Sunday, October 2

The reason for the purchase of Bungie: PlayStation bets heavily on games as a service

Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) announced this Monday, January 31, the Bungie acquisition, the creators of Destiny Y Halo, for 3.6 billion dollars. An agreement between two large companies (those in Bellevue have more than 900 employees) that has been formalizing for months and is not a response to the future purchase of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft or Zynga by Take-Two.

Thus, the PlayStation company will have under its umbrella one of the largest games as a service in the world, Destiny 2, in addition to the futures game as a service that develops the study together with the Chinese company NetEase that invested more than 100 million dollars. So much Destiny as future projects will continue to come out on PC, Xbox, Stadia, mobile and other platforms. But they take away something even more important: the studio expertise in creating and maintaining ever-expanding games, an area in which PlayStation Studios has not been very fruitful and in which it has shown interest in recent years.

Where many have failed, from Anthem a Marvel’s Avengers, Bungie with Destiny, after almost 8 years on the market, has achieved an established game as a service, a type of product that PlayStation Studios did not have, until now.

The goal: reach billions of players

“This acquisition will give SIE access to Bungie’s world-class approach to games as a service and technological expertise, taking SIE’s vision of reaching billions of gamers farther”, can be read in the agreement press release. “This is an important step in our strategy to extend the reach of PlayStation to a much larger audience,” Jim Ryan said in a statement.

Ryan began to talk about his commitment to games as a service (ever-expanding titles like Fortnite, Genshin Impact Y Minecraft) in 2019. In a Interview with CNET, asked about these types of games, said: “It’s like any category of games or any category of entertainment. There are good examples and less good examples.. When they’re done right, and you look at the engagement stats [entre juego y jugadores] from FIFA, for example, the commitment is just incredible.”

“If you’re going to do this you have to do it really well”Ryan continued. “It’s a form of entertainment that has to be gradually built, you can’t just jump in and make one of these games as a service and get it right from day one. They have to evolve and iterate on them, and that’s not easy.” However, the executive recalled that they have never been more successful than at that time with their narrative-focused single player adventures, a genre from which they will never detach.

A parenthesis. In November 2021, the 10 most played PlayStation 5 titles. There are PlayStation Studios titles like Spider-Man: Miles Morales Y Demon’s Souls Remakebut the rest were eight third-party titles, all of them games as a service: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Destiny 2, Call of Duty, sports, and of course, Fortnite.

Bungie collaborate with PlayStation Studios to make games as a service

In this context, it is also worth noting Ryan’s words in October 2021 in a talk on Games Industry Live, where I talk about the brand intent to expand to tens of millions of gamers no matter what platform they play on. The president of PlayStation added that video games also compete with movies and music, forms of entertainment that are not tied to a device, as is the case with consoles. One of the objectives, in addition to the launch of games on PC as we have seen in recent months, is also mobile phones.

So it is not surprising, first, that Bungie will continue to operate autonomously and releasing their games on other platforms, nor the executive’s statement after the agreement, where he makes clear his commitment to this type of game: “Bungie’s successful track record in cross-platform publishing and games as a service will help us make this a reality.” our ambitions to take PlayStation beyond the console and increase our potential audience.

Elsewhere in the statement, Ryan talks about “evolve gaming experiences” that they do thanks to “support in the development of many future titles as a service from PlayStation Studios”. Hermen Hulst, head of the label that brings together 17 studios such as Naughty Dog and Sony Santa Monica, aada: “We are very happy to make plans to share skills and experience, and to unlock the potential of having the brilliant minds of Bungie under the roof of PlayStation“.

Ryan: “an aggressive road time in games as a service”

Talking with GamesIndustry Right after the Bungie deal, Ryan talks about having “an aggressive roadmap with games as a service”, but he claims that it is just one of the ways they are going to expand the community of PlayStation beyond consoles. “Philosophically, this isn’t about putting things into the PlayStation world. This is about building huge, wonderful new worlds together.”

PlayStation Remote Play

The executive talks about offering players new ways to experience the characters and sagas that PlayStation users have wanted for more than 25 years, but does not go into details. “I will bet on making ourselves [los juegos como servicio], but when you have the potential to have a partner like Bungie […] we believe we can significantly decrease the time it takes to get it right.”

Sony is already working on many games as a service

Sony already bet heavily on games as a service in the bit of PlayStation 3 with titles like SOCOM, Warhawk Y M.A.G. that, although they had their player base, they did not succeed. On PS4 they tried again with DriveClub Y Gran Turismo Sport, among many others, with disparate results. And shortly after the launch of PS5 they released Destruction All-Stars, which has not worked well either.

Given this history, and seeing everything they prepare, the acquisition of Bungie is better contextualized. The multiplayer of The Last of Us Parte II that has been in development for years and that aims to be an independent title to the Naughty Dog adventure. Guerrilla Games, the makers of Horizon, also work in a multiplayer game. Sony London Studios are developing an unannounced online game. Insomniac Games started hiring for an online game in the summer. And we can’t forget that probably Sucker Punch Productions from continuity to Ghost of Tsushima: Legends if they continue with that saga.

To all this we must add that Grand Touring 7 will have a strong game-as-a-service component just like it did Sports, that there are rumors that Twisted Metal return parallel to the television series, and that Firesprite, the newly acquired studio that is collaborating with Guerrilla on Horizon Call of the Mountain, they were working on a Player vs. Player title before the purchase.

Outside of the acquired studios, PlayStation Studios announced deals with Haven (the firm founded by Jade Raymond), Firewalk (founded by veterans of the saga Destiny) and Deviation Games (founded by veterans of CoD). They will all be multiplayer games. Also, the famous filtracin de Nvidia GeForce Now was talking about a sequel Helldivers (Sony published it on both PlayStation and PC) which would be Arrowhead’s next title.

Ultimately, PlayStation Studios’ ambition to go beyond narrative-focused action adventures has been on the table for a long time, and it will be in the next few years. coming months and years when we see its fruits, perhaps with new acquisitions. Of course, those who like the games for which the firm has been defined over the years will not be short of proposals already announced (and those that remain to be announced) such as Horizon Forbidden West, God of War: Ragnarok, Spider-Man 2 Y Marvel’s Wolverine.

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