• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.

Your game plan as Sony executive to counterattack Microsoft's latest strategy

Indyblue

Member
What should Sony do? I don’t know. Should they buy Square? Maybe. Should Microsoft have bought Activision? I don’t know. Bethesda? Possibly. Is consolidation good for gaming? I’m not sure. Is Game Pass healthy for the industry? Dunno but I like it.
 

John Wick

Member
The strategy from Phil makes sense. They'll never catch up on SP titles. XB1 HEAVILY lost the console war, 1/3 of XB1 sales compared to PS4. The transition from Hardware focus to Software from Phil was a smart idea and makes sense. Microsoft is mostly a Software company anyway. Most of their revenue is subscription services, so why not leverage that? Once supple meets demand, I expect PS5 to continue Skyrocketing. Since a lot of XSX games are on PC, less incentive to own one. Gaming PCs/Laptops are so common nowadays anyway.

I don't want a Sony GamePass.
Why not? Gamepass is good. Sony can have their normal sales strategy and a gamepass to go with it. Especially if it brings PS1, PS2, PS3, PS4 as well as a PS5 games
 

Kokoloko85

Member
Yeah but both games were multi-plat last gen right? Sony still outsold 3 to 1. I think what's more accurate is instead of JUST buying PS5s people will probably own both.

Most console owners arent gonna own both.

Most people will go where COD and Fifa goes. The commercial fans etc. MS will probably buy EA too in the next year lol
 

spons

Member
Game Pass works. Sony should step out its comfort zone, do whatever Microsoft does and they'll one-up Xbox on brand loyalty alone. PlayStation is still synonymous to gaming in general. If PS Now Pass launches on PS4 they can rake in the subs on current install base and gradually move over to PS5. Because the problem Sony has isn't Microsoft. It's them not being able to produce enough consoles. Also those ad campaigns in Europe are massive with full-blown intros and outros or whatever they're called during the Champions League. Anyone seen an Xbox ad lately in mainland Europe?
 
Game Pass works. Sony should step out its comfort zone, do whatever Microsoft does and they'll one-up Xbox on brand loyalty alone. PlayStation is still synonymous to gaming in general. If PS Now Pass launches on PS4 they can rake in the subs on current install base and gradually move over to PS5. Because the problem Sony has isn't Microsoft. It's them not being able to produce enough consoles. Also those ad campaigns in Europe are massive with full-blown intros and outros or whatever they're called during the Champions League. Anyone seen an Xbox ad lately in mainland Europe?

Sony making an off brand GamePass seems like a questionable strategy considering their massive development deficit.

Loyalty is going to falter real quick when GamePass is launching salvo after salvo while Sony slowly reloads.
 

Ogbert

Member
Game Pass works. Sony should step out its comfort zone, do whatever Microsoft does and they'll one-up Xbox on brand loyalty alone. PlayStation is still synonymous to gaming in general. If PS Now Pass launches on PS4 they can rake in the subs on current install base and gradually move over to PS5. Because the problem Sony has isn't Microsoft. It's them not being able to produce enough consoles. Also those ad campaigns in Europe are massive with full-blown intros and outros or whatever they're called during the Champions League. Anyone seen an Xbox ad lately in mainland Europe?
But they won’t.

Sony’s version of Gamepass just wouldn’t be able to compete. They have great games but nowhere near ‘enough’ games. It’s a software arms race and MS simply has more money.

Why come out with a competing product that is demonstrably inferior?
 

Elog

Member
Where did this notion come from that good games are made by M&A?

Just continue to make good games, develop small studios into greatness and make them part of the Sony family - that is what they should focus on. I.e. they should do what they do best.
 
Put Metal Gear back into the hands of Kojima (or whom he might anoint to be his successor to continue the series). This could cost billions, and potentially backfire. Also, fold PS Now into PS Plus FOR FREE, and add PS3 backwards compatibility.
 
Last edited:

FStubbs

Member
Put Metal Gear back into the hands of Kojima (or whom he might anoint to be his successor to continue the series). This could cost billions, and potentially backfire.
I thought Kojima was done with Metal Gear.

If they want more Metal Gear, get someone passionate with new ideas and reboot it.
 

