Jim Ryan, CEO of PlayStation, has addressed the PS5’s launch and the risks associated with developing new IPs for PS5. Describing the process as “very risky.”
Ryan has been a reliable source for comments in the build-up to the PS5 launch. Especially when it comes to providing insight into the goings-on at PlayStation.
This time he’s provided some clarity on Sony’s strategy for developing new IPs for PS5. He's suggested that each time Sony commits to this, they are taking a substantial financial risk.
Speaking to GQ, Ryan said, "We've invested a lot organically over the course of the PS4 generation. More than people realize. We've added Insomniac Games (who developed Spider-Man Miles Morales) through acquisition. We're making great games now and we certainly plan to continue making great games."
He went on to say, "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."
"We have a management organization that sits over the individual studios and one of the things that we look at a lot is the portfolio, and we look at is 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."
Striking a Balance Between Much-Loved Games and New IPs for PS5
Ryan’s comments suggest that Sony may take a more cautious approach when developing new IPs for the PS5. Which worryingly may mean they’ll make less of them.
Instead, preferring to support the console with sequels and add-ons to already established franchises, like the ones he mentions above.
This is a strategy Microsoft opted for halfway through the Xbox One's lifespan. Something that ultimately hurt the console.
It's a safer strategy in many ways, but it also deprives gamers of a certain creativity that drives the industry forward. At some point, all beloved PlayStation franchises started out as new IPs.
Some of the games mentioned above are from relatively new franchises, some of which only started life on the PS4.
Lots of gamers enjoy their annual Call of Duty and FIFA updates, but it’s very easy for franchise fatigue to set in if such games aren’t bringing anything new to the table – or enough. These games are important to keep a console generation ticking over, but can an annual franchise ever truly be revolutionary again?
We could argue that it’s up to gamers to show developers that we want fresh IPs by voting with our wallets when something new and experimental is released. This may be the only way to communicate to game developers and publishers that their efforts are a worthy investment – and appreciated.
Sony has also provided some clarity on a much-requested visual feature on PS5.
If you’re still trying to get your hands on a PS5, here’s when the PS5 will be back in stock.