Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier has published a fascinating new report on the inner workings of Sony’s internal studio strategy and it really is something:
I highly recommend reading the article (use private browsing to get around the article limit if you need to), because it paints a damning picture of where Sony is going this gen for their exclusives. The overall picture is that Sony, emboldened by the high budget AAA games that were so successful on PS4, is focusing exclusively on these sorts of games while pushing out smaller teams who are more willing to experiment. The recent closure of Japan Studio is part of this new strategy it seems.
It does get me thinking about how internet discourse has shaped this strategy. I’m sure you’ve all seen the consensus in many corners of the gaming internet that Sony makes the Masterpieces while Xbox has No Games. This always bristled against how I viewed the last generation, where Microsoft was making big bets on unproven games (Titanfall, Scalebound, Ori, Bleeding Edge, etc) with mixed yet interesting results, while Sony moved towards high gloss marquee titles that had eye candy and polished systems, but little in them felt novel. Contrast that against Sony’s PS3 output, where weird games like The Unfinished Swan, Tokyo Jungle, and Puppeteer came out regularly, and it’s clear that this new strategy is a far cry from the Sony of less profitable days.
Of course, in the broader context the loss of Weird Sony is mitigated by an increasingly more diverse and successful indie to double-A space. Sure, Sony isn’t investing in Until Dawn anymore, but at least we’re getting The Dark Pictures games. And maybe Japan Studio going down frees up the devs to go independent and make that Tokyo Jungle follow-up we all want. (To be clear, I don’t want to make light of people losing their jobs, and here’s hoping they land on their feet regardless of what gaming possibilities exist.)
But what do y’all think? Does this move the needle at all for wanting or not wanting a PS5? Or are you looking at other platforms altogether given how the ground seems to be shifting this gen? And feel free to commiserate on the loss of some of Sony’s less well-known output!