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Eurogamer: Sony's live service pivot "may not pay off the way Jim Ryan had once hoped", says industry insider

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Or is it just one of Phil's balls in my throat?

"Insiders are worried about the company's lack of coherent vision".

Sony is reportedly "uncomfortable" about outgoing PlayStation boss Jim Ryan's pivot to games as a service.

That's according to Bloomberg's Jason Schreier, who reported yesterday that "even Bungie's expertise has not yet been able to turn PlayStation Studios into a service-game factory".

Now, however, in an editorial reflecting on Ryan's departure from Sony, Schreier commented that the move to live service games goes against many Sony's first-party studios given their expertise in making "big, cinematic adventure games that are played solo".

Schreier then pointed to Anthem as an infamous example of what happens when studios make a "drastic pivot from a familiar genre to something brand new" and suggested that "this bet on multiplayer games may not pay off the way Ryan and his team had once hoped".

The article ends by hinting that "insiders are worried about the company's lack of coherent vision".


What do you guys think?
 

HeisenbergFX4

Gold Member
200.gif
 
First I think Jason is a moron.

I have zero interest in GaaS, but Sony and Jim Ryan, I think have a full understanding that a) the cinematic 3rd person formula for AAA games isn't necessarily sustainable for their studios as costs continue to rise and b) that it really only takes one or two GaaS hits to justify the pursuit of these games. They don't all need to be hits.

I think Sony may have overpursued GaaS games in planning for 12 of these, but so many of these are games built outside of their primary studio that I think a lot of hay was made out of this as being disruptive.

Sony runs on terribly small margins, and they don't have a GaaS product to rely on that keeps revenues high regardless of individual release performance.

There is a reason why companies like Activision and EA are worth so much compared to SIE and it's because they've built a low-margin moat. I think console warriors want to see that moat protected, but as a CEO and recognizing shifting winds, you have to try to move with where the industry is going to some degree.
 

Loomy

Thinks Microaggressions are Real
The article ends by hinting that "insiders are worried about the company's lack of coherent vision".
Continue making the single player games they're good at, with live service games developed to generate continuous income to help pay for the development of those single player games they're good at.

Will the plan work? Who knows. But it's not incoherent.

"even Bungie's expertise has not yet been able to turn PlayStation Studios into a service-game factory".
Also, they've owned Bungie for a year. What exactly does Schreier think can happen in a year?
 
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tmlDan

Member
they need variety and change takes time - when games like COD will be gone in 10 years you need to try to diversify your content.

We don't know what will happen but MS could get another GAAS company, what if they took mihoyo, or they took EA.

You can't just sit around and do the same thing when you have shareholders
 
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Loxus

Member
This article is bs.
Sony already maintained that they're still making AAA single games at the same pace.

Live service games adds untapped revenue, to help funds the single player games we all love. Anyone can look and see the revenue these games bring in and how much value these types of games can have.

Everyone acting like Sony isn't going to make anymore single player games. They're adding live service games into the mix.
 

Sleepwalker

Member
Playstation needs variety in the type of games they make, Ryan and the rest of the execs saw that, yes the jaded old fans might hate live service and multiplayer games but they are a huge gap in Sony's portfolio, correct me if I'm wrong but they never really stated they would stop producing the single player games they're known for, so I'm not seeing what's the big deal.

Just because they are putting developing money towards idk, helldivers 2, doesn't mean they won't sanction a new God of War game, or TLOU. In fact, the new revenue these live services will bring if successful, might help funding new single player games/ips.
 

ulantan

Member
Playstation needs variety in the type of games they make, Ryan and the rest of the execs saw that, yes the jaded old fans might hate live service and multiplayer games but they are a huge gap in Sony's portfolio, correct me if I'm wrong but they never really stated they would stop producing the single player games they're known for, so I'm not seeing what's the big deal.

Just because they are putting developing money towards idk, helldivers 2, doesn't mean they won't sanction a new God of War game, or TLOU. In fact, the new revenue these live services will bring if successful, might help funding new single player games/ips.
People are convinced that sony is not making another single player game after spiderman and they are gonna drop 10 fornite clones.
 

bender

What time is it?
I wonder if there's going to be some droubt of games if all these titles are possibly getting delayed or scrapped. Looks like Jimbo could have completely screwed the pooch?

While I don't think chasing GaaS is the best of ideas, I do think casting as wide of a net is possible is the right approach, or rather gives you the best chance of something catching on. But predicting what will catch on is why I don't think it is a good idea in the first place.
 

ChiefDada

Gold Member
First I think Jason is a moron.

I have zero interest in GaaS, but Sony and Jim Ryan, I think have a full understanding that a) the cinematic 3rd person formula for AAA games isn't necessarily sustainable for their studios as costs continue to rise and b) that it really only takes one or two GaaS hits to justify the pursuit of these games. They don't all need to be hits.

I think Sony may have overpursued GaaS games in planning for 12 of these, but so many of these are games built outside of their primary studio that I think a lot of hay was made out of this as being disruptive.

Sony runs on terribly small margins, and they don't have a GaaS product to rely on that keeps revenues high regardless of individual release performance.