Danjin44

The nicest person on this forum
 

Kagey K

Member
But they won’t.

Sony’s version of Gamepass just wouldn’t be able to compete. They have great games but nowhere near ‘enough’ games. It’s a software arms race and MS simply has more money.

Why come out with a competing product that is demonstrably inferior?
I was thinking about this while people were talking up Spartacus, but it seems the number of games Sony could offer to the service (outside 1st party) keeps getting smaller.

You need the content to drive subscribers and then keep them.
 

Jen_yakzua

Neo Member
Changed to what? Sony can afford it but they really won't. Sony stated they'll spend 18 billion for strategic partnerships over a time span of 3 years.
This is for Sony as a whole, not just for PlayStation alone. PlayStation is lucky if they get even half of that.
So now it's already down to 9 billion over 3 years.
Not only that, but Sony has probably calculated that for all strategic partnerships, meaning timed exclusives, gaming events, influencers, and the like.
They probably can only spend half of it on actual M&As. This would mean 4.5 billion for 3 years and 1.5 billion per year.
No it's not for all of Sony only there entertainment groups of witch there are 3 film, gaming, music.
The film group has stated that they are done spending and their music group should be close to finishing which leaves most of the funds for playstation , as this money must be spent by 2023. Since after PlayStation has to start focusing on the financial target of 45 billion each quarter
 

Jigsaah

Gold Member
This might be the longest op I've ever seen with no pictures. I need pictures.

Funny how hardly nobody is actually participating in this "fun" OP presents.

In general, I don't think it's possible to swing back with any amount of significant force to rival what Microsoft just did. Sony's gotta play the long game here.

I think they are starting to do the right thing when it comes to Project Spartacus and their PC releases. As far as acquisitions go, Square Enix is a sure bet. At 5.8 billion, it's still a significant amount and with what Sony's pulling in, I don't imagine it would break the bank.

I think Sony's more recent acquisitions have been excellent. Firesprite's getting into the mix, Insomniac was huge on the level that Microsoft initial acquisitions were. Blue Point, though unproven from an originality standpoint, now get a chance to prove their mettle by making a full game on their own.

I will say this whole ordeal has made me reconsider buying a PS5 right away (not that I have much of a choice). I'm interested to see how Spartacus plays out and see if the PC strategy more closely resembles Microsoft's. Maybe day 1 on PC release dates? That would be awesome.
 
Square-Enix seems cheap for what you get, but Japanese gaming has been in decline for decades and their Western properties from the Eidos acquisition are bupkis outside of Tomb Raider.

EA would be good to acquire simply to create a MAD scenario. If MS withholds Call of Duty from Playstation, a Sony-owned EA could withhold Madden and FIFA from Xbox. That would ensure MS didn't try any monopoly shenanigans without fear of equal and devastating reprisal.
 
Last edited:

John Wick

Member
But they won’t.

Sony’s version of Gamepass just wouldn’t be able to compete. They have great games but nowhere near ‘enough’ games. It’s a software arms race and MS simply has more money.

Why come out with a competing product that is demonstrably inferior?
Sony have plenty of games especially their back catalogue from PS1-3. They also have more games from the PS4 gen too. It won't be till late 2023 or 2024 where MS will pull ahead with output. That's why Sony need to buy big to keep up with output and shore up the missing games like mutliplayer fps types from their lineup.
 

John Wick

Member
Square-Enix seems cheap for what you get, but Japanese gaming has been in decline for decades and their Western properties from the Eidos acquisition are bupkis outside of Tomb Raider.

EA would be good to acquire simply to create a MAD scenario. If MS withholds Call of Duty from Playstation, a Sony-owned EA could withhold Madden and FIFA from Xbox. That would ensure MS didn't try any monopoly shenanigans without fear of equal and devastating reprisal.
The Madden and Fifa licenses prevent that from happening. Neither MS or Sony can keep them off each others platforms
 
Why not? Gamepass is good. Sony can have their normal sales strategy and a gamepass to go with it. Especially if it brings PS1, PS2, PS3, PS4 as well as a PS5 games

Agree, I know further down it was brought up that there would be less 3rd party games available for a PS Gamepass but so what? Focus on the entire PS back catalog going back generations and that's a pretty compelling service. I haven't had a PS in years but plan on getting a PS5 at some point down the road to catch up on some of the stuff I've missed. If they launched a service like it would speed up my purchase. They'd just have to figure out the risk/reward on how long to wait before adding new titles to it.
 

