This morning there’s a new Bloomberg article laying out Sony’s strategy for what it hopes will be its next big hits on PlayStation, but which could come at the expense of the kind of studios it once cultivated.
The big news from the article is twofold, that there will be a remake of the original The Last of Us, and that a new Uncharted game could be coming, in addition to the already announced multiplayer title Naughty Dog that everyone believes. to be the last of the We 2 factions.
The problem? The piece centers on how Bend Studio, a ‘rising star’ who created Days Gone, was almost on the borderline of Naughty Dog, working on a new Uncharted, multiplayer game, and Days Gone, while profitable, does seem not get a following from the team. Despite this conflict, they were ultimately removed from the new Uncharted game by making a new game (Update: Jason Schreier has since clarified it’s unclear if this new Uncharted game still exists after this happened). The general gist of the play is that Sony’s relentless focus on megahit blockbusters creates some tension. Another new group was supposed to be a new development studio, released a single player game, but that wasn’t impressive enough and they were put on a Last of Us remake instead.
Sony has done a great job cultivating the studios in the ones that grew up and produced megahits for them, Spider-Man from Insomniac, Horizon Zero Dawn from Guerilla, and Ghost of Tsushima from Sucker Punch. But now the plan seems to be for all of these games to get sequels, on top of the continuation of long-running mega-franchises like Uncharted (Naughty Dog) and God of War (Sony Santa Monica).
In short, the idea is that Bend or this new studio might have been the next to bust, but instead were tasked with supporting an already sprawling giant like Naughty Dog.
I am not sure enough how much to read in that. I mean, Sony has a pretty good track record of turning small studios into candidate producers for GOTY. But that’s hardly a guarantee all studio makes the exact same trip the same way, and it looks like these other studios might be taking a few detours or two.
It’s also hard to question Sony’s overall strategy here, given the scale and quality of the successes they’ve produced. Why would not do they make sequels to all these blockbusters? Why would not they keep making Uncharted and God of War games as long as there is demand? The only questionable thing that raises my eyebrows here is the idea of a remake of The Last of Us when this game was only released in 2013, has already been “improved” once, and has just had a sequel. Last year. Is this something they are planning in conjunction with the release of the HBO show? I don’t know, but it seems like a questionable allocation of resources, and not the best use of a new studio, which is why I can understand why they weren’t thrilled with the idea.
In the end, I don’t know how surprising all of this is. Sony has produced mega-bit blockbusters and they want to keep making mega-bit blockbusters, many of which will be sequels to the originals. It’s been a winning hand for them so far, and it’s only spread over time, because now it’s not just Uncharted, The Last of Us, and God of War, but over the course of the years. last few years, they have three. New Potentially massive PIs, they can also continue to grow. Seems well? Seems like most of the reasons people stick with PlayStation in the first place? I guess we’ll see how that plays out, but I think the cost of charging small studios to support larger projects on occasion is worth the potential end result here.
I have contacted Sony for feedback and will update if I hear back.
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