There is a reason why companies like Activision and EA are worth so much compared to SIE and it's because they've built a low-margin moat. I think console warriors want to see that moat protected, but as a CEO and recognizing shifting winds, you have to try to move with where the industry is going to some degree.

Buster Keaton The Blacksmith GIF by Maudit
 
Look at the companies and their brands:

EA: Apex Legends and Fortnite
Activision: Overwatch and to a degree CoD
Epic: Fornite and Rocket League
Valve: Dota
Tencent: League of Legends and Warframe
Microsoft: Minecraft and Sea of Thieves
T2: GTA Online and Red Dead Online


Sony bought Bungie and got Destiny, but Destiny isn't going to last forever. They desperately need a GaaS franchise to propel their margins.

I think the biggest problem is whichever studio, especially the primary studio that gets a hit game that fits that live service model, will almost immediately shift their entire studio around supporting that game. You see Epic and Bungie are no longer making single-player story-based games. I wouldn't want that for any of Sony's top studios, though I don't really care about Guerrilla Games.

I think Sony has missed some pretty organic wins here by failing to put Dreams and GT7 on PC. Even MLB The Show should be on PC. I think they could have had Insomniac take a stab at a type of GaaS sunset overdrive world. They could have brought back The Getaway and made an online version to go along with it.

I think Sony saw the tea leaves and saw that Bungie was the cheapest way to get into the GaaS market. So people cite them as overpaying, but they needed GaaS and they needed FPS and that was the last game in town. I would have someone like Bluepoint work with Bungie to create an offline experience that would help leverage some of the costs around that. Their rumored direction with Marathon is a huge miss.

These individual GaaS games make more revenue than all of Sony's annual revenue on first-party gaming combined... These companies are outpacing Sony in revenue and operating income. So anyone who says that Jim Ryan and Sony should have ignored this model is just plain delusional.
 

bender

What time is it?
I love bitter tears like this.

Millions of gamers love them, which has now extended across PC in recent years. When factoring the latter is that still "because Playstation is popular" or is it more because you have no idea how to (or can't) appreciate them?

While I somewhat agree with their sentiment, one could argue this ball was sent into motion in the PS2 era. I also don't begrudge Sony for this direction as it has been widely successful. It's also why I don't begrudge them for chasing GaaS. It seems the more I hate something, the inverse of success is true for it.
 
PlayStation's best bet to create a GAAS platform and garner significant attention would be to bring back SOCOM.

And they may be attempting to bring back SOCOM. Guerrilla brought on the director of R6S but it appears they are working on Horizon Online, which is ultimately a disappointment.

But hey, Horizon Online might be bigger than Horizon offline, it strikes some level of success that we've seen with say Monster Hunter World... I personally can't explain the success of a single GaaS game, because there is pretty close to zero chance I'd ever play one, but Sony might be able to take the Horizon world much further than the single-player games it was based. It wouldn't be the first time a game franchise became more successful by moving to a different phase.

I think Sony would be smart to bring back SOCOM, but you have to ask yourself a lot of questions. Should it remain 3rd person? Should it be 1st person? Who would be best within Sony to create it? I think we'll see SOCOM for sure though.

I'm sure Sony is kicking themselves for not holding on to Everquest.
 

ulantan

Member
Besides SM2 because its obvious what is the next big Sony single player game and when are we getting it?
Besides wolverine we don't know but the assumption that single player games that were being worked on before gaas was even uttered by Jim has stopped or been canceled is wild. hell the only Gass we even have information on isn't even made by first party (helldivers).
 

Kokoloko85

Member
Bloombergs monthly shit on Playstation article. Like Clockwork.

People who complain about Sony’s Gaas vision…
What Gaas games are you talking about? Some people act like all they release is Gaas games
 

Haint

Member
In the end, at least one of the titles will be a smash hit and several others will be moderate successes. They will earn back multiple times what they spent developing these 12 gaas titles. While gaf and the old heads hate them, the larger market absolutely embraces them.
 
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L*][*N*K

Banned
What do you guys think?
What do I think? I think these “insiders” and “experts” are the same bunch of morons who thought console gaming was dead in 2011 because Angry Birds was all the rage, I think trying to predict the way the industry will behave in 5 years is just retarded, Gaming is the most unpredictable industry, just a few years ago Battle Royale was everywhere and it all started from a Mod, no one knows how gamers respond to unreleased games and these morons least of all.
 

Unknown?

Member
Bloombergs monthly shit on Playstation article. Like Clockwork.

People who complain about Sony’s Gaas vision…
What Gaas games are you talking about? Some people act like all they release is Gaas games
Their best game is GaaS! GT7 is awesome.
 

Panajev2001a

GAF's Pleasant Genius

HeisenbergFX4

Gold Member
Besides wolverine we don't know but the assumption that single player games that were being worked on before gaas was even uttered by Jim has stopped or been canceled is wild. hell the only Gass we even have information on isn't even made by first party (helldivers).
Who assumes those single player games were canceled?

We just don't know when, I guess I just want better communication from Sony
 
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