Ogbert

Member
Sony have plenty of games especially their back catalogue from PS1-3. They also have more games from the PS4 gen too. It won't be till late 2023 or 2024 where MS will pull ahead with output. That's why Sony need to buy big to keep up with output and shore up the missing games like mutliplayer fps types from their lineup.
Ps1 to 3 games aren't going to cut it though. That's retro stuff; it's not going to excite the masses.

Don't get me wrong, PS will remain my primary platform, but my point was that they simply have no physical or financial ability to compete with MS for a subscription service. MS realised Sony were way better at traditional console gaming, so Phil Spencer has simply gone about changing the industry rather than competing with them.

The only thing Sony can do is make sure that *its* games are far better than anything MS can offer. They're going to have to try and elevate their IP to Nintendo levels. What's tricky for Sony is that Nintendo said 'you guys fight amongst yourselves, we're going to go off and do our own thing and have people by a Switch regardless of whether or not they have a Playstation or an Xbox'.

Sony can make sure it's games are better by going absolutely balls out on next gen. Scrap cross gen stuff. Everything has to look incredible and perform better than anything MS offers, being shackled to the Series S.

Sony has to make sure it's seen as the premium console device. Expensive, but the best.
 

Foilz

Member
If blizzard wasn't included in this deal the. This would have been a bad buy even if it was cheaper. Activision doesn't make good games and generally their IPS are lackluster. Personally Capcom would have been a much better buy. They have great support in Asia and they have decent IP list. Ubi also has a few decent games. After going through IPS from the major companies in gaming not many of them have good ips
 

Alebrije

Member
Sony just needs to keep delivering great singleplayer games as the last decade and improve multiplayer.

They do not need to buy a big developer because they have the talent to create great IPs, Microsft has money but lack of talent that is why you do not have a The last of us , God of war, Bloodborne experiences on Xbox.

They have most of bases covered but need to develop a geat multiplayer game that can help vs the possibble lost od COD.
 

yurinka

Member
Yeah again, these are future problems not present problems. Sony is going to be making bigger profits than MS for the the foreseeable future. But just like Netflix caught a lot of extremely successful companies with their pants down, I do think GamePass has the potential to be equally disruptive in the long run.
Regarding Gamepass, we also have to remember they announced 25M subs now and their previous number was 18M a year ago. In June only shown YoY growth and were around these same 18M, and for September they avoided to mention any number.

So basically seems they were pretty flat during last year until Halo and Forza, the biggest guns they had, pushed around 5-7M. Their Game Pass big gun for next year (if not delayed) will be Starfield, a Bethesda new IP that we'll see if it performs as their previous mega hits Fallout 4 and Skyrim, that are from 2011 and 2015, or if it performs as more recent Zenimax games (removing the PS part if it's exclusive).

Regarding Activision Blizzard content for Gamepass, I assume they'll wait to close the acquisition before adding first older titles and second the new ones. We also have to consider that most Blizzard stuff is more PC focused than console focused so the impact on PS may not be to big, and that would be assuming -I think will be the case- that their next games ended being great and successful WoW, Overwatch and Diablo development seem to have some issues or controversies. We'll also have to see if Activision continues focusing all their teams on CoD and if Vanguard was an isolated case or if CoD will continue declining.

There are a lot of great IPs and teams there, but seems management needs to make sure Zenimax and ABK not only integrate well, but also that shine and achieve their potential. Because if not their impact on GP or PS may be not that big.

I think Starfield is gonna be the real test. If this game turns out to have been worth the nuclear scale bidding war that led to the Zenimax acquisition, that will definitely be the first big salvo. It's gonna be a while until Obsidian or Double Fine or some of these other studios start paying of through for sure. Let alone Activision-Blizzard which is really a fixer upper if ever there was one.
I think Starfield pretty likely will work well, but for me is a big question mark. Is going as good and successful as Skyrim and Fallout 4 or as their more recent Fallout 76 and Elder Scrolls Online plus other minor games? This time is a new IP and not a popular stablished one, is people going to like the new IP? When it was the last time Bethesda had a very successful new IP?

