While the big players in the industry have only the word “NFT” in their mouths, PlayStation opts instead for “PSVR” and “first-party”. Just yesterday, Sony’s video game branch boss Jim Ryan took to the stage at CES, a famous show dedicated to the future of technology in Las Vegas. “We had a great end of year period” affirms the man, evoking the PS5, which celebrated its one year of marketing there is little. Jim Ryan is careful not to give figures, which must – despite the still latent shortage – be excellent. The Christmas holidays traditionally correspond to a phase of excitement for the sale of video games. Jim Ryan nevertheless made a point of recalling a figure: 17 first-party studios are currently at work at PlayStation.
This does not mean that there are currently 17 exclusives in the works from Sony. As indicated in a recent article, studios like Nixxes or Valkyrie are above all support teams, sometimes specialized in the port of PlayStation games on PC (which takes more and more place in the strategy of the company ). Even so, 2023 already reserves very good first-party candidates for the PS4 / PS5 catalog : Horizon Forbidden West (February 18), Gran Turismo 7 (March 4), to which are added console exclusives (Forspoken, SIFU) and of course God of War Ragnarok, scheduled for 2023 but without a specific date.
And again, the Japanese manufacturer has it under its feet. On the CES stage, Jim Ryan unveiled to everyone’s surprise Horizon: Call of the Mountain, a virtual reality game taken from the now famous world of Guerrilla Games, intended for the PS5 and PSVR 2, headset whose name and the technical characteristics have also been formalized in passing – still no price or design -. The title is the result of a collaboration between Guerrilla and Firesprite (The Playroom VR), a team which recently joined the ranks of PlayStation. In 2023, Sony has offered five studios – including two major ones – to afford this kind of announcements and a very comfortable catalog. But also relies on external partners, such as Haven or Firewalk.
Little by little, Sony is putting together an army of titles ranging from double-A to blockbuster, and of which we were able to see a preview during the PS5 Showcase in September 2023. On the program, the announcement of Spider- Man 2 and Marvel’s Wolverine, both headed by Insomniac Games, a studio that multiplies the triple-A at high speed. In addition to buyouts and external collaborations, PlayStation of course still relies on its pillar teams, like Naughty Dog. Its star and co-president Neil Druckmann took advantage of CES 2023 to indicate that the studio is working on “multiple projects.” We already know that one of them is an ambitious multiplayer title, undoubtedly linked to The Last of Us. Santa Monica is working on a still secret software.
Obviously, PlayStation is banking on the right horses: the studios that have allowed it to reach 116 million PS4s to date, to achieve impressive critical and commercial successes thanks to powerful and identifiable licenses (Horizon, God of War, Uncharted). 2023 promises to be as powerful on the release side as it is on the announcements side.. But Sony shouldn’t repeat the same mistakes. On the announcement of the eight million units sold for Ghost of Tsushima, Jeff Ross, director of Days Gone, said that his title had also reached this score a year and a half after its release. “The local studio management always made us feel it was a big disappointment” he explains on Twitter. The statement follows a investigation by Jason Schreier, published last year, where the reporter revealed that Days Gone 2 was canceled internally, not considered “a viable option”. Although profitable, Days Gone took 7 years of development to ultimately reach a 71 on Metacritic, a highly regarded indicator in the industry that alone can determine what is successful. The title has enjoyed esteem success over the years. Jeff Ross has since left Sony.