After the shocking announcement late last year that the company would be skipping E3 for the first time in the show’s history, Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) Worldwide Studios chairman Shawn Layden explained why the company made the decision, and gave his thoughts on E3’s relevance. In a recent interview with CNET, Layden discussed how, in its early years, E3 helped Sony reach out to retailers and journalists specifically. With the internet not being as big as it is now in 1995, Layden states that “a trade show at that time of year for this nascent industry was exactly what we needed to do.” Since then, the company and games industry have grown tremendously.
Now, Sony holds the Destination PlayStation event in February which allows the company to “bring all retailers and third-party partners to come hear the story for the year.” According to Layden, June is too late in the year to discuss plans for the holiday season with these partners.
Since Sony holds Destination PlayStation for retailers and there is now a 24/7 news cycle for games thanks to the Internet, Layden believes that E3 has lost the impact it once had. Layden believes that E3 should evolve into something similar to Comic-Con where fans can celebrate gaming instead of only being there for major announcements from the companies in attendance.
Layden also spoke to the fact that the company is focusing on creating fewer games, but are “spending more time, more energy, certainly more money, on making them.” Due to this, according to Layden it “got to a point where June of 2019 was not a time for us to have a new thing to say.” Layden says because the company is investing more in these games the games are receiving more critical and commercial success as well. He then went on to say why the company hasn’t chased the highly popular battle royale genre stating, “I think the world’s got all the battle royale it needs right now.”
Even with foregoing E3 this year, the future of PlayStation looks bright. The PlayStation 4 recently crossed the 91 million sold mark. The next generation of PlayStation is already in development, and Sony’s first party studios seem to be shifting their focus to the new console. A recently discovered patent also shows that Sony may be looking into backwards compatibility functionality for the new console.