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PlayStation’s strength is that it can do it all

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When Microsoft announced last month that it was acquiring Call of Duty publisher Activision Blizzard for $ 69 billion, many wondered how Sony could compete. And to a point, that concern is justified. Microsoft is a $ 2-trillion company that burns a lot of cash. Sony, meanwhile, is just your standard multibillion-dollar set. But in a world where Google, Tencent, Amazon and other trillion-dollar companies are keeping an eye on video games, Sony’s PlayStation is still in a good position to compete, grow and get to the top.

Sony’s strength is that it has the money, skills and properties to accept almost any idea. And the company has already shown a willingness to put in place various strategic pieces for its future.

The most important strategy for Sony is, of course, the core PlayStation business. PlayStation fans brought the company into dance and Sony is not in danger of leaving it as its primary dance partner.

Generated by Sony’s Games and Network Services division It had a profit of $ 2.6 billion last year, with revenue of $ 25 billionMaking it the world’s second-largest gaming-focused business, behind China’s inexplicably large Tencent.

But on top of that success, PlayStation boss Jim Ryan is looking for new ways to grow. And unlike Microsoft’s Xbox, Ryan is considering a more comprehensive strategy.

PlayStation is doing it all

Sony will continue to build the games and consoles for which it is known. The PlayStation 5 will continue to fly off the shelves – if one ever ends up on the shelf – and the PlayStation Studio will continue to outperform the game of the year. And it will lead to its own growth – although it is a slow and steady process.

Games like The Last of Us Part 2 and Horizon Forbidden West are expensive to make and have no profit margins like the live-service Juggernaut. But it does lead to straightforward new ways to leverage the success of its games, and the company seems ready and capable of doing it all.

And by all means, I mean, Sony’s investments look a lot like what would happen if you combined Xbox, Ubisoft and Nintendo all in one.

Movies and television

Like Nintendo, Sony is looking for ways to increase the value of its PlayStation brands through other media, such as movies and television. What’s different about Sony is that it owns one of the largest movie studios in Hollywood, Sony Pictures. So while Nintendo is partnering with Illumination and gradually planning for more films after that, Sony is making its debut Strangers In theaters this week. The Last of Us The series, meanwhile, is also coming to HBO soon.

During almost three decades of PlayStation, we haven’t seen Sony take advantage of this kind of synergy before. It is now because Sony Pictures, like the rest of Hollywood, wants to wager on the familiar IP. The timing also makes sense as the PlayStation is now Sony’s clear crown jewel. Everything else is now working to support that business.

But this is also, of course, the direction in which the entire industry is moving.

Sony is one of the best place to take advantage of these trends. And that’s the whole point: PlayStation’s potential avenues for growth are as diverse as the company’s in many different markets.

Live-service games

The idea that basically provoked this story for me is the contradiction between Ubisoft and PlayStation. Both companies are looking to the future with more live-service based games. But Ubisoft has overtaken its old “blueprint” style of creating games in favor of its new “mothership and satellite” approach. By 2018, Ubisoft will try to introduce games as often as possible in Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry and other franchise blueprints. Since then, however, the company has decided to shift to a model where it will release a huge live-service game in each franchise that will last for years and then it will push out small satellite games at a faster rate in those franchises.

The exact shift in Ubisoft’s strategy is not as important as the migration itself. Sony also follows live-service games. The company told investors that when it announced its planned acquisition of Bungi, it was making 10 game-a-service products.

The main point is that Sony makes those 10 live-service games in addition to the new God of War and Horizon games. While Ubisoft and many other publishers have to choose where to spend their budget, the PlayStation is profitable enough to do it all.

Subscription Services

The most common comparison for the PlayStation is with the Xbox and its Xbox Game Pass service. Microsoft is working on creating Netflix of games, and it has spent an estimated $ 100 billion to do so. To ensure the appeal of the game pass, Microsoft puts all of its games into service on the first day of release. So instead of paying 60 or $ 70 (or more in other countries) for a new game, you can leave 10 or $ 15 per month instead.

Microsoft’s strategy is a bold, long-term game that seems like an inevitability. So naturally, industry observers want to know how Sony might respond – or even. But again, while PlayStation competitors continue to find a place in certain strategies, Sony is fully capable of doing everything.

Sony will continue to build its games with a budget north of $ 120 million, and as former PlayStation boss Shawn Laiden said last year, those games will not soon come to fruition in the 10-per-month service anytime soon.

Laden told Gamesindustry.biz in July, “You pencil it, you have to have 500 million subscribers before you can start recovering your investment.” “That’s why you need to take a loss-leading position right now to try to increase that base.”

But even without the first day of God of War Ragnarok PS +, Sony has managed to attract 48 million subscribers to its PS + membership program. And it has 111 million monthly active users who are spending money on games like Fortnite, Apex Legends and more.

So while it’s easy to see from the outside and wonder how Sony will respond to the Xbox game pass, the reality is that from the inside, Sony is just thinking about how to grow on the success it already has.

According to a Bloomberg report, the company is developing its strategy with a stronger subscription offer under the codename Spartacus.

The PlayStation has a lot of strengths that hang on to vulnerabilities

None of this means that the PlayStation has no weak points. Sony would like to sell its first-party games more like Nintendo’s first-party. And the company will enjoy a first-party multiplayer live-service game that can earn enough money to offset the cost of creating a new Last of Us.

But the thing to take away from the current Sony is that it has sound fundamentals, and plans on how to develop it in all key areas. And wherever he is weak, it seems he has a plan to overcome those worries. PlayStation First-Party has a growing list of games that have sold over 15 million copies. And she is buying a bungee specifically to address her need for live-service skills.

While Microsoft continues to insist that it is competing with Amazon and Tencent, and while Nintendo is stopping its work, Sony continues to make all sorts of smart moves to ensure its dominance in the console generation and beyond. Keeps. .

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