PlayStation boss says Sony's live service games will target different genres and won't all be massive time-sinks
PlayStation Studios boss Hermen Hulst says the platform's ambitious roster of live service titles will feature games in different genres and of "different scales," meaning not all of them will be bottomless time vampires.
Speaking with GamesIndustry.biz, Hulst reckons that live service can't be treated "as if it is a single genre, or even a single business model."
"PlayStation Studios are making a variety of games that could be referred to as 'live services', targeting different genres, different release schedules, and at different scales," he adds. "We are also creating games for different audiences, and I take confidence from our track record in creating worlds and stories that PlayStation fans love."
It's interesting that Hulst singles out release schedules over release dates. Obviously these games will come out at different times, with Sony planning to release 10 such games by 2026. But to my mind, release schedules specifically implies that the live component of these live service games will differ in how frequently they're updated and what type of content they're updated with.
This would make sense given that PlayStation's live service games will offer experiences of "different scales." (GamesIndustry.biz observes that the company isn't trying to make "ten Fortnites or Destinys," though that's not a direct quote from Hulst.) Smaller games perhaps intended to be played less intensively naturally won't require the same content cadence as true lifestyle games like Destiny 2.
Most of these live service games are total question marks, but we do know EyeToy and Wonderbook studio PlayStation London is making a co-op online action game for PS5 (key art featured above). God of War PC support studio Jetpack Interactive is also working with Sony on a AAA live service game, seemingly based on a "flagship" PlayStation IP. The Horizon multiplayer project from series developer Guerilla Games fits the bill as well.
At a 2022 financial briefing, PlayStation boss Jim Ryan said the company wants to launch multiple live service games every year, with three planned for the 2023 fiscal year that just started. Two live service games were apparently targeting the fiscal year which ended March 31, 2023, but it's difficult to say which of the past year's releases Sony was talking about here given the broad definition of live service.
In the same interview, Hulst revisited PlayStation's approach to PC ports, affirming that "where it makes sense for the game and the studio, it's a great option to have." In October 2022, Hulst said PlayStation "might" bring its live service games straight to PC without the otherwise standard year of console exclusivity. And just days ago, PlayStation more broadly confirmed that it plans to bring more PlayStation games to PC within the next year or so.
Why PlayStation bought Haven Studios to help lead its live service plans alongside Bungie.