Sony as a Publisher is on a roll and this is probably their best year. What changed?

#1
This year might just be one of Sony's best years as a publisher both commercially and critically. Last gen they ended up getting a lot of well reviewed and critically acclaimed titles but never commercial success. This gen they have been doing phenomenally well. This year in particular has been fantastic

1. Shadow of the Colossus - Metascore 91

Probably the best selling Fumito Ueda title opening 70% higher than the PS2 original atleast in the UK


2. MLB the show 18 - Metascore 82

Still killing it as the best Baseball game on the market and set a franchise record for first month sales


3. Detroit Become Human - Metascore of 78

and going to probably be the best selling quantic dream game worldwide by all accounts


4. God of War - Metascore of 94

Lighting the sales charts and reinventing the franchise


5. Marvel Spiderman - Metascore of 87

Best selling Sony first party game and finally giving us a great Spiderman game after years


6. Astro Bot - Metascore 89

Critics calling it one of the best and most inventive 3D platformers made ( makes me giddy with excitement about future Sony Japan Studio titles )

There are other big VR games like Persistence and Firewall Zero Hour that have got really good reviews. The biggest question mark regarding the VR games is their commercial success but I am sure they are also doing okay relative to the budget.


What changed? Is it just the stars aligning? Is it management related? Is it just giving studios more time? Is it marketing? Or is it a little bit of everything? I certainly think it is a little bit of everything but interested to hear ERA's thoughts.
 
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#2
Is it management related? Is it just giving studios more time? Is it marketing? Or is it a little bit of everything? I certainly think it is a little bit of everything
Exactly.
They, as a business, have found what they are good at, and now they are focusing and investing on that specific strength.
 
#4
I believe it comes from years of fine-tuning its studios and building them up over the years. I think we'll see this with Microsoft's studios as well in the future.
 
#9
Nothing change .
All that happen was there first party showed up after being late for the first few years .
Also people seem to like the software more this gen from them .
 
#10
Trial and a lot of error. Years and years of stumbles and not just learning form their own mistakes, but from their competitors too.
 
#11
Luck i guess.
They did had misses in the start of the gen. Order, Driveclub, Vita 1st party games in general.
The order is a good game, the only weakness is the length. The design, the graphic are amazing level.
Drive club is a pity but the graphic in rain and snow are amazing too.
And I still prefer to bring my vita outside than switch.
 
#12
I think it's a little bit of everything too, they are just on the roll lately and we still have several exclusives in the pipeline til PS5 hits.

Hopefully all this success and sales will lead to strong launch for PS5 when it drops.
 
#13
Most of their games have been successful this gen compared to last gen. This means higher funding, more staffing, more confidence, and better marketing. All of this in turn leads to even more highly rated and successful first party games.
 
#14
The order is a good game, the only weakness is the length. The design, the graphic are amazing level.
Drive club is a pity but the graphic in rain and snow are amazing too.
And I still prefer to bring my vita outside than switch.
Yeah, but the general public doesn't like them.
And i have my Vita right now, but i only have Freedom Wars from Sony.
 
#16
Nothing changed, Sony has been the best publisher since Ps3 days, software quality speaks volumes.

Many people still think Ps3 library is superior to Ps4.
 
#18
Luck i guess.
They did had misses in the start of the gen. Order, Driveclub, Vita 1st party games in general.
What Vita first party games?
Yeah, but the general public doesn't like them.
And i have my Vita right now, but i only have Freedom Wars from Sony.
I think most people just aren't aware of what the Vita offers. I have 44 physical games for it myself. I actually just imported a second Vita just to have one since I know they're no longer going to be making them.

It's really a great system that just wasn't given a fair shake.
 
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#19
What changed? Is it just the stars aligning? Is it management related? Is it just giving studios more time? Is it marketing? Or is it a little bit of everything? I certainly think it is a little bit of everything but interested to hear ERA's thoughts.
Sony basically understood what people expect from PlayStation and started investing in their own studios heavily. Up to PS2, they didn't need to make an effort since all games wanted to be there, but when Microsoft disrupted the market with the 360 Sony had to invest on what made PSX and PS2 amazing machines: games.

They started investing heavily during the PS3 era. In PS4 we are seeing the return of that investment.

On top of that, Sony is famous in the industry for being really generous with both funds and time. Big publishers like EA and Ubisoft can't afford/don't want to have 5-year cycles for their games, but Sony and a few others can and it shows.
 
#20
I think a lot of it has to do with them staying the course as a publisher of big budget player single player stuff when other pubs decided to chase big multiplayer games as a service. Its paid off for them.
 
#21
I don't care about any games they released this year, but they do seem to be on a roll lately. All of their games are well liked and sold well.
 
#22
Luck i guess.
They did had misses in the start of the gen. Order, Driveclub, Vita 1st party games in general.
The way I see it, The Order and Driveclub along with Killzone Shadow Fall were more like tech demos. They were released early on in the PS4's lifespan to show off what the console could do visually, as well as jump start its library.
 
#23
Moss is an indie VR game, not Sony. It's on the other platforms now.

