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

Its about time. Last gen they were struggling to have success. Only Uncharted, Last of Us and Grand Turismo where big.
Wasn't GoW3 a success? And while not commercially, they were critical successful last gen too. Journey, LBP, Puppeteer, Infamous, and other smaller titles.
 
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.
But their PSP games all did well. And even with the Vita Golden Abyss was by far the best selling launch title. You’re right that it probably didn’t do amazing compared to their PSP games but I’m sure it squeaked by as not a bomb like those other studio games.

As far as Days Gone goes Bend has always been a SP story game. I don’t think it’s a departure from their previous games.
 
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.
Something for everybody. Actually I think that is it for all of Sony consoles.

I loved Playstation All Stars. I really wish they would make another one with the new Sony characters and enemies. Evil Cole was such an awesome fighting character. Imagining Delsin's abilities in a new PSA, he would be so fun. Also team up Cole + Delsin duo.
 
A forgiving userbase that stuck by it and supported it when it had no big games at release.

Remember when all we had was Rezogun, Dont Starve and Warframe. I think FF14 online, that held me down came out before Infamous. Killzone as expected was ass. The Order was the most dissapointing $60 I ever spent.

That gave Sony time to build, you can say in the end time was on their side.

Being $100 cheaper helped too.
 
Sony seems to excel at finding good studios and then letting them simply make great games without Sony trying to interfere or mess with anything. Even when the games get behind or have setbacks (IE Shadow of the Colossus) they still give them the space and time to finish the game without just saying "the hell with it, just push it out." I mean I'm sure they have deadlines and milestones, but they seem REALLY forgiving about these vs other publishers.

These kind of business relationships they have with multiple studios, even those that they do not own, they have built up over years and years. When you treat developers fairly and let them have the time/space (and budgets) to make games they are passionate about this is the fruit that they can bear and now Sony is reaping the rewards from going down that kind of path.

It seems like the opposite of what MS does (at least from the way they treated lionhead as an example).

I just hope that more big publishers will learn from that.
 
I just think they are focusing on what they do well as opposed to what they dont do well. What they do well they have down to a science

Luck i guess.
They did had misses in the start of the gen. Order, Driveclub, Vita 1st party games in general.
The order was a great foundation and would have been better received if it had been more gears and less detroit. More combat less fake interactivity and cutscene heavy. And Driveclub more than made up for its initial failures after the DLC content came out but by then it was too late. That's actually the same thing that happend to SF5, GT sport and others.

If those games had launched with the content they have today, they would have been reviewed excellently
 
I like when the Sony developers draw their characters interacting with other characters. I hope they did art for Astrobot. Sony US is probably too cool for Japan though. Atreus with a VR headset would be good enough.
 
I think Sony 1st party realize that they're pretty good at crafting the 'blockbuster' experience, and even better is that people would actually pay for those experiences.
 
I don't think anything changed. A number of big games which were in development for years finally came out. That's about it? Do we believe that 2019 is going to be the same? If they can keep it up every year, sure, something has changed, but until then, it feels like the same sort of cycle. There have always been good years and bad years. Sony isn't some no-effort first party that suddenly started publishing good games.
 
As far as Days Gone goes Bend has always been a SP story game. I don’t think it’s a departure from their previous games.
Uncharted was the top launch title, but I don't believe it ever cleared a million - if it did it would have been a long time after launch. It was at ~500k world wide as of mid-late 2012. I don't think I need to mention the Vita's overall global performance. Sony did want more, but not because it was singularly profitable, it was because they just wanted content for Vita as part of their push for the platform.

In Bend's case post Golden-Abyss the situation was a bit more complicated than just story/no story. They initially wanted to do another Uncharted:

https://www.gamepur.com/news/17771-...rted-ps-vita-uncharted-4-dev-was-worried.html

"It was going to be another Uncharted game but naughty dog was worried about franchise burnout with so many games coming out so close together, so they nixed it. We spent like a whole year di%k#&% around with different ideas and pitches after that before I left the studio. We started and threw away so many demos during that year.

Sony really wanted another Uncharted from us and tried to convince Naughty Dog to let us do it. They wanted more content for Vita. And we did make an infamous pitch at one point, too. I think that was the first pitch and demo we made after the uncharted project was canned. The infamous game would have been a vita title too.

We did a couple new IP pitches. One was steampunk but that didn't make it very far. There was a really awesome futuristic sci if one that I really liked. We had an amazing future sci-fi city and a character that could run around and scale buildings with these jet boots, and it was awesome. We had a lot of assets done for that demo when it was canned. I was really bummed when that one got binned.

