Sony has so many fantastic series just lying dormant- they could bring them back, and make their first party lineup even more impressive.
While Sony has slowly built up its catalog of bankable franchises and characters over the last ten years, to the point that they now have a formidable lineup of exclusives guaranteed to generate sales, and sell people on their consoles, the really impressive thing is that there are still more IPs they could be pushing. See, even before Sony doubled down on its first party output with the PS3, they had some impressive, beloved franchises, franchises that fell by the wayside, and that they never went back to- franchises that fans love, and which would especially do very well in today’s context.
With Sony’s games generally doing so well now- games like Horizon, God of War, Uncharted, The Last of Us, all sell millions upon millions of copies- it is now clear that no matter what they put out, as long as they push it, they will have an audience waiting for it. An audience that trusts that Sony will deliver only on quality, and nothing else. It is well earned trust- and maybe Sony could now use that trust to bring back some of the lesser known, but absolutely fantastic, gems from their first party lineup of the past. Gems like…
"Japanese RPGs are on a resurgence now, with games like Persona 5, NieR Automata, Tales of Berseria, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and Octopath Traveler all having broken out and done surprisingly well in just the last year. Sony themselves have a audience eager for quality Japanese content on the PS4, thanks to all the JRPGs that have hit it in the last few years- come on, Sony. What better time would there be to give Wild Arms another go than now?"
Come on, you knew I would start with this. Wild Arms was a series of fantastic, superlative Japanese role playing games, set in a western setting, blended with the traditional shonen elements, fantasy, and science fiction tropes that Japanese games, especially RPGs, so often favor. Wild Arms never managed to do too well in the west, either critically or commercially, but Sony could bring the series back, maybe in collaboration with a studio like Level-5, overseeing it with their rigorous standards of quality and polish. Japanese RPGs are on a resurgence now, with games like Persona 5, NieR Automata, Tales of Berseria, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and Octopath Traveler all having broken out and done surprisingly well in just the last year. Sony themselves have a audience eager for quality Japanese content on the PS4, thanks to all the JRPGs that have hit it in the last few years- come on, Sony. What better time would there be to give Wild Arms another go than now? JRPGs are on the upswing, and there’s an appetite for them on consoles. Your own output is high polish, high quality, and well received. Just put out a new Wild Arms, and watch the adoration roll in. And no, I don’t mean that mobile game by WayForward.
What bites the most about Sony unceremoniously ditching Wipeout and shuttering their studio Sony Liverpool (née Pygnosis) is that Pygnosis was Sony’s first first party studio ever, and Wipeout their first major first party hit. The game was responsible, in very large part, for helping brand the original PlayStation with an image of being a cool lifestyle device, and not just a kids’ toy like previous consoles had been perceived. And it backed all that style with some substance too, with Wipeout Pure, Wipeout Pulse, and Wipeout HD and Fury being fantastic games that each showcased a new generation of PlayStation hardware. Sony ditching this franchise (beyond remastering older Wipeout games for PS4, and then making them PSVR compatible) really stings, especially because Wipeout would look so fantastic on modern hardware, and would benefit so much from the full rage of multiplayer functionality that modern consoles provide. With Sony not having any arcade racer in their first party lineup, and the futuristic racing genre having no other competition with Nintendo also just sitting on F-Zero, this would be the best chance to throw fans a bone, and bring Wipeout back. Do it Sony.
"Alternate history shooters, and shooters focusing primarily on their single player campaigns, have done well in the market in the last few years, and Sony themselves lack any shooter in their lineup, voids which Resistance could fill in."
Of all the many IP I will name in this article, Resistance is probably the least loved. Insomniac’s alternate history first person shooter series never quite seemed to find its footing in the market. The first game was a standard, if unremarkable, shooter, while the second chased many multiplayer trends, failing to capitalize on them, and also alienating the fans the first game had managed to pick up along the way. By the time the third game came out, the series had finally found its identity, and Resistance 3 remains one of the finest, and most underrated shooter campaigns of all time. But by then, it was too late- the market had moved on, and there were many other shooters for them to sink their time into. Things have changed since then, however- alternate history shooters, and shooters focusing primarily on their single player campaigns, have done well in the market in the last few years, and Sony themselves lack any shooter in their lineup, voids which Resistance could fill in. Given Insomniac’s own output is so much more high quality now than it was in the early, confused PS3 days too, I have no doubts a new Resistance would be absolutely fantastic. Maybe after Spider-Man?
JAK AND DAXTER
Who would argue with someone wanting Jak and Daxter back? Before Naughty Dog became Sony’s prestige studio, pushing the envelope on interactive storytelling with their games, they were known for making great mascot platformers. Crash Bandicoot on the PlayStation, and Jak and Daxter on the PS2- the latter games being great, whimsical open world platforming collectathons with action elements strewn in. Jak and Daxter never found the kind of following Crash did, mostly because of a mid-series pivot into trying to go in a more serious and gritty direction, but the games remained high quality, and would do exceptionally well today- especially now that Sony’s own lineup seems to lack anything meaningful in the way of platformers, something like a (non-gritty) Jak and Daxter would go a long way in adding some color and variety to their portfolio.
"Warhawk is tailor made for success in today’s market- Sony just has to be smart and revive it. They sorely lack multiplayer games of cosequence in their lineup- Warhawk could change that."
Okay, stay with me here. Warhawk was absolutely freaking fantastic, especially the PS3 reboot. It was a multiplayer game of the kind that there have been few of since, and it was way too ahead of its time. It managed to do well, but it preceded its market by at least a half decade. Now, imagine a new Warhawk put out by Sony- no campaign, just multiplayer. Make it free to play, make it a GaaS style game, add cosmetic microtransactions to support it. Ensure the unique multiplayer style and spirit of the PS3 game is maintained. Warhawk is tailor made for success in today’s market- Sony just has to be smart and revive it. They sorely lack multiplayer games of consequence in their lineup- Warhawk could change that.
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