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

#52
They’ve found what they’re good at at stopped chasing what they aren’t. They spent so much of the PS3 chasing Microsoft’s areas of expertise with stuff like Resistance and Killzone and lots of multiplayer stuff, but their success has been in taking the stuff they learned with Uncharted and applying it to lots of different games.
 
#53
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?


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.
I said "i guess" clearly i have no clue what voodoo has been done or why can't others do the same.
 
#54
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.
Detroit was a game that took big risks. And games that take big risks can be divisive. I hated my playthrough of Detroit and couldn’t understand how people praised it so highly. Then I came back here and read some people saying “if you had this, this, and this happen to you, you got the worst playthrough of Detroit.” And I watched some videos on YouTube that corroborated that claim. I never went back to Detroit to try and amend my decisions but I respect that game for doing something unique. I’m guessing the low reviews possibly could have had a bad playthrough. It’s also possible they just didn’t like it that much.
 
#55
They gave their studios lots and lots of money and let them do what they wanted. Studios like Insomniac, Guerrilla, Santa Montica and Naughty Dog they have no reason to not trust 100%, these are studios they've fostered since the early days of PS2.
 
#56
This is just the culmination of years improving. The fact that more and more third parties are not bothering putting the effort into deep narrative experiences also helps them stand out a lot more.
 
#57
They gave their studios lots and lots of money and let them do what they wanted. Studios like Insomniac, Guerrilla, Santa Montica and Naughty Dog they have no reason to not trust 100%, these are studios they've fostered since the early days of PS2.
Once again Sucker Punch is often forgotten when talking about Sony dev. Like that one time someone ask Sucker Punch if Ghost will have photo mode while Second Son is arguably the one that make photo mode popular.

Sucker Punch have been one of my favorite studio since Sly Cooper. No one should mention Naughty Dog and Insomniac without bring up Sucker Punch, dammit
 
#62
Giving your (super talented) studios the time, money and freedom to make whatever they want is a wonderful thing.

And of course there is the years of building relationships with devs like Kojima and giving them the freedom to do as they please as well.
 
#63
They've been doing exceptionally well in these last two years for sure.

But at the same time, Sony has always had relatively strong exclusive output. It's just that many of their games have become the absolute best of the best recently.

I wish they'd chase the multiplayer fix. It's a massive hole in their line-up and makes me less interested for their games.
Same. We got tons of unique multiplayer experiences last gen and even in the PS2 era.

Games like Warhawk and Killzone 2 MP were amazing and I wish we got more of that. Wasn't it Resistance 2 that also had a really good MP? Plus there was MAG, SOCOM (of old), LittleBigPlanet, Motorstorm games, Uncharted 2 MP, TLOU MP (still going TBF), and more.

oh god, please no...when every 3rd party devs are doing this, do you really want them to do the same? There's only so much loot box the market can handle.
Uncharted 4 has lootboxes and TLOU multi is/was known for its egregious microtransactions. Anyway, like I said above, we got some unique games out of it.

They're expanding all studios, Guerrilla is growing to 400 people.
Great to hear.
 
#65
I think they've been best publisher since mid PS3 days when their console was dead last. I really like their diversified output
 
#66
Uncharted 4 has lootboxes and TLOU multi is/was known for its egregious microtransactions. Anyway, like I said above, we got some unique games out of it.
Exception, not the norm. And both games got their high sales, metacritic and GOTY not because of the multiplayer component. ND could've remove the MP portion of TLOU and the metacritic score & sales would've remained relatively the same.

Games like Warhawk and Killzone 2 MP were amazing and I wish we got more of that. Wasn't it Resistance 2 that also had a really good MP? Plus there was MAG, SOCOM (of old), LittleBigPlanet, Motorstorm games, Uncharted 2 MP, TLOU MP (still going TBF), and more.
All these games you mentioned made less buck as their series went on (excluding ND games). Resistance 3 is famous for being a very good game and missed sales projection.
 
#67
Nothing changed just a year where lots of games were ready

They've consistently produced a solid lineup of titles some year better some worse but always putting something quality out there
 
#68
Problem with a lot of the big stuff last gen is that it followed trends or was in tight competition,
Killzone 2, 3(Shadowfall fell into that as well as being a tired franchise)
Resistance 1, 2, 3
Socom Confrontation, 4
WarHawk, Starhawk
MAG

God of War 3 did well but it was definitely tired by #3 at the time.

Uncharted 1 released in between 3 last popular Tomb Raider games(Legend, Anniversary, Underworld) and didn't make a complete name for itself until Uncharted 2 released in 2009.
 
