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Business Game Dev Jim Ryan for TMTPOST: "we don't want games that are OK, we want the best."

Rubberwald

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There is nothing wrong with what he said even if I don’t agree with it. He is not a gamer, but a businessman and he thinks like one. He wants his brand to produce game equivalents of movies like A Beautiful Mind - a movie that makes money and nabs a few Oscars. That’s what constitutes for quality for him. He has no interest in some weirdo oddity where Nic Cage lives with a truffle pig. I might want games that are more subversive, idiosyncratic than what mainstream offers, but 99% gamers don’t and that is why Sony is doing so well.
 
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SLB1904

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False. Jim just shut up. Players remember OK games all the time even your own studios Days Gone. You know what else players remember? Awful expensive ripoffs like Destruction AllStars.
Destruction AllStars is $20 and was also free with ps plus subscription.

Rip off sure.
Why don't you just stick with xbox topics. You always come across as ignorant and full of hanger.
 

Tomeru

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i don't have an issue with Hollywood-style games if they're done well. Ghosts of Tsushima does it very well. TLOU2, despite all the supposed accolades, does it very poorly.

Contrived set-ups, questionable stereotypes, poor narrative structure and pacing (so many damn flashbacks), emotional manipulation to prop one character up (Abby) by ruining another (Ellie). Oh, and barely any innovation on game mechanics from the prequel several years earlier.
Isnt it amazing that two people can play the same game and have entirely different experience?

I thought the TLOU2 was a masterpiece in everything that mattered to me (that is everything you disliked).

🤷
 

Buggy Loop

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I mostly like diversity and games that take risks. Also games that does not respect gamer intelligence like painted white/yellow edges that indicate to the bottom of the barrel IQ « Hey! Jump here or grab here to continue! » are a big turn off.

I rarely consider the best cinematic experiences as the best games. To each their own I guess (diversity in choice is king)
 

ZywyPL

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I fully agree with Ryan, there's a reason people keep mentioning games like Chrono Trigger, Half Life 2, Crysis, TLoU, Witcher 3, RDR2 etc. years or even decades after they launched, those games stood the test of time exactly because during they release they were indeed the best, at least in just some aspects of the industry (like FEAR with its AI, whenever there's a conversation about AI you know many people will come up with this title).

That being said tho, "OK games" if exactly what most PS exclusives actually are, aside of the graphics of course which are industry's best and are what actually generates all the hype - no one talks about those games just a year later, sometimes even months after launch, some even launch totally unnoticed. Before we hit Christmas no one will remember R&C which Ryan is so desperately advertising here, if the franchise would permanently disappear one day from PS lineup no one would even noticed, throughout past 5 years since latest Ratchet literally no one was asking for a sequel, what's going on with the series etc. it's ok if the game's there, but nothing to write poems about, certainly nothing "the best" in it, nothing anyone would be ever missing. No one is asking when's the next Killzone, inFamous etc. coming either, even Uncharted series seem to be forgotten already. There's just nothing in the gameplay mechanics that stands out of the crowd, nor the stories/characters are that great/memorable, let alone "the best".

Some dev not so long ago said on Twitter thta all Sony cares about is MC scores, so maybe that's exactly that, that's Ryan's perception on the games reception.
 

PropellerEar

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I fully agree with Ryan, there's a reason people keep mentioning games like Chrono Trigger, Half Life 2, Crysis, TLoU, Witcher 3, RDR2 etc. years or even decades after they launched, those games stood the test of time exactly because during they release they were indeed the best, at least in just some aspects of the industry (like FEAR with its AI, whenever there's a conversation about AI you know many people will come up with this title).

That being said tho, "OK games" if exactly what most PS exclusives actually are, aside of the graphics of course which are industry's best and are what actually generates all the hype - no one talks about those games just a year later, sometimes even months after launch, some even launch totally unnoticed. Before we hit Christmas no one will remember R&C which Ryan is so desperately advertising here, if the franchise would permanently disappear one day from PS lineup no one would even noticed, throughout past 5 years since latest Ratchet literally no one was asking for a sequel, what's going on with the series etc. it's ok if the game's there, but nothing to write poems about, certainly nothing "the best" in it, nothing anyone would be ever missing. No one is asking when's the next Killzone, inFamous etc. coming either, even Uncharted series seem to be forgotten already. There's just nothing in the gameplay mechanics that stands out of the crowd, nor the stories/characters are that great/memorable, let alone "the best".

