The release of the critically acclaimed and widely successful Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, marks an end in a way of the beginning of the PS5’s life cycle. Sony Interactive Entertainment decided to take the plunge into the very polarizing genre of live-service titles, with around twelve games currently in development. The plan was to have at least ten live-service games out by 2026 with each game targeting different genres. However, things seemed to have shifted starting earlier this year following a rigorous portfolio review done by Bungie which has led to some projects being scaled back like Factions, Naughty Dog’s multiplayer-focused project associated with The Last of Us. During an earnings call on Thursday, Sony President, COO, and CFO Hiroki Totoki confirmed that the review has caused six of the twelve live-service games in development have be delayed due to quality concerns.
Sony has confirmed it’s delayed half of its 12 live service games planned for release in the coming years.
— VGC (@VGC_News) November 9, 2023
“We are reviewing this… we are trying as much as possible to ensure [these games] are enjoyed and liked by gamers for a long time,” Totoki said. “[Of] the 12 titles, six titles will be released by FY25 – that’s our current plan. [As for] the remaining six titles, we are still working on that.
“That’s the total number of live service and multiplayers titles [and] mid-to-long-term we want to [push] this kind of service and that’s the unchanged policy of the company. It’s not like we stick to certain titles, but game quality should be the most important [thing].”
Earlier this year, SIE Head Herman Hulst talked about having Bungie involved with its live-service plans. “The learnings from Bungie have been very substantial in many areas,” Hulst said. “Of course, when you’re developing live service titles, you [require] capabilities that you don’t have when you’re working on single-player, narrative-driven games.
“And these capabilities that we’ve set up inside PlayStation Studios have been helped and guided by Bungie. We also more deeply understand what success means in live services. Historically, our games always worked towards an end, and this is a large cultural shift… the launch of a game is just the beginning, and it comes with a whole set of different [key performance indicators].
We also work with Bungie on a pretty rigorous portfolio review process that we apply to all 12 live service titles that we have in production, and these are just brief examples of some of the learnings that we have gained from working with Bungie.”
Current PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan also talked about Bungie’s first year at PlayStation, saying that the two have a mutually beneficial relationship. “We have been working with Bungie for almost a year, and the learnings in both directions have been very significant,” he said. “They surpassed my expectations and equally, I think Bungie is extremely excited by what they can take from SIE in terms of market reach, marketing, collaboration and the ability to amplify their IP.”
“SIE is extremely strong and extremely experienced in Europe and Asia, and we are just starting the process of reigniting Bungie’s presence and game-awareness in those regions.
“I’d also say… we have a marketing machine that, in my view, is world-class and setting them to work on activating Bungie’s games, IP and brand I think is going to take their awareness and size of their business to a size that they’ve never seen before.”
In addition to The Last of Us online game as part of its multiplayer initiative, there is also a Horizon multiplayer game and a fantasy online co-op game from PlayStation’s London studio in development. Haven Studio revealed Fairgame$ earlier this year and Firewalk Studios announced Concord. Bungie also announced the return of Marathon.