The point Im making, the more games go exclusive to Xbox the less people will have a reason to buy a playstation And playstation will make less and less money.
They cant rely on Fortnite and Genshin and allow everything else to go
Out of this MS acquisitions how many games MS released as exclusive and how many of them did shut down on PS? Did they stop updating or shut down Minecraft, Elder Scrolls Online, Fallout 76, Doom Eternal or CoD Warzone on PS? Did MS release Minecraft Dungeons, Psychonauts 2, Quake Remastered or Deathloop on PS?

We also have to remember that over 1700M gamess were sold for PS4, pretty likely not even 50M of them were from Zenimax, and if each recent CoD sells around 20M units on all 3 platforms and being generous around half of them are on PS, these ~10M users who buy each CoD on PS are a tiny part of the ~120M PS4 users. For each CoD, around over 90% of the PS4 users didn't buy it.

So even if MS stops supporting PS -they supported it until now- and as they said they will do both for Zenimax and Activision Blizzard PS communities but instead they turn everything Xbox exclusive not much will be lost. Sales of Zenimax games are a small portion of the PS4 ones and seems that under 10% of the PS users buy each CoD game.

And out of these players, we'd have to see if they give a crap about these exclusives or not: part of them may have in addition of PS an Xbox or PC and to play these games on GP while continue having a PS. And part of them if they don't have these on PS they'll simply play other games on PS, as could be the ones that will replace Zenimax and Activision in Sony's exclusive and marketing deals.

Based on what metric? Media stories? Money spent? We need numbers that show revenue/profit and console sales are catching up to make such a statement. I guess Microsoft will have to start providing those numbers again for us to know that though.
In Youtube, Instagram or Twitter PS also has a huge lead over Xbox, they did set new gaming industry history records with PS5.

Only greenlight projects that have the potential to sell 20+ million units (big IP) or games that can maintain relevance for 5+ years (GAAS).

Days Gone, Bloodborne, Ratchet and Clank type games go extinct at Sony.
Hermen Hulst said that they will try to have some GaaS and MP games more, but that around half of their two dozens games under development are new IPs, that they will continue publishing both big and small games, both traditional stablished formulas and creative and unique games, single player and multiplayer games from many different genres.

He said to be proud of games like Astro, Sackboy, Dreams or Death Stranding, and that there more like these ones coming.
 
Last edited:

ZehDon

Member
Sony's initial PS5 strategy seemed to be to money hat games to fill the gaps in its roster - Deathloop, Destruction All Stars, Godfall, Final Fantasy - and then just continue doing what it's been doing. Funnily enough, that was Xbone's strategy last gen with titles like Titanfall and Tomb Raider, while it stayed the course of "do fucking nothing".

Sony needs to diversify the kinds of games its first party studios are making. If I were on Sony's team, I'd be looking for studios and games that don't fit the Sony Formula©. All we're seeing, apart from outliers like Gran Turismo, are third person action adventure games with lots of cut scenes. It was enough to turn me off Sony's first party output, frankly. Microsoft, on the other hand, now basically owns RPGs and FPSs, and they now have enough studios making enough different types of games that they're establishing themselves as a real player in virtually every genre. Meanwhile, Sony just seems content to make third person action adventure games with lots of cut scenes. They need their own RPG, their own shooter, their own strategy series. That's what I would be after if I were Sony.
 
Hopefully they don't buy anything. I trust MS with having games available on PC but not Sony. What they should do is double down on the PC ports strategy, improve their streaming service and services in general. And look into their back catalog of IPs. Make all those 1st party games available on PS5/PC.
I really don’t see how putting all their PlayStation exclusives on PC will make them stronger or help against Microsoft who could very well end up with exclusive games from Bethesda, Activision and Blizzard games. It would bring in more a little more money I suppose, but it will just give gamers less reasons to buy a PlayStation, especially if they did day one PC PlayStation exclusives.
 