Some dev not so long ago said on Twitter thta all Sony cares about is MC scores, so maybe that's exactly that, that's Ryan's perception on the games reception.
PS GOTYs live rent free in the minds of certain forum members.
Bloodborne is the wet dream of portbeggars.
Uncharted and TLOU series are talked about constantly, unmatched quality of these series is a clear pain point.
Industry and gamers have deemed them the best.
 

mcjmetroid

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When asked whether he was a gamer and what games he enjoyed most in the past year, all he could think to answer for both questions was Ratchet & Clank :messenger_tears_of_joy: This guy is a business suit through and through.

Also, that line about trying to "reach users who like Hollywood movies" doesn't sit right with me. Video games and movies are separate mediums and I don't want to be playing interactive movies with long cutscenes.
Wrong platform so haha

In all seriousness though. This is absolutely the direction Sony is going to go in. The closure of Japan studios the cancellation or days gone 2 which the first had to be their most heavy gameplay game outside of God of War.

They are looking at games like the last of us 2 as a image of things to come.

I hope not though
 
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MikeM

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May 21, 2021
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God of War was better than TLOU2 in every way.

Agreed. But that doesn't mean that TLOU2 did not deserve the awards it got.

I do have to say though that out of all the publishers out there, whenever a Sony game comes out, it's the most likely to get my money day 1. There is something to be said about the polish and quality of their games.
 
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Rippa

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That doesnt explain Deathloop.

Well since the article is talking specifically about PS studios wanting/having/producing the best. Are you implying that Deathloop, which isn’t developed by PS studios, sucks?

If so, I agree whole heartedly. On the basis that all Bethesda knows how to develop is buggy first person games. And I hate first person games.
 

Pallas

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What else was he going to say? It’s PR, I guess him and Spencer have been going on date night lately. It’s sad that MiyazakiHatesKojima MiyazakiHatesKojima isn’t here to witness this.

But on a serious note, what I enjoyed about Sony in the past was their versatility when it came to types of games, but it feels like now unless a game hits a home run, it’s considered a failure and shelved.
 

Mokus

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Mar 30, 2018
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I fully agree with Ryan, there's a reason people keep mentioning games like Chrono Trigger, Half Life 2, Crysis, TLoU, Witcher 3, RDR2 etc. years or even decades after they launched, those games stood the test of time exactly because during they release they were indeed the best, at least in just some aspects of the industry (like FEAR with its AI, whenever there's a conversation about AI you know many people will come up with this title).

That being said tho, "OK games" if exactly what most PS exclusives actually are, aside of the graphics of course which are industry's best and are what actually generates all the hype - no one talks about those games just a year later, sometimes even months after launch, some even launch totally unnoticed. Before we hit Christmas no one will remember R&C which Ryan is so desperately advertising here, if the franchise would permanently disappear one day from PS lineup no one would even noticed, throughout past 5 years since latest Ratchet literally no one was asking for a sequel, what's going on with the series etc. it's ok if the game's there, but nothing to write poems about, certainly nothing "the best" in it, nothing anyone would be ever missing. No one is asking when's the next Killzone, inFamous etc. coming either, even Uncharted series seem to be forgotten already. There's just nothing in the gameplay mechanics that stands out of the crowd, nor the stories/characters are that great/memorable, let alone "the best".

Some dev not so long ago said on Twitter thta all Sony cares about is MC scores, so maybe that's exactly that, that's Ryan's perception on the games reception.
Just because a bunch of no ones don't like Sony's lineup, doesn't mean the other gamers can't enjoy them. There is a reason why so many Nintendo fans and PC gamers have a Playstation console as secondary platform.

And if Sony's "OK games" are forgettable then what about Microsoft's below average games that you, the no ones, like so much?
 

ZywyPL

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Just because a bunch of no ones don't like Sony's lineup, doesn't mean the other gamers can't enjoy them. There is a reason why so many Nintendo fans and PC gamers have a Playstation console as secondary platform.

Just because people trash on EA/Ubi/Acti doesn't mean people can't enjoy their games as well. Even more than Sony's titles if we look at the numbers, so what's you point here?

And if Sony's "OK games" are forgettable then what about Microsoft's below average games that you, the no ones, like so much?

It's always Sony vs MS, isn't it? Despite me listing the "the best" kind of games...But I'll take a bite - the only game from MS that I personally like is Forza Motorsport, that's it, and that's actually thanks to Sony/PD and GT getting worse and worse, GT:S having no campaign at all was the nail to the coffin.

But in the broader picture, yeah, MS' games don't die within a month or two, they are being played by millions of people on a daily basis for years. If that doesn't mean a game is good then I don't know what is.
 

