TOKYO, October 4. (Reuters) – Sony Group Corp’s ( 6758.T ) gaming business is seeking new investment to bolster its push into PCs and mobile phones, a senior executive said, as the PlayStation 5 maker competes for talent with cash-rich rivals. and industry dealmaking heats up.
“Further investment in areas that will strengthen the expansion into PC, mobile and into live services is definitely our opportunity,” Hermen Hulst, head of PlayStation Studios, told Reuters in an interview without giving further details.
Sony, whose studio is known for single-player console games such as Spider-Man and God of War, has outlined ambitious plans to release games for PC and mobile phones and offer live games that keep the game fresh.
The radical shift is reflected in its recent deals, including the $3.6 billion acquisition of Bungie, the studio behind the multiplayer Destiny franchise that Sony operates outside of its PlayStation Studios network.
Other investments include acquiring a minority stake in Japanese developer FromSoftware, whose action role-playing game Elden Ring has sold more than 16.6 million units.
“First and foremost, you should think about collaboration on game development, but it’s also not inconceivable that our PlayStation Productions efforts are exploring the possibilities,” Hulst said of FromSoftware’s investment.
Sony has been making more and more game adaptations, with this year’s Uncharted making more than $400 million.
Hulst, who is based in the Netherlands and took over in 2019, oversaw the growth of PlayStation Studios to 19 studios, including Nixxes, which ported console games to PC, and mobile developer Savage Game Studios.
THE MAIN DIFFERENTIATOR
Given the extent of the changes in the gaming business, analysts expect Sony to make more deals.
“I think they’re going to add studios anyway,” said Serkan Toto, founder of Kantan Games, a consultancy.
The strength of the PlayStation studio’s network has drawn praise as a key differentiator for Xbox maker Microsoft ( MSFT.O ), which is trying to acquire Activision Blizzard ( ATVI.O ).
Sony’s head of gaming, Jim Ryan, expressed reservations about the potential impact of the $69 billion deal on PlayStation users.
“If Sony can achieve what they did with the single-player experience, but (as) a multiplayer experience across platforms, PC, consoles and maybe even phone, then all bets are off,” Toto said, noting the game’s success. online games like Fortnite from Epic Games.
Sony is pushing into other platforms as supply chain grumbles have made it difficult for it to produce enough units of the PlayStation 5. Its in-house studios are also developing titles for the next-generation PlayStation VR2 headset, which is expected to launch early next year.
Such headsets, which have attracted investment from gamers including Facebook parent Meta ( META.O ), have yet to break through as a mainstream gaming method. The price of the device is not announced.
While Horizon Forbidden West, which came out in February, is “open world and that’s not necessarily a great fit for a PSVR2 game,” Sony is developing “commissioned” titles like Horizon Call of the Mountain for the system, Hulst said. said
Sam Nussey reports; Edited by Muralikumar Anantharaman
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.