So you've probably seen the stream of PlayStation news that emerged earlier today., revealing some of the internal workings and conflicts at the company over the past few years Days Gone 2 would not have had the green light, Sony is working on a remake of The Last of Us less than 10 years after the game was launched, Sony Bend was placed on a new Uncharted game before being retired from it again (to the wishes of the studio), and the general philosophy that the studio prioritizes big games from big studios over everything else
well, as a longtime PlayStation fan, all this news doesn't really shock me after watching the company run for about a year. Edited by Jim Ryan, the company has moved to an approach «blockbuster first», even with regard to its small games and partnerships. But with this philosophy, Sony is building a portfolio of upcoming games that lack diversity and end up blending into a conglomerate of AAA third-person action adventure.
Even at the end of the PS4 era, me and many others couldn't help but shake the feeling that no matter how great God of War, The Last of Us Part 2, Ghost of Tsushima, Days Gone, Ratchet & Clank , Marvel's Spider-Man and Horizon Zero Dawn were, they all felt similar in style of course, The Last of Us is a dark, linear adventure, whereas Horizon Zero Dawn and Ghost of Tsushima are visually brighter escapades and God of War mixes the two but tells a powerful story alongside it.
However, they all do the same They are all third person action adventures with over the shoulder combat Each of them has melee combat with paired ranged combat (to varying degrees) The majority of them are open worlds, avec The Last of Us Part 2 with more open cards; and everyone has the same philosophy, because the goal of creating a storytelling third-person action-adventure is the philosophy of PlayStation Studios. Even Concrete Genie fits this mold
The point I'm getting at is, no matter how bad the settings, the characters and stories of these games are different, they all project the same shape on our screens, replicating itself Sony is essentially a factory, making the same product every day on the assembly line
I just want to point out here that it's not me saying that the games these teams are making are not good or that all the hard work they are doing is wasted or that no one out there really wants to do Horizon Forbidden West., Pawl & Clank: Rift Apart, etc. All of these games deserve a place in the PlayStation Studios family But Sony does not hire studios or let existing teams experiment and create a broader portfolio of diverse genre experiences.
Their independent partnerships alleviate this problem somewhat, Oddworld Soulstorm unlike anything Sony has released in nearly a decade, and Bugsnax being what Bugsnax is, but a lot of them are third person action adventures: Sifu, Solar Ash, et Kena: Bridge of Spirits to name a few
We are now at a point where Sony has become a company that we can predict at almost every turn and turn., that's why the secret project that Santa Monica Studio is working on is probably another third-person action-adventure., It's safe to assume Gone are the days when Japan Studio would surprise us with Puppeteer or help remaster Patapon. 1 and 2 for PS4, especially since the studio was effectively closed.
The Sony we have now won't want to invest any money in the Patapon remaster 3 or one of the other PlayStation classics, cause it's not those huge hit titles, this is why the PS3 stores, PS Vita and PSP are also closed
That's why the Sony we have right now is redoing The Last of Us, a game that doesn't need a remake (despite the fact that IP gets a TV show in the next few years) and which is still playable on your PS5, thanks to The Last of Us Remastered The Sony we have right now wouldn't be talking about how Vib-Ribbon is one of the «most emblematic games of our time» and wouldn't praise it for not needing to sell millions of copies
There is 6 years, @ShawnLayden gave the almost forgotten speech for PlayStation at E3, who, for some reason, really stuck with me as what makes PlayStation so appealing The CEO saying “He wasn't a multi-million seller, but that was not the point” at the time was a beautiful photoTwittercom / K6KdnXm4w
Meanwhile, Microsoft lets Obsidian create a survival game about small children in a backyard, publishing and updating Microsoft Flight Simulator, while simultaneously posting narrative adventures like As Dusk Falls and Tell Me Why.
All of this shows how different Jim Ryan's leadership is from what happened before Jack Tretton helped bring PlayStation into the strong PS4 generation and Shawn Layden elevated a number of PlayStation Studios developers to bigger franchises. and better. Jim Ryan seems to want to continue doing what Sony has been doing over the 5 last years, locking in more AAA action adventures as console exclusives, and offering very few ideas on how the business can move forward.
Jim Ryan doesn't want to invest in backward compatibility, cause it's not a blockbuster feature that will sell games a million copies that people will use for hours a day Damn, Jim Ryan did not support cross-play until several games that sell in the millions expressed their wish for the feature.
Right now, as Microsoft builds a diverse library of proprietary studios of varying sizes and creates games in a number of genres, forming an ecosystem that respects its players and gives them the flexibility to play what they want when they want. , Sony seems to be trying to make love at first sight 50 time, not to mention having hit him half a dozen times
Big publishers need a diverse portfolio of games to be able to target new markets and continue to grow This is why EA launched the EA originals and recently bought Codemasters This is why Microsoft is buying studios big and small C that's why Activision released Sekiro and started making and remaking Crash and Spyro games That's why Nintendo brings Fire Emblem, Splatoon et New Pokemon Snap, rather than releasing a Mario and Zelda platformer every year.
And although I think Sony’s mindset makes sense, why wouldn't you want to do more of what makes you money, my biggest fear is that if they continue down this path, they are losing a number of corners of the gaming industry that they once ruled and also exhausted their staff who are tired of doing the same kind of experiences
This week again, a report was released claiming that Hideo Kojima was in talks with Microsoft to release his next game What was once unthinkable now seems perfectly plausible as the PlayStation in 2021 unlike any other iteration of the company we've seen Death Stranding has been a commercial success but has been a critical divisor, so Sony is wondering why should we invest money in Kojima's vision for a new game when we can invest that money in something everyone will love and play?
The PlayStation we have right now is ceding a lot of ground to Microsoft and also ignoring the fans it has gained along the way., I can see the PS5 generation look a lot like how the late years 2000 looked like the brand in terms of public perception. More, this time, I don't know if Sony will be able to regain the ground they are looking to lose in the next few years.
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