Sony just had their best ducks line up well for this year. Sometimes there are stinkers, but this year has been great from start to finish.
 
#24
It's not strictly about giving their studios time and resources. MS gave sea of thieves and state of decay 2 around 4-5 years as well, and there's been no hints that they were restricted on money, and both of those turned out pretty bad at launch.

Jstevenson said in the MS thread a while back that people don't understand how good the pipeline is for single player games at Sony. That and the communication between their studios probably plays the biggest role. Time and money is important but you also need talent and the aforementioned support from others and the publisher too.

edit: Another factor is they basically sacrificed the first year and a half to two years of the PS4's life to make sure their studios were ready to release something one after the next.
 
#25
Nothing changed, Sony has been the best publisher since Ps3 days, software quality speaks volumes.

Many people still think Ps3 library is superior to Ps4.
I would agree with them before 2018, but this year has easily been their best ever.

2017+2018 pushes PS4 past the PS3, and that's not taking Bloodborne into account
 
#26
They have build an incredible foundation for their first party titles by the end of last gen, and then as PS4 became the market leader and a huge sucess, eventually their first party critical sucess also translated to commercial sucess.

They will end up this gen with 5 (FIVE!) 10+ million LTD games. They had just 1 last gen.

Pretty incredible.
 
#27
You forgot Firewall Zero Hour and The Persistence on PSVR as well. It's been an amazing year for Sony but really it's been like that going back to 2015 with Bloodborne. Since that game released it's pretty much been hit after hit from Sony.
 
#29
I believe it comes from years of fine-tuning its studios and building them up over the years. I think we'll see this with Microsoft's studios as well in the future.
You won’t see this from MS for a long time. People forget that Sony’s success has been in the making since PS3 released. All of these studios had to build and refine to get to where they are now. It’s not something you can just purchase and flip a game in a year or so.
 

FelipeMGM

#Skate4
Moderator
#30
It definitely didn't happen overnight, this is the result of many many years building themselves as a top publisher (while gathering both successes and mistakes in the way). They've recruited a bunch of top-notch talent, bought or invested in super talented studios, built their development support groups (VASG, Special Ops, ICE Team, SN Systems, PlayStation Music Studio) to help developers during production and stepped their marketing game a whole lot.
 
#33
I believe it comes from years of fine-tuning its studios and building them up over the years. I think we'll see this with Microsoft's studios as well in the future.
They are heading in the right direction, but we probably won't see these fruits of their labor until next gen.
 
#40
I guess Killzone Shadow Fall, Driveclub, or Infamous Second Son don’t count for the first year and a half of the PS4 life cycle. If those aren’t good games and don’t count then don’t call anything under 71 on metacritic a good game.
 
#41
Luck i guess.
They did had misses in the start of the gen. Order, Driveclub, Vita 1st party games in general.
Nah, Driveclub had some really bad launch issues but it was still a great game and most of Sony's first party Vita games were pretty great (Killzone, LBP, Tearaway, Soul Sacrifice, etc). And what exactly do you mean by luck?

It definitely didn't happen overnight, this is the result of many many years building themselves as a top publisher (while gathering both successes and mistakes in the way). They've recruited a bunch of top-notch talent, bought or invested in super talented studios, built their development support groups (VASG, Special Ops, ICE Team, SN Systems, PlayStation Music Studio) to help developers during production and stepped their marketing game a whole lot.
This. Also, they've got the most popular system on the market and have done a great job positioning themselves as a high quality publisher in a lot of people's minds. The only difference is a lot of them have happened to come out in one year, whereas they "only" had a couple standout first party games in previous years. Same thing happened with Nintendo last year.
 
#42
Firewall is another PSVR game Sony published.
Déraciné is incoming (co-development between FROM Software and Sony Japan).

Looking at MC scores I believe Detroit got slightly robbed. It's above similar games in its genre right now. Just a really polished product with fantastic production values.
 
#43
You won’t see this from MS for a long time. People forget that Sony’s success has been in the making since PS3 released. All of these studios had to build and refine to get to where they are now. It’s not something you can just purchase and flip a game in a year or so.
They are heading in the right direction, but we probably won't see these fruits of their labor until next gen.
That's my fault for leaving a word out haha-- I think we'll see this with Microsoft's studios as well in the distant future, because you're right--it started with the PS3 for Sony, and it doesn't happen overnight.
 
#44
They've been on fire this generation and all them years of cultivating that creative DNA/talent, and learning from past mistakes is slowly paying off. It is wonderful to see.
 
#46
Games take long to make and they happened to release a bunch of 'em in succession. Not like they've ever had a problem with the quality of their output and I say this as someone who's never owned a Sony console
 
#47
I think the term for this would be 'firing on all cylinders'. It's safe to say after 25 years they've mastered their developmental craft, figured out their core strengths and understand the market( both theirs and in general). I'd add that this is the first time in some time they aren't battling on multiple fronts( using the Ps3 as a trojan horse in the HD format wars, allocating resources to an uphill battle against Nintendo in the handheld space).
 
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