Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida is one of my favorite executives from any gaming company- he comes off as genuine, sincere, and legitimately passionate about video games, no matter where they come from. He is also very honest, and does not give us the kind of canned PR responses so many other companies often feed us.
Sometimes, that can lead to some sticky situations. Such as the one he landed in today, when he stated outright that he hated annualized franchises. Speaking at DICE, he said that he felt that sequels are marketable, and therefore come with less risk, making a lot of business sense for any corporation; with that said, he added that the extreme form of this was when marketing teams decided to annualize franchises, expressing that he ‘hated annualized games,’ and that he wished they didn’t happen.
While this is naturally a sentiment that a lot of gamers will agree with, there is one sort problem here- Yoshida is not just a gamer. He represents PlayStation to a lot of people, and a huge of PlayStation’s revenue comes from third party game sales- most of which actually come from annualized franchises like Call of Duty or Assassin’s Creed. So naturally, this was not the best comment to have made, on his part.
Apparently, Yoshida seems to have realized this later too, as he issued a clarification on Twitter. “I do not hate CoD or AC, it was my way of saying they do amazing jobs to release games every year,” he said, specifically tagging Ubisoft and Activision in his tweet. Which… is a very odd way to express appreciation, and an even odder form of damage control. Oh, Yoshida. I still love you, and I hope this does not change your refreshing honesty in the future.