Warnen

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Explains the rumors of a last of us remake, gotta have the best one on ps5 ;)
 

Thirty7ven

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So basically, even though they have release date targets that they want to commit to because fans want their games, they are willing to prolong development until they have a great game to release.

OMG FIRE JIM RYAN ANTI CONSUMER ANTI PLAYSTATION
 

ZywyPL

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Well, in my book you failed miserably by not including StarCraft. Who does that?

There's "etc." in my post. And SC is actually my personal 2nd best game of all times, funny you mentioned it because I literally replayed it (+BW obviously) in June. I just don't see it's mentioned often here on Gaf, if ever, hence didn't mention it, whereas for example whenever I mention Chrono Trigger hundreds of people jump onto the post to give it a thumbs up. But yeah, the story told in SC (with nothing but a briefing room/portraits) is still one of the greatest rides in video games history, so many amazing, memorable characters, all the plot twist, the gameplay/race balance, it really is one of the best RTS ever created.
 
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A unique looking turd is still a turd

But not all of those unique games are turds, some are among the most fun and innovative games in the industry. And as well, those games can be improved on with a sequel. Uncharted wasn't exactly great in its day, but they got a chance to make it a quality series with its sequels.

In terms of all exclusives, I think Jimbo's off the mark. With PlayStation charging more for their games, the bar is high, and some of their exclusives just aren't meeting it. Destruction All Stars and Godfall are the obvious examples; AUD$125.00 for sub-par games isn't really something Sony can get away with for too long before fans stop buying games on release day. In terms of just their first party exclusives, I think Jimbo's pretty much on point. PlayStation Studios work hard on their games, and they deliver pretty good quality across the board. I've grown tired of the Sony Formula® myself, but there's no denying their studios are pumping out high quality, AAA games that their fans love.

The problem I see is one we've already discussed around here: Sony's myopic focus on blockbusters and metacritic scores. They'll never make a Sea of Thieves, a Zelda, a Starfield, a Gears Tactics, an Animal Crossing, a Halo; there's a reason nearly all of their studios are making these cinematic third person action-adventure games: it proved incredibly successful in the past and so they've doubled down. Over the course of the PS4 generation their studios have nearly all migrated towards making a fairly specific type of game. Is it a smart move to put all your eggs in one basket? It'll be Jimbo's legacy one way or the other.

I think this is a good way to put it into perspective. While they'll keep investing in upstarts for new IP, the pattern seems to be focused on MP-centric games or 3P games that fit the mold more closely in line with what their internal 1P content is already established as, i.e mainly third-person, action-adventure cinematic story-driven Hollywood-style games.

I've always wondered if this drive from Sony was internally motivated by means of "making up" for perceived lack of critical success for a lot of their films in the movie industry. Basically, knowing how Sony Pictures hasn't exactly made a great crop of films winning tons of Oscars or such, maybe they have cultivated a culture in their gaming side to pursue that type of narrative acclaim.

Not saying this approach is necessarily bad for them; again when it comes to these specific types of games Sony are the best at them, though I think the gap between them and some other studios is gradually narrowing (Asobo and Ninja Theory primarily, others like Remedy and Bloober Team further behind but they're improving). The question is how long will that specific type of game remain a big appeal and be able to support the lionshare of Sony's 1P revenue & profit targets, especially if it gets harder and harder for them to supplement that with 3P exclusivity deals or even certain 3P major releases in light of possible acquisitions by competitors.

This doesn't even have anything to do with quality or perceived quality, either; trends just change and certain style of games just become too costly to make at a certain level for the returns they bring in. It happened with shmups, fighting games, survival-horror games, racing games, GTA-style games etc. To Sony's benefit all of those other examples suffered from market glut and saturation in a small period of time. There isn't a plethora of other studios doing single-player story-driven third-person action-adventure games, at least not anymore. However it wasn't too long ago when there were (7th gen), and I expect over time Sony's success with that style of game will naturally draw more developers to do similar as processes for game dev become democratized and cheaper to push higher fidelity and production value for smaller teams.

That ultimately will mean more choices and more competition for them in that space, which alone could impact revenue and profit for them even if their quality with that style of game stays consistent or gets better even. So if democratization of tools invariably happens for larger companies too, then it would make a company like Sony evaluate what areas aside from production value and fidelity they can push to differentiate themselves (i.e game size, brand-name VA talent, etc.), and whether the associated costs to expend in those areas would be worth it given expected revenue and profit projections.
 