#69
Once again Sucker Punch is often forgotten when talking about Sony dev. Like that one time someone ask Sucker Punch if Ghost will have photo mode while Second Son is arguably the one that make photo mode popular.

Sucker Punch have been one of my favorite studio since Sly Cooper. No one should mention Naughty Dog and Insomniac without bring up Sucker Punch, dammit
To be honest, I always forget them because if its not infamous, I forget they exist outright. I still wanted more Infamous personally and always forget Ghosts is being made by them since its so different from what they've always made.
 
#70
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.
this is deliberate, cant be a mistake or a luck streak, management got shook up under kaz and house and here we are today.
 
#73
Outside of Bloodborne (which is still my favorite game of this gen) I've largely been unimpressed with their output on PS4 prior to this year. I mean, I still quite liked the Uncharted games and Ratchet and Clank and Horizon, but they didn't hit me the way God of War and Spider-Man have. We've also been waiting for these games for years at this point, so nothing really changed, it's just that this happens to be the time they're releasing.
 
#74
I wish they'd chase the multiplayer fix. It's a massive hole in their line-up and makes me less interested for their games.
We have enough deathmatch games to live out several lifetimes in this industry. Now more than ever we need quality single player games, especially with Bethesda starting to pull away from them.
 
#75
Sony found a way to make their games feel like unmissable blockbuster events. They really knew how to sold their software as must haves
 
#76
To me they’ve been following the same trend and gameplay since the end of the PS3 and start of PS4. It just took a while for it all to come out due to the increase in dev time durations

1) Long term investments of studios that continue to improve. Yes there has been shutdowns that hurt but overall they still have a huge amount of talented studios that also seem to collaborate

2) Don’t follow the latest trends. Whether it’s lootbox stuff or everything must be online/co-op/destiny like

3) Fills a void in the industry that the safety net of a platform holder can do that 3rd party publishers with their shareholders can’t.

4) Strike a good balance between sequels of franchises with new IP. You need both but they also know when to shelve a Resistance or a Infamous or a Killzone and do a new IP
 
#77
Sony has been a powerhouse publisher since the 90s, OP. Some years have been better than others but they have always been very good at keeping high quality, iconic software rolling out.
 
#78
Sony has been a powerhouse publisher since the 90s, OP. Some years have been better than others but they have always been very good at keeping high quality, iconic software rolling out.
Sure but nowhere near as rock solid as they are now.

They are easily one of the best, if not the best, right now.
 
#79
2017 was also crazy great in terms of quality, with Horizon, Lost Legacy, Gravity Rush 2, Everybody's Golf, Wipeout Collection, and then stuff like GT Sport, Farpoint and Knack 2 too. They've just been peaking for a couple of years at this point, and it doesn't look like it'll stop anytime soon.

There's teams working on stuff we don't know about for a while too, which is even more exciting. Nintendo and Sony are both primed for really strong first party catalogues for the foreseeable future, and hopefully Xbox joins them in the next 3-4 years.
 
#80
I wish they'd chase the multiplayer fix. It's a massive hole in their line-up and makes me less interested for their games.
They killed off a bunch of studios at the end of last gen / start of this gen that had either mp focus or at least were in genres that lent themselves well to competitive play including the SOCOM/ MAG studio, Killzone Mercenary studio, Wipeout studio, driveclub studio and their MMO developers.

They have a clear strategy and larger mp games are not currently part of it. They're happy to have MP in uncharted or TLOU, but the story focussed experience is what they've specialised in and they've shuttered numerous studios that didn't fit the direction they were headed. Sony Bend reportedly tailored their pitch for Days Gone to appeal to the leadership.
 
#81
Even their few high profile misses have been mostly tripped by their ambition or desire to try something new (DC by going ultra social, but having a whack netcode at launch solved later, Order 1886 by going full cinematic but overly relying on QTEs and linearity, GTS by focusing solely on online racing with FIA cert. over content, now largely solved...).
ButB you also had so many successes...

Infamous SS/ First Light which brought open world super heroics into current gen (and imo provided a lot of the backbone for Spider-Man), Bloodborne, Until Dawn, Horizon Zero Dawn, The Last Guardian, Gravity Rush 2, Wipeout in VR, Uncharted 4/ Lost Legacy, God of War, Detroit, Spider-Man and all those great VR titles like Astro Bot...

Looking at what we got over the past 6 years even looking only at 1st party and what's coming, I can easily say the PS4 is the best console I've ever had.
 
#83
It's going to be a sad day when Shu retires :( Obviously it's not all on him, but the guy has undoubtedly done a great job and learned from a lot of his mistakes over the years.

Admitting to making a huge error by dismissing Demon's Souls, and then eventually making good with Bloodborne, etc.
 
