TOKYO, Oct 4 (Reuters) – Sony Group Corp’s ( 6758.T ) games business is seeking new investment to boost its push into PC and mobile, a top executive said, as the PlayStation 5 maker competes with deep-seated rivals for talent. and as industry deals heat up.
“More investment in areas that will strengthen expansion into PC, mobile and live services is certainly an option for us,” PlayStation Studios head Hermen Hulst told Reuters in an interview, without elaborating.
Sony, whose studio is best known for single-player console games like “Spider-Man” and “God of War,” has unveiled ambitious plans to release titles on PC and mobile and offer live service games that offer constantly updated gameplay.
The radical shift is reflected in its recent deals, including the $3.6 billion acquisition of Bungie, the studio behind the multiplayer “Destiny” franchise, which operates outside the Sony PlayStation Studios network.
Other investments include buying 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 have to think about collaborations in the field of game development, but exploring the possibilities with our efforts at PlayStation Productions is also not inconceivable,” Hulst said of the FromSoftware investment.
Sony is producing more and more game adaptations, with this year’s “Uncharted” movie grossing more than $400 million worldwide and a TV series based on studio Naughty Dog’s “The Last of Us” franchise premiering on HBO next year.
Hulst, who is based in the Netherlands and took over in 2019, has overseen the growth of PlayStation Studios to 19 studios, including Nixxes, which brings console games to PC, and mobile developer Savage Game Studios.
THE KEY DIFFERENTIATOR
Given the extent of the transformation the games business is targeting, analysts expect more deals from Sony.
“I think they will still add studios,” said Serkan Toto, founder of Kantan Games consultancy.
The strength of PlayStation’s studio network has drawn praise as a key differentiator from Xbox maker Microsoft ( MSFT.O ), which is trying to buy Activision Blizzard ( ATVI.O ).
Sony’s head of games, Jim Ryan, has weighed in on the potential impact of the $69 billion mega-deal on PlayStation users.
“If Sony can pull off what they did with single-player experiences but (so) multiplayer experiences across platforms, PC, consoles and maybe even phone, then all bets are off,” Toto said of the success. Online games like Fortnite from Epic Games.
Sony’s push into other platforms comes as it struggles to produce enough PlayStation 5 units due to supply chain turmoil. Its in-house studio is developing titles for the next-generation PlayStation VR2 headset, which is set to launch early next year.
Such headsets, which have attracted investment from gamers including Facebook parent Meta ( META.O ), have yet to catch on and become the primary method for gaming. The price of the device has not been announced.
While “Horizon Forbidden West,” which was released in February, is “open-world and that’s not necessarily a good fit for a PSVR2 game,” Sony is designing “tailor-made” titles such as “Horizon Call of the Mountain” for the system, Hulst said. he said
Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman
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