Edgelord79

Gold Member
Assuming these studios want to even be purchased, the best bang for buck based on this list would probably be Ubisoft and Konami due to their IP's as well as the game types. From Software would be a strong acquisition too, maybe better in some cases than Konami.

Better move would be to double down and investing in increasing 1st party studios and talent and start new IP's.
 
Last edited:
If I were Sony right now, I'd be seriously considering allowing some form of GamePass on my platform. Without Call of Duty, PlayStation has lost its largest multiplayer cash-cow leaving them only with the dead-in-the-water Battlefield franchise as it's only repose. Unless Sony is planning on pivoting a large chunk of their first-party studios to developing multiplayer experiences, it will be a very difficult time for anyone hoping to play the latest and greatest online experiences.
 
I put this in another thread, but:

This may sound crazy, but imo Sony may need to go back to their roots. The one advantage Sony and Nintendo still has is Japanese games, niche or quirky stuff do not sell well on XBOX. It’s really working for Nintendo and gives them an identity and advantage. Maybe it will work for Sony as well. Of course they should build up their first party with more diverse content.

Acquisitions might be pushing it, but form a very close partnership with Japanese companies and get genuine exclusives from TecmoKoei, Konami, Capcom, SquareEnix, From Software, Kojima, Namco-Bandai, Sega, etc. Provide extra funding if possible or necessary to give these games bigger budgets. Sure, these won’t upstage acquiring Activision, but there is still a big following for games from these companies. I know most of these games have the biggest player base on PlayStation anyway, but I think it could create some positive buzz for Sony.

Snagging games like Final Fantasy, Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Metal Gear, Dark Souls, Dragonquest, Street Fighter, Dead or Alive, Dragon-Ball, Naruto, Yakuza, Chrono Cross, Monster Hunter, Ninja Gaiden, Tekken, etc exclusively could give Sony a boost and give gamers another reason to invest into a PlayStation besides the first party games. For example, an exclusive Tekken 8 would probably turn heads especially since Tekken 7 hit over 8 million copies worldwide. Genres like JRPG, action, cinematic and fighting game fans are on PlayStation. Sony could and should take advantage of that.
 
Last edited:

cormack12

Gold Member
Sony just need better communications and to show their hand to their fans a bit earlier. We all know the quality is there they just need to drop the pants a bit so we can see the good stuff.

I don't see the traditional silent stuff interspersed with state of plays being enough to cut through the noise of Microsofts machine, regular gamepass announcements and all the other stuff.

They have a very strong core of brand loyalists, and I consider myself one of them before people's heads fall off. They need to just reaffirm that the big experiences are there. And if that means they need to tease a little sooner than they'd like, then just do it. If that means letting us know what Cory Barlogs new game is, then do it etc.
 

Beechos

Member
Once again what is this fascination with konami ip i agree they have some great ips and most of them are not named silent hill/metal gear. Everyone acts like obtaining their ip specifically silent hill/mgs would turn any company around. Sega, capcom and square have way more valuable ip.
 
Last edited:
1) I would hire the guys who are working for RPCS3 emulator and fucking do everything for backwards compatibility. Sony has to make it possible.

2) Just do everything in your power to feed the teams to do their absolutely best job.

3) A couple of FPS game franchises. One singleplayer and Destiny/R6 Siege style multiplayer with seasons.

Edit. I accidentally posted

4) Playstation Spartacus - a lot of first and second party legacy titles from PS1-PS4.
 
Last edited:
Most kids or people who play Cod and Fifa are not gonna own 2 consoles. So Guess which one isnt gonna get bought
Fifa's not going single-platform. Even if we assume that literally every person who buys Call of Duty regularly on PlayStation defects to Xbox that's only like what, 20 million people?
 

SF Kosmo

...please disperse...
I think Starfield pretty likely will work well, but for me is a big question mark. Is going as good and successful as Skyrim and Fallout 4 or as their more recent Fallout 76 and Elder Scrolls Online plus other minor games? This time is a new IP and not a popular stablished one, is people going to like the new IP? When it was the last time Bethesda had a very successful new IP?
Bethesda doesn't tend to lean that heavily on new IP, but that doesn't mean new IP doesn't sell. Horizon Zero Dawn and Ghosts of Tsushima we're among the best selling games on PS4. The first Last of Us was one of the best selling PS3 games.

