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PlayStation boss says investing in new IPs is "very risky", Sony thinks very deeply and carefully when balancing its portfolio

VysePSU

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Jim Ryan, CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, has opened up about the risks of developing brand new IPs, calling it "very risky".

In an interview with GQ, Ryan talked candidly about Sony's recent acquisitions and the risks involved in committing to a brand new project.

"We've invested a lot organically over the course of the PS4 generation, more than people realise. We've added Insomniac Games [Spider-Man Miles Morales' developer] through acquisition. We're making great games now and we certainly plan to continue making great games," Ryan said (thanks, VG24/7).

"The thing with those blockbuster games is that they need a box office release. They cost more than $100 million to make these days and in order to be able to do that and bring new IP to the market - which is a very risky thing and we did four times in the PS4 generation - you've got to have a box office release."

Ryan also reflected on how PlayStation manages to balance fresh IPs with new instalments of already-established franchises, stating Sony thinks "very deeply and very carefully" when it comes to balancing its portfolio.

"We have a management organisation that sits over the individual studios and one of the things that we look at a lot is the portfolio and we look at the balance between new iterations of much-loved series such as God Of War or Uncharted and shaking things up with new IP such as Horizon Zero Dawn or Ghost Of Tsushima. We think about this very deeply and very carefully."

Sony recently confirmed that $70 PlayStation 5 games reflect increased development costs. A spokesperson for Sony said the price hike for some of its PS5 games is "reflective of the growing development resources needed for these ambitious games", but that Sony is selling some PS5 launch titles for less than that, with the "biggest games" set at $70.


 
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Aug 28, 2019
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And Sony keeps taking the risk, and it keeps paying off.

He's not saying they aren't willing to keep doing that here, he's just commenting on the reality of it. (and trying to excuse the price hike of course, but what he is saying isn't untrue about new IP for a blockbuster being a risk)
 
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BootsLoader

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Nov 21, 2018
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I don’t like his perspective. Like what did you expect? If you want to make money from a product you have to invest in that product, in this case, make games. He is talking like you only spend those money and not take them back from sales. Wtf is wrong with this guy?
 
S

SLoWMoTIoN

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You know you can make AA games also? Use japan studios for it you fucking moron
Ugh friendo? Japanese games are not our priority.

 

Krappadizzle

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He's not wrong, but a good new i.p. investment can yield crazy dividends too. Not everyone suffers game fatigue, but I know I certainly haven't bought a yearly sports game or COD in a long time, exactly because of fatigue of the same shit every time. It gets boring with the same characters in the same worlds with the same stories. New i.p.'s can add a lot of new life to a genre.
 

diffusionx

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I don’t like his perspective. Like what did you expect? If you want to make money from a product you have to invest in that product, in this case, make games. He is talking like you only spend those money and not take them back from sales. Wtf is wrong with this guy?

I was ready to shit on this guy for another bizarre interview, but I read it like him saying, when they invest in new IP, they really need to go all the way. You can't half-ass it or just throw stuff out there and see what sticks.
 

Danjin44

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Why does it have to be AAA games? One of favourite games mostly were AA games and in fact my current GOTG is 13 Sentinels, very experimental AA game.

Another one is Demons Souls back in 2009, it was also niche AA games when it first came out.

I don't care if everyone disagrees with me, but high budget AAA games will hold gaming back.
 
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SkylineRKR

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Horizon was new and paid off, it sold 20 million something. Much more than all Killzone games combined. They can milk Horizon throughout this gen and beyond since its only seen one game yet. Tsushima, which paid of and sold better than Infamous, can also continue on PS5.

I think, if you let ND or Guerrilla create a new IP, its probably a hit. Sucker Punch might've struck gold now as well, GoT is my GOTY while Infamous were nice 7.5/10 games for me. If its not too oddball like KojiPro's Death Stranding was that is. ND needs something new I think. TLOU isnt the type of game for sequels, which is why the second doesn't work for everyone. and what are you going to write for the third. Perhaps a prequel would work. Uncharted I feel is kind of done.

God of War reinvented itself and can go on like this for a time. I wonder what ND is going to do with their franchises.
 
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ChuckeRearmed

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But I think Sony is doing fine in that regard. Though, aside Ghost I believe all other games are the continuation of the PS3 lineup (Bloodborne I don't count because it is basically Dark Souls, Spiderman is a big IP by itself).

PS3 on the other hand spawned a lot of good IPs, in comparison to PS4.
 
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He literally talks in this article about their method for bringing out a mix of new IPs vs old.

The comment about "risk" was in a response to a question about how Sony is charging a lot for their games... it's a justification for selling games at $70 and not including them in their sub service, not a claim that they aren't going to keep making new IPs.

Here's that question:

In a lot of ways Sony’s strategy for the PlayStation 5 feels like a bit of a redo of the PlayStation 4 era: there are going to be lots of great exclusive games, you've got a very capable console and you're going to charge players full whack for those games. Is that a fair assessment?
 
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White-fire

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What can we expect then? More copy-paste sequels and more remakes?