I left the studio about 2 years ago and that was when they were making the switch to Unreal 4 and PS4, instead of Vita. It was a bit of a waste since we'd put so much time and resources into making a vita engine and then only used it on one title. But a couple other first party studios used versions of our engine and we lent them support, so it didn't totally go to waste.

I think Unit 13 from Zipper Interactive used our engine. Don't remember who else did though. I think the shift to PS4 was a desperate bid to get something greenlit. When you go through so many pitches and get one after another tossed out for various reasons, you start trying anything."
You'll note that the period of time they got greenlit for Days Gone was ~2014, shortly after The Last of Us set the sales charts on fire. Unlikely to be a coincidence that this was the project that appealed the corporate higher ups.

"I recall it was always upper management, demographic, genre saturation kinda crap. Like, 'someone is already making a game something along those lines that would come out 5mo prior to your GM date', or 'we've had too many games of that sort that didn't sell well enough', or projections for that kind of blah blah blah…

"Also, kind of like the complaints about Hollywood only making generic formula action hits because they make money, rather than take a risk on something different that might not make money. Same thing exists in games, obviously."
 
The end of a console's life is usually when the best software comes out for it. I mean, Chrono Trigger and Tales of Phantasia were released when their console was on its way out.
 
Uncharted was the top launch title, but I don't believe it ever cleared a million - if it did it would have been a long time after launch. It was at ~500k world wide as of mid-late 2012. I don't think I need to mention the Vita's overall global performance. Sony did want more, but not because it was singularly profitable, it was because they just wanted content for Vita as part of their push for the platform.

In Bend's case post Golden-Abyss the situation was a bit more complicated than just story/no story. They initially wanted to do another Uncharted:

https://www.gamepur.com/news/17771-...rted-ps-vita-uncharted-4-dev-was-worried.html



You'll note that the period of time they got greenlit for Days Gone was ~2014, shortly after The Last of Us set the sales charts on fire. Unlikely to be a coincidence that this was the project that appealed the corporate higher ups.
Its still crazy to me that a dev owned by the publisher has so much power to the point that Sony had to try to convince ND to allow Bend to make it
 
A combination of a lot of things I'd imagine.
  • Fantastic communications and support between studios on technology, game design and development.
  • Great communications and guidance from Sony's internal management and heads.
  • Allowing their studios time, money and creative freedom to do what they love without too much interference.
  • Excellent QA testing teams and feedback channels, and the ability for studios to properly react to and fine tune around them.
  • Figuring out what they're best at, or what their userbase is most drawn to and continually building upon and improving that.
  • A competitive comradery among studios assisted by the continued critical reception and success of numerous different titles.
 
You can see they allow their developers to stick to their visions. That is a rarity in the industry. They let David Cage and Neil Druckmann to do whatever they want, despite the criticism on their games for different reasons.
 
You can see they allow their developers to stick to their visions. That is a rarity in the industry. They let David Cage and Neil Druckmann to do whatever they want, despite the criticism on their games for different reasons.
yeah, they even let david cage harass employers
 
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.
Shu has even said that he wishes they were more successful on the multiplayer front. And there may be at least one game that goes after the area you desire. Guerrilla hired the director of Rainbow Six: Siege and he's currently directing a game for them. We also know that they're build toward a multi-team studio, so it seems unlikely that the game he's making is Horizon 2.
 
This isn’t even their best year nor did they just start this year. Infamous Second Son, Bloodborne, Uncharted 4, The Last Guardian, Until Dawn, Horizon, The Lost Legacy, Gravity Rush 2, etc.

They’ve been doing the same every year since 2014. Quality 1st Party content every year. Since Infamous to BB the following year and onward.
 
yeah, they even let david cage harass employers
Just so you're aware, it's not David Cage who's personally accused of the harassment, but one of the other employees who's already been fired. What Cage is accused of is an inappropriate joke and for not better dealing with the other stuff that took place. Poor management and response if you will. That said, it's not like Sony has anything to do with that stuff either, especially considering Quantic Dream is an independent studio, not one owned by Sony.
 
Its insane that since 2013, media molecule hasnt released ANYTHING (we cant really count tearaway unfolded i think...) and sony just doesnt give a fuck, as long as dreams becomes a good game.

Thats the support sony gives to their first parties.

Sure, sony has to make hard calls (cancelation if Stig's game after 3 years of developement, or Evolution's disbanding) but with all those titles, looks like that were right decisions...
 
Its insane that since 2013, media molecule hasnt released ANYTHING (we cant really count tearaway unfolded i think...) and sony just doesnt give a fuck, as long as dreams becomes a good game.

Thats the support sony gives to their first parties.