The caveat with new IP is that it's execution dependent. People will buy bad/mediocre games in established series out of loyalty or habit, but new IP has more pressure to connect with an audience before release to build hype and then to deliver on that hype.

Starfield has a lot of hype and marketing muscle behind it. If the game manages to be a legit 90+ metacritic title, it's going to be huge for MS.

Fallout 4 and 76 isn't that high a bar either. Fallout 4 was the better of the two and is still regarded as a bit of a disappointment.
 

tommib

Member
One thing I don’t get about these subscriptions numbers… Don’t they fluctuate immensely? I never leave any subscription running. I automatically cancel them after getting them. I use them for a month and then it might take me a year to come back to whatever I think it’s worth it. Am I alone in this?
 

kevm3

Member
Honestly, I bring back Shuhei or whoever it was that really revived Sony's gaming division after the slumping ps3.
Jim Ryan gives me bean counter vibes who might be good at pleasing shareholders on a short-term basis by trimming costs and making immediately 'profitable' moves, but this has to be the least I've ever been excited for a Sony machine.
 

Dr Bass

Member
Most kids or people who play Cod and Fifa are not gonna own 2 consoles. So Guess which one isnt gonna get bought
Guess which system doesn't have any current Call of Duty games. Now how many units does that console sell?

CoD does not shape the industry as a whole, and the reason Activision had the market value it does is because it's a multiplatform publisher. Make it exclusive to one platform and the value of those franchises also plummets, which seems to be something a lot of people are not understanding here. People aren't just going to switch en masse to Xbox because of CoD and leave an entire platform they like behind. I also doubt MS bought Activision to try and make it worth less by drastically reducing its customer base. I mean, maybe they will, I wouldn't put it past them, but it's just not going to be the force they think it is. Activision approached Microsoft and said "please buy us" because they saw no real future for themselves, MS didn't go seeking them out because they saw a great opportunity. Again, how is that "the future"? It doesn't add anything to the platform, the only thing some people here are excited about is the potential for games to be removed from some gamers. Now what does that say about those people exactly? Think about it.

One thing I don’t get about these subscriptions numbers… Don’t they fluctuate immensely? I never leave any subscription running. I automatically cancel them after getting them. I use them for a month and then it might take me a year to come back to whatever I think it’s worth it. Am I alone in this?

Of course you're not alone, every entertainment platform with subs goes through this. The term for it is "churn." Wouldn't be surprised if that 25 mil number is post Christmas and incudes trials. That would certainly check out given their claims about growth. But again, they don't share regular numbers so there is no way to know.
 
Last edited:

MonarchJT

Banned
Sony just needs to keep delivering great singleplayer games as the last decade and improve multiplayer.

They do not need to buy a big developer because they have the talent to create great IPs, Microsft has money but lack of talent that is why you do not have a The last of us , God of war, Bloodborne experiences on Xbox.

They have most of bases covered but need to develop a geat multiplayer game that can help vs the possibble lost od COD.
looking at the two opposite first party boards today and reading what you just wrote....make me laugh hard. is this a joke post?

Bloodborne is not a playstation first party game they moneyhatted fromsoft to have an exclusive soulslike. ok you have no idea of what you talking about
 
Last edited:

SlimySnake

Member
One thing I don’t get about these subscriptions numbers… Don’t they fluctuate immensely? I never leave any subscription running. I automatically cancel them after getting them. I use them for a month and then it might take me a year to come back to whatever I think it’s worth it. Am I alone in this?
They do. Thats why they only announce them at the end of every year.

The service has grown from 12 million subscribers in April 2020 to 18 million in september 2020 to 25 million subs in December 2021.
 

iHaunter

Member
Most console owners arent gonna own both.

Most people will go where COD and Fifa goes. The commercial fans etc. MS will probably buy EA too in the next year lol
Microsoft looking to make money back in 7-10 years via Microtransactions I guess. Probably only way Phil could sell it to the board I imagine.
 
Top Bottom