#84
No love for GT Sport?

It got dinged hard for the lack of content at launch. If it was reviewed now it would right up there with the list in the OP.
 
#85
They give games as much time as they need to develop.

They should probably working on narrowing the development time down a year or two.
 
#86
Nothing changed, really. Just go back towards the end of PS3's cycle and you'll see that they found where they wanted to invest money, which is cinematic single player experiences. The Last of Us was the first game we got from this focus, and they've been in it since then. Sony's studio's just took time to roll out games this gen, but it was worth it for them. I'd hope that next gen they'd make/buy/expand studios in order to have more games out in between the years of their major IP releases.
 
#88
It's going to be a sad day when Shu retires :( Obviously it's not all on him, but the guy has undoubtedly done a great job and learned from a lot of his mistakes over the years.

Admitting to making a huge error by dismissing Demon's Souls, and then eventually making good with Bloodborne, etc.
no need to worry Sony knows what they're capable of they know their direction
 
#89
Maybe this is just what I want to believe but it seems clear they are letting their studios make what they want to make and not ordering them to make a 'type' of game to fill a niche or perceived hole in their lineup. They are playing to their strengths instead of trying to be everything.
 
#90
They killed off a bunch of studios at the end of last gen / start of this gen that had either mp focus or at least were in genres that lent themselves well to competitive play including the SOCOM/ MAG studio, Killzone Mercenary studio, Wipeout studio, driveclub studio and their MMO developers.

They have a clear strategy and larger mp games are not currently part of it. They're happy to have MP in uncharted or TLOU, but the story focussed experience is what they've specialised in and they've shuttered numerous studios that didn't fit the direction they were headed. Sony Bend reportedly tailored their pitch for Days Gone to appeal to the leadership.
I don’t think that’s really the case though... They closed those studios because they were underperforming. Zipper had Socom 4/MAG and neither did well. Nor did their Vita game. Evolution had two flops in a row. Liverpool was unproductive. They lost the F1 license and they only had one WipEout on PS3 and it was a remake. They sold Sony Online because they were a money pit.
 
#91
Sony's doing what they do best. They will always be the first console I purchase coming I to a new generation because their first party output is insane.
 
#93
No love for GT Sport?

It got dinged hard for the lack of content at launch. If it was reviewed now it would right up there with the list in the OP.
This.

The lack of content and always online hurt the launch, and rightly so, but months after non stop support it's the best racer this gen. Nothing comes close when it comes to the thrill you get in an online race.
 
#95
Maybe this is just what I want to believe but it seems clear they are letting their studios make what they want to make and not ordering them to make a 'type' of game to fill a niche or perceived hole in their lineup. They are playing to their strengths instead of trying to be everything.
Within reason though - and they've been relatively unafraid to cancel projects or delay them until they're right. Lots of folks have already forgotten (since it was never officially announced) that Santa Monica was working on a new IP Sci-Fi game with the writer of Battlestar Galactica, that was cancelled and lead to layoffs at the studio in 2014. The director of God of War 3 had apparently been working on that project for 4 years.

https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2014-02-26-god-of-war-developer-sony-santa-monica-suffers-layoffs
 
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#96
No love for GT Sport?

It got dinged hard for the lack of content at launch. If it was reviewed now it would right up there with the list in the OP.
This is so true! All the reviews sung praises of how it revolutionized online racing on consoles as well as core gameplay. It was just content that brought it down.
 
#99
I don’t think that’s really the case though... They closed those studios because they were underperforming. Zipper had Socom 4/MAG and neither did well. Nor did their Vita game. Evolution had two flops in a row. Liverpool was unproductive. They lost the F1 license and they only had one WipEout on PS3 and it was a remake. They sold Sony Online because they were a money pit.
This is a chicken / egg scenario - they got out of MP stuff because it wasn't working for them at the same time that their Uncharted 2s and 3s were taking off like rockets. They restructured their development output as a result and this is how we arrived at the Sony we have today.

Bend had several under-performing titles in a row and had been portable developers exclusively since 2008. Days Gone was a dramatic pivot, requiring them to staff up, develop for console, and launch a new IP (as opposed to being "the portable studio for the big console IPs" or "The Syphon Filter studio" that they had been at various points in the past). They did not get shuttered along with the other Sony studios in similar situations because they tailored a pitch for this new game that was exactly the kind of thing the leadership was looking for. You'll note that Days Gone did not enter full production until 2015, but their last game before that was 2012. Their last "big" game before Days Gone was 2011. This would have been a pretty scary time for the studio trying to come up with pitches to get greenlit for several years before they landed at DG.
 
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