PlayStation Will “Always” Make Single Player Narrative-Based Games, but Live Services Are “Incredibly Exciting”

PlayStation Studios boss Hermen Hulst says that while first party Sony studios will "always carry on making" cinematic single player action-adventure titles, the company is going to expand into live service experiences as well.

Posted By | On 22nd, Mar. 2022

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In recent months, Sony has made it abundantly clear that it’s going to try and rapidly expand its presence in the live service space, with the company planning on releasing 10 new live service games between now and early 2026.

PlayStation’s first party output, however, has always been associated first and foremost with single player story-driven games, especially over the last console generation and heading into the current one- so is a greater emphasis on live service games going to come at the cost of the kinds of experiences PlayStation has built its brand and fanbase on? Well, apparently not.

It was recently confirmed that PlayStation has acquired Jade Raymond’s Haven Studios, a studio that is currently working on a new AAA live service PS5 IP. Speaking about the same in an interview with GamesIndustry, PlayStation Studios head Hermen Hulst said that while Sony’s first party teams will “always carry on making” single player narrative-driven games, the company also wants to expand its presence in the live service space, which it finds “incredibly exciting”.

“Obviously we will always carry on making these single-player narrative-based games such as Ghost of Tsushima, The Last of Us, and Horizon Forbidden West,” Hulst said. “But you’ve spotted correctly that we have invested in live service games, because that’s incredibly exciting for us. It allows us to build larger worlds, it allows us to create really meaningful social connections between players.

“We have quite a few now in development or conceptualisation, so yes we are setting up capabilities internally. But exactly for that reason, it is so exciting for us to welcome to the family a group of people who have a lot of experience with live service games. To have those central capabilities that we’re setting up interact with people who have been doing it for a long time… that notion that demanding customers create great capabilities, that usually holds true in game development.

“It’s really exciting for our central services and technology groups. For these to be working with a world class outfit like Haven… that’s great. And it is aligned with the strategy of diversifying the kinds of games we are offering to our fanbase.”

Earlier this year, shortly after the announcement that PlayStation was acquiring Destiny developer Bungie, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan said that the acquisition would help Sony “significantly accelerate” its “aggressive roadmap” with live service games.

There’s a number of live service games that could possibly in the works across PlayStation or PlayStation-affiliated teams right now, and though there’s been no official word from Sony on that front, we recent looked at a few likely projects that might be in the works. Read more on that through here.


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