When did he ever say that? He’s just talking about making sure when new IP’s launch, they don’t flop because of the massive risk inherent in AAA production. A lot of people in this thread seem personally attacked by his analysis of modern game development:messenger_tears_of_joy:.
 
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When did he ever say that? He’s just talking about making sure when new IP’s launch, they don’t flop because of the massive risk inherent in AAA production. A lot of people in this thread seem personally attacked by his analysis of modern game development:messenger_tears_of_joy:.
Well, he talks about releasing new IP's like all of them should cost a fuckton of money and be a box office release (whatever that means).

As some others pointed out... Why? Can't they make new and smaller IP's that don't cost as much?
 

VysePSU

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Why doe it have to be AAA games? One of favourite games mostly were AA games and in fact my current GOTG is 13 Sentinels, very experimental AA game.

Another one is Demons Souls back in 2009, it was also niche AA games when it first came out.

I don't care if everyone disagrees with me, but high budget AAA games will hold gaming back.
I agree, but more that too many AAA games isn't always a good thing. It should be balanced, a variety of different genres, visual styles and gameplay ideas with these first-party studios.

I mean that was what made the PlayStation brand so interesting in its first two console generations as well as early on with the PS3 (see Folklore and Siren: Blood Curse).
 
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KAL2006

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Hope Sony don't stop making new IP this is one of the reasons I enjoyed them this gen. Horizon, Ghost of Tsushima, Astrobot were excellent new IPs. And even some old IPs got reinvented such as God of War. They need to know when to drop an IP. For example dropping Killzone, Resistance, inFamous were great moved because that led to Spiderman, Horizon and Ghost of Tsushima. I think they need to now drop further IPs such as Last of Us and Uncharted and let Naughty Dog create something fresh. Drop Ratchet and Clank after the next one and make something new from inSomniac. Some games are okay with sequels such as Ghost of Tsushuma, Horizon etc as those IPs still feel fresh. But IPs like Uncharted are starting to get stale.
 
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PlayerPurple

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All the more reason to revitalize your existing dormant ones then.

PS3-era Sony made a ton of new IP's that were fantastic; they just didn't have the audience for them. After PS4, they absolutely do now.

I think a ModNation Racers 2, PlayStation All-Stars 2, and free-to-play SOCOM and/or Twisted Metal would be super exciting on PS5.
 
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Gojko_of_Rivia

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Jul 25, 2020
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why this guy looks like he is drunk 24/7

I reckon he has done some great stuff for PS brand ever since he joined in 90s but he just comes off as arrogant and overly confident every time he opens mouth
 

ReBurn

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Meanwhile Cyberpunk budget is estimated to be around 350 mln$ and it's like all in for Cd Projekt
I imagine that for most studios it's all in for whatever game they're working on and if it flops they're done. That's why AAA games are risky.

you cannot succeed in business without taking risks.
yes you can
 
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Panajev2001a

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I don’t like his perspective. Like what did you expect? If you want to make money from a product you have to invest in that product, in this case, make games. He is talking like you only spend those money and not take them back from sales. Wtf is wrong with this guy?

He is talking about risk and opportunity cost not saying that they have problems with spending money to make more money (a rare occasion where he is not sticking his foot inside his mouth too much, what a surprise). Where are you reading that?
 

White-fire

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Well, he talks about releasing new IP's like all of them should cost a fuckton of money and be a box office release (whatever that means).

As some others pointed out... Why? Can't they make new and smaller IP's that don't cost as much?

Sony does still do this, and they most likely will continue to do this. Many times Sony uses third party devs to supplement their first party portfolio like with Sackboy and Destruction Allstars. Sony also recently bought Pixelopus. Media Molecule also pretty much makes smaller games at this point, and their VR strategy was pretty much this, including Astrobot. When it comes to their flagship first party studios, the cost of running them, and blockbuster market demands, end up pushing game development costs higher. Blockbuster games bring in the money, press coverage, streaming interactions, and console sales. There’s risk and also rewards, which is why they try to maximize the rewards. And this quote is an extension of that, they are cautious, and they try to do right by the market to meet demand. That’s pretty much what he’s saying here.
 
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bxrz

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Why doe it have to be AAA games? One of favourite games mostly were AA games and in fact my current GOTG is 13 Sentinels, very experimental AA game.

Another one is Demons Souls back in 2009, it was also niche AA games when it first came out.

I don't care if everyone disagrees with me, but high budget AAA games will hold gaming back.
Hollow Knight is one of my favorite games of last gen and that was AA
 

LectureMaster

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Why doe it have to be AAA games? One of favourite games mostly were AA games and in fact my current GOTG is 13 Sentinels, very experimental AA game.

Another one is Demons Souls back in 2009, it was also niche AA games when it first came out.

I don't care if everyone disagrees with me, but high budget AAA games will hold gaming back.
Totally agree, but I genuinely don't think 13 sentinels may be replicable by other companies. The game is too unique and requires pure dedication and ingenuity to make.
 

FunkMiller

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Utter fucking horseshit.

You can make excellent, compelling games for much less money, the same way you can make lower budget movies. Ryan is just fucking awful.
 
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