say around $300M/year for Sony (a third of ~$3B/year that everything CoD generates in all platforms would be on PS and Sony gets a 30% of it), that's not even a 2% of the $25B yearly revenue of Sony gaming division. So even if MS doesn't do what they did until now and said that they will do and stop releasing all Zenimax stuff and CoD, and even remove all their old games already published until now from the stores the impact on PS gaming division revenue would mean a tiny % of their revenue, which pretty likely would be compensated by the growth Sony is experiencing in all areas.

So everything points that if Sony continues with their current strategy they will continue growing, no big changes or acquisitions are required to continue getting new customers and continue growing.
 
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daveonezero

Member
buying a studio has never meant success.

Market consolidation usually leads to a crash. It may not even be in this lifetime but PC games and indie will probably be the weak point in Microsoft’s gameplay.

They woke take any risks and as tools and game creation is democratized innovation, fun. And enjoyment will continue to come from small developers while MS is still making worse versions of COD.
 
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Zeroing

Banned
Well if the rumours are true Sony is betting on multiplayer shooters… adding that their IPs and reviving old ones… maybe they don’t need to counter anything. They bet on new IPs and it payed off, they carved an identity of their own…like in the case of Nintendo…

What people need to understand is as long as Sony manages to differentiate from MS - ( from their games) they all can co-exist… unless MS keeps buying everything.

Also everyone is assuming MS can manage all their new studios and their projects. Let’s be realistic, in the past they didn’t. Even Sony failed at it so it’s not an easy task.
 
These threads are always in the mindset of a gamer.

Sony, the company, has no interest in aquiring game company. They are too busy wanting to make Electric cars, which if you have been under a digital rug, has been a big deal and surprise from Sony.


Jim Ryan aka Jimbo, CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment would have to ask Kenichiro Yoshida, current CEO of Sony, sitting alongside Tom Rothman, CEO of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, Rob Stringer, CEO of Sony Music why he needs 70 billion or less to buy any
 
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Umbasaborne

Member
I mean, i get as hard as anyone at the idea of people who arent on my preffered platform losing access to third party games, but lets see how this all shakes out before we play arm chair analyst
 

Sosokrates

Gold Member
I disagree, you basically won't gain any new customers this way as you are just keeping the things as is. This is an even worse business choice imo. Making a handheld now would also be the worst timing with the current covid situation.

The thing is, it would have distinct advantages over the switch or even potential switch 2, so I dont see why it would not appeal to the same people who would buy a switch.
 
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