There have been reports of uneasiness among Sony employees regarding the recent decision made by Jim Ryan, the President of PlayStation, who just announced his retirement in March 2024. The decision revolves around the direction of the 1st party studio, which is now focusing on developing Live Service games.
This information comes from Jason Schreier, a Bloomberg journalist, who stated in an article that even the expertise of Bungie (the studio behind Halo and Destiny) could not transform PlayStation Studios into a Live Service game factory.
Going back to April 2022, just a few days after Sony’s announcement of acquiring Bungie for $3.6 billion, Sony revealed their plans to release more than 10 new Live Service games in the next 4 years. It is hoped that Bungie’s involvement will assist PlayStation in the development of Live Service games.
Jason Schreier expressed his opinion that this shift towards Live Service game development contradicts the 1st party studio’s direction of Sony, as each Sony studio possesses expertise in creating single-player games that emphasize adventure in vast worlds, giving players a cinematic experience. This aligns with rumors that several games in The Last of Us universe were either canceled or put on hold.
Jason Schreier pointed to EA’s Anthem as a cautionary example of the consequences that can occur when studios transition from familiar game types to unfamiliar ones. He also suggested that Sony’s bet on multiplayer games might not yield the expected results anticipated by Jim Ryan and his team.
In conclusion, this article implies that Sony employees are concerned about a lack of consistent vision within the company, such as the VR market that is limited to a specific group of players and the PlayStation Portal, a portable gaming device that can only be played within the home’s Wi-Fi range.
Example of a Live Service game, Helldivers 2, launching this year.
TL;DR – Sony employees are uneasy about Jim Ryan’s decision to focus on Live Service games. Acquisition of Bungie and plans to release multiple Live Service titles raise concerns among experts. Potential risk in shifting away from Sony’s expertise in single-player adventure games. Uncertain results and worries about a lack of consistent vision within the company.