PropellerEar

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But not all of those unique games are turds, some are among the most fun and innovative games in the industry. And as well, those games can be improved on with a sequel. Uncharted wasn't exactly great in its day, but they got a chance to make it a quality series with its sequels.
Slapping some superlatives on a turd, you think that helps your case.

Uncharted was always great.
 

SSfox

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Japanese games are the best games, only westerners that can match them are Rockstar and Sony Santa Monica.
 
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Jigsaah

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"The best games" is a wholly subjective phrase.

I guess he's gotta say that though. It just makes Jim seem out of touch though. He's not a gamer though, so...A for Effort?
 
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There is nothing wrong with what he said even if I don’t agree with it. He is not a gamer, but a businessman and he thinks like one. He wants his brand to produce game equivalents of movies like A Beautiful Mind - a movie that makes money and nabs a few Oscars. That’s what constitutes for quality for him. He has no interest in some weirdo oddity where Nic Cage lives with a truffle pig. I might want games that are more subversive, idiosyncratic than what mainstream offers, but 99% gamers don’t and that is why Sony is doing so well.

Is this really true though? Yes games like God of War and Spiderman do gangbusters, let alone games like GTA5 and COD...but some of the OTHER biggest games around definitely feel like they're off the beaten path (in relation to other mainstream games). Almost any Mario title, Fortnite, Minecraft...all of these are also massively popular games with elements that feel very abstract and whimsical, and aren't focused on serious storytelling in a Hollywood-style way.

False. Jim just shut up. Players remember OK games all the time even your own studios Days Gone. You know what else players remember? Awful expensive ripoffs like Destruction AllStars.

I'd still double-date Twinkle Riot and Luca tho ;)

Isnt it amazing that two people can play the same game and have entirely different experience?

I thought the TLOU2 was a masterpiece in everything that mattered to me (that is everything you disliked).

🤷

Well I'm glad you enjoyed the game. However I can't ignore what I feel are flaws especially considering Neil and his team wanted to tell a story right up there with film in terms of production value and fidelity. So, when I compare TLOU2's story with actual movies with similar type of stories, it comes up VERY short and not even worthy of being in the same conversation as a lot of them IMHO.

Given it did very little with gameplay innovation and relies so much on its story and characters, that's what I have to judge it primarily on, and it doesn't fare very well compared to some of the best films I've seen.

I mostly like diversity and games that take risks. Also games that does not respect gamer intelligence like painted white/yellow edges that indicate to the bottom of the barrel IQ « Hey! Jump here or grab here to continue! » are a big turn off.

I rarely consider the best cinematic experiences as the best games. To each their own I guess (diversity in choice is king)

My big grip with a lot of games that try to be super-cinematic is that they are a mainly one-and-done experience for me, even if the stories are very good, because those games tend to not have too many engaging game mechanics or gameplay loops that invite replayability through testing the player's ability to master their skills.

It's why I'd put the older Resident Evil games above certain modern heavy story-driven cinematic games; yes their stories may be cheesy and not as polished or deep, but they're entertaining and aren't intrusive to gameplay to the point where replayability becomes a big issue.

Wrong platform so haha

In all seriousness though. This is absolutely the direction Sony is going to go in. The closure of Japan studios the cancellation or days gone 2 which the first had to be their most heavy gameplay game outside of God of War.

They are looking at games like the last of us 2 as a image of things to come.

I hope not though

Well personally I hope it's more in the direction of Ghosts of Tsushima or Horizon: Forbidden West rather than TLOU2. At least in that case you'd have great games with well-executed stories rather than, well...whatever TLOU2 thought was a "story".
 

PropellerEar

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Well I'm glad you enjoyed the game. However I can't ignore what I feel are flaws especially considering Neil and his team wanted to tell a story right up there with film in terms of production value and fidelity. So, when I compare TLOU2's story with actual movies with similar type of stories, it comes up VERY short and not even worthy of being in the same conversation as a lot of them IMHO.
What are these actual movies of similar type of stories you refer to?
I claim without even hearing those, that TLOU2 can be in the same conversation and most movies you will list aren't even worth being in the same conversation.
 

T0minator

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And yet they released Days Gone and TLOUS2

One great game. The other a GOTG contender that almost universally won every GOTY award.

Nice try. PS4 has TONS of exclusives and those are the two you chose to troll with?
no shame lol and obviously never played either.


Sony has always had better quality control than most publishers.. they, for the most part, make sure they're releasing great stuff.

Partnering with Indies and having them develop their smaller games is the plan and they'll develop the big hitters