Sony won’t release “any new major existing franchise titles” before April 2025

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Sony’s latest financial report saw the company revising expected PlayStation 5 sales downward for the coming year, with Sony Group President Hiroki Totoki saying that they “do not plan to release any new major existing franchise titles next fiscal year.”

That means there’s no big blockbusting sequels on the level of God of War Ragnarok or Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 to push the PS5’s sales forward, but Sony still has a busy lineup of new IP and third party relations that they will be relying on through the coming year. For example, there’s the new IP of Concord, which has yet to be fully revealed, the remake of Until Dawn, Stellar Blade and the expected release of third party games like Silent Hill 2.

Because of this they expect profits from first party games to decrease in the next fiscal year, and they also expect PS5 sales to start to slow down in the coming year – the PS5 will be entering its fifth year this autumn, which is kind of mind-boggling, isn’t it?

To that point, sales for the current year are also falling short of the target. Sony had previously set the ambitious target of 25 million PS5 sales for the year ending in March 2024, but despite heavy discounting through the run up to Christmas where it sold 8.2 million consoles, the total for the year so far is 16.4 million and Sony now expects to only reach 21 million consoles sold. That’s still a huge number of consoles sold, but Sony might have overestimated demand coming out of the years long supply shortages.

With Jim Ryan stepping down as Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO at the end of March, Totoki-san will take over on an interim basis, and has used the last few months as SIE Chairman to visit studios and gain a greater understanding of the console business.

While he has praised the group’s creativity and motivation to make great games, he’s also felt that SIE as a whole can do better as a business.

Totoki-san said, “I’ve had meetings with the leaders there—the studios. People who work in the studios have very high motivation. They’re very highly motivated. They’re very good people. And they’re very creative people. They have great creative minds. And they also have knowledge about live streaming. However, having said that, when it comes to the business itself, I think there is room for improvement. And that’s got to do about how to use the money or about the schedule of development or how to fulfill one’s accountability towards development, et cetera. Those are my frank impressions. So I will continue to engage in dialogue with the people so that we can find the right way to proceed.”

It certainly sounds like Totoki-san feels that SIE can be a bit better run to deliver high quality first party games at a faster and more economical rate. Reading between the lines that could mean cuts or layoffs are coming – one big way to save costs – or it could mean less of a tolerance for game delays which have been rife through the first half of this generation, thanks in part to the pandemic changing how developers work.

It’s been quite notable that, we’ve heard barely anything from Sucker Punch, Bend Studios, Team Asobi, Bluepoint Games, Media Molecule, Housemarque and several other notable first party studios since the PS5 launch window. We’re also yet to really see the fruits of Sony’s acquisitions and new projects with Haven, Firesprite, and the general push towards more lucrative live service games.

A lot of reading between the lines there, but change could be coming as Sony look to the back half of this generation and start of the next.

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