Sure, sony has to make hard calls (cancelation if Stig's game after 3 years of developement, or Evolution's disbanding) but with all those titles, looks like that were right decisions...
Dream looks so insane that I think it's worth it on potential from the players alone. Imagine another Little Big Contra situation where the players become developers and end up working with Playstation hardware in some capacity. Sort of like the Gran Turismo academy.
 
Personally speaking Sony's best output time period (so far) IMHO was the PS2 era... the variety of their offerings was massive. Nothing touches it really, it was truly a golden era.
 
They have always been a good publisher, they look better this year than usual due to the timing of the release schedule. There's always something big coming, and they aren't afraid to change it up when the formula starts wearing thin.
 
Quick Question since I’m dumb: What makes Spider-Man First Party? As I thought that goes for games that are made by companies owned by the Console Maker?

But Insomniac is Independent?

Just because I don’t know the rules here and it’s always baffled me.
 
Quick Question since I’m dumb: What makes Spider-Man First Party? As I thought that goes for games that are made by companies owned by the Console Maker?

But Insomniac is Independent?

Just because I don’t know the rules here and it’s always baffled me.
Insomniac is independent but the IP of this specific Spider-Man PS4 game is owned by Sony. Spider-Man is obviously owned by Marvel, Sony nor Insomniac has no ownership over that but this Spider-Man game is a WWS Sony game. That's why it's a 1st Party Sony game.
 
Insomniac is independent but the IP of this specific Spider-Man PS4 game is owned by Sony. Spider-Man is obviously owned by Marvel, Sony nor Insomniac has no ownership over that but this Spider-Man game is a WWS Sony game. That's why it's a 1st Party Sony game.
Ah. Gotcha!

Thank you.
 
I think it's a two things
  • Sony studios take a long time to get goin. This is why ps4 first party was so terrible in the first few years of ots life
  • They are attempting a big push for ps vr before it splutters to death
I expect next year to be sttonger, even with a lack of ps vr games
 
Quick Question since I’m dumb: What makes Spider-Man First Party? As I thought that goes for games that are made by companies owned by the Console Maker?

But Insomniac is Independent?

Just because I don’t know the rules here and it’s always baffled me.
In general: Whatever a console maker funds and publishes is first party. The developer being owned by them or not is irrelevant.
 
Bring back Warhawk for the PS5 Sony! If they launched it as a F2P game it would be amazing! That game is seriously underrated as a MP game.

Anyways, this gen they’ve continued on from their success towards the end of the PS3 gen. Sure, they’ve hit a few duds but the most important thing I see them try is to have a wide range of diversity of games and are not afraid to allow their studios the freedom to explore new franchises.

Long may it continue.
 
Timing. Two of their biggest long development triple-A projects happened to be released this year, which is probably not something they anticipated when they greenlit those games some 5-6 years ago. But they've been excellent suppliers of first party games for quite some time now, back in the day I picked up a PS3 practically only to play Naughty Dog games and a few other PS exclusives.
 
I watched a video of David Jaffe last week where he said Sony management is now just superb at what they do.
Beyond having quality studios, you need a world class management/production team who know how to help creatives craft their experiences with needed resources.

I believe Sony have grown exceptionally strong in this area since middle of PS3 to PS4.
 
A forgiving userbase that stuck by it and supported it when it had no big games at release.

Remember when all we had was Rezogun, Dont Starve and Warframe. I think FF14 online, that held me down came out before Infamous. Killzone as expected was ass. The Order was the most dissapointing $60 I ever spent.

That gave Sony time to build, you can say in the end time was on their side.

Being $100 cheaper helped too.
Do you remember that there were more games than those you mentioned? Smell here "no gamez" meme.
 
They have a perfect generation this time. Marketing on point, public perception of being the better product since launch with offering better hardware for a lower price, the right marketing deals, clear and direct communication, a good relationship with the fanbase, and amazing software output from studios they own or have contacts with. It's hard to imagine what can be done better.
 
This isn’t even their best year nor did they just start this year. Infamous Second Son, Bloodborne, Uncharted 4, The Last Guardian, Until Dawn, Horizon, The Lost Legacy, Gravity Rush 2, etc.

They’ve been doing the same every year since 2014. Quality 1st Party content every year. Since Infamous to BB the following year and onward.
True that. There were more games since 2014 besides only Resogun, Don't Starve i Warframe.
 
I definitely think the success of the PS4 allowed them to put more time and potentially budget into their titles. Last Gen they were playing catch up and needed to rush a lot of titles out (although still produced some stellar games.)

I think you can see the inverse in some of Microsoft’s recent games. They need to get them out potentially before they are ready. It leads to more inconsistency, some goodies, some not so goodies.
 
Top