PlayStation plans to launch 10 live service games in the next 4 years – where are they all coming from?

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During their latest quarterly earnings call, Sony has outlined their plans to launch 10 live service games between now and March 2026. That is… uh… a lot of new live service games, though we don’t need to do too much digging to figure out where they’re coming from and how this will affect their overall strategy.

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The past decade has really been defined by Sony’s first party studios delivering outstanding single player games like Horizon Zero Dawn, God of War, Ghost of Tsushima and The Last of Us, and this has largely seen the company take a few steps back from trying to compete in multiplayer arenas. Where the PS3 had Resistance, Killzone and Uncharted all trying to go toe-to-toe with Halo, Gears, and cross-platform shooters, that aspect has been deemphasised.

However, Sony clearly knows where a lot of the money is in video games right now, and that’s back in the realms of live service gaming where a change in business model allows for games to keep making a lot of money several years after their initial release. This means getting back into multiplayer in a meaningful way and potentially a shift in strategy to try and drive engagement alongside a revitalised PlayStation Plus designed to take on Xbox Game Pass.

10 new live service games is a lot, so where are all these games going to come from without harming the core single player games that have been so popular over the last generation?

Well, for one thing, many of Sony’s biggest studios are large enough to have multiple projects on the go at once. Naughty Dog has continued to work on a standalone The Last of Us multiplayer game, while there have been persistent rumours and hiring at Guerrilla Games for a new multiplayer game. In the last couple of days, London Studio announced hiring for a PS5 multiplayer game as well. If we want to do a little bit of creative accounting, then Gran Turismo 7 could also be considered a live service game with a steady stream of updates and content additions expected.

So that’s three, maybe four already accounted for, but Sony has (just like Microsoft) been beefing up its internal PlayStation Studios. The announced $3.6 billion acquisition of Bungie isn’t just about Destiny 2, but also what the company is working on for their next new IP. We know that Firesprite was acquired with the studio already working on new projects, and fresh rumours of a Twisted Metal reboot at the studio. The company has continued to foster relationships with external studios, which led to Destruction AllStars‘ release in early 2021, a game which could count as a live service title.

In other words, this might sound like a big change of direction for Sony, but when you look at everything that’s been announced in the past, the hiring drive, and the spate of studio acquisitions, Sony has been adding to their teams to handle both blockbusting single player and multiplayer gaming on PlayStation 5, PlayStation VR2 and beyond.

Source: Twitter

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2 Comments

  1. Bungie’s Project Matter is a no-brainer as one of them, expected to be around 2025 IIRC – And along Destiny 2 being the 6th most played game on PSN, Matter will be *the* key reason for the purchase

    Like you say, GT7 will definitely be considered a live service game too

    Beyond that though, things get a bit sketchy

    Multiplayer obviously doesn’t automatically equal live service, so maybe they’re adding ‘grind’ where it doesn’t need to be eg. Last of Us multiplayer

    To me this is disappointing news if even PlayStation are tripling down on Live Service grind & cash-in etc *trash can emoji*

  2. It may or may not be a bad thing, depending on how it’s handled. I doubt it’ll stop all those great single player games appearing on PS5. The thing everyone says Sony does best.

    But then again it might take resources away from those parts of the games if they want to bolt on unnecessary multiplayer bits. Is the Last of Us multiplayer thing even still coming? The MP mode for the first game was a great example of things we really didn’t need. Same with Uncharted (although thankfully they took that out of the new PS5 version)

    The big danger is in getting people putting so much time into whichever game grabs their attention first, affecting sales of anything else that comes along. Why buy another game you’ll be playing for years when you’ve already got one? So now you’ve got to commit to supporting a game for years with potentially less sales to start with. Just whoever wasn’t otherwise occupied when you launch the game. But you’ve got steady, guaranteed stream of income everytime you launch a new expansion. Especially if you can do something terrible like take away all the existing content.

    And also, good luck getting sales of the base game for years to come. None of those types of games so far seem particularly friendly to newcomers after the first year or so. If it’s the PvP side, you’ll get slaughtered and not have fun. If it’s a co-op PvE thing, you either won’t have anyone to play with, or you’ll have someone who’s been there from the start and thinks they’re helpful by doing all the work. Which isn’t fun, really.

    It won’t end well. Or will for a couple of games, with everything else suffering because they shouldn’t have gone that route in the first place.

    And Destruction AllStars doesn’t count as a live service game. Even though they’re still apparently throwing money at it, it’s basically dead after less than a year.

    Actually, the one place it might be a huge success is if they can get such a game for PSVR2. It’ll be a limited number of people desperate for something to start with, but VR does seem to bring people who would find such a thing ideal. Maybe Sony should just buy Hello Games and get NMS on PSVR2. Does that count as a live service game? It’s been constantly updated for over 5 years.

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