Totoki pointed specifically to the company’s partnership with Assassin’s Creed creator Jade Raymond’s new studio, Haven, which will create a new PlayStation IP as its first game. After announcing a new multiplayer game from ex-Destiny and Halo developers, it looks as though we may see more exclusive partnerships popping up over time.
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In terms of Sony’s own PlayStation Studios group, Totoki made clear that it would be hugely increasing the amount of money given to first-party developers, on top of what it already spends. “We plan to increase development personnel and other costs in our in-house studios by approximately [$183 million USD] year-on-year, as we further strengthen our in-house [software],” the CFO revealed.
Totoki added a note about the company’s multiple investments in Fortnite and Unreal Engine creator Epic Games, which is aiming to create a ‘metaverse’ in the gaming space. “In our additional investment of Epic Games,” explained Totoki, “along with the rest of the Sony group we will also work to enhance the social and platform capabilities of games.” That doesn’t give much away, but it seems Sony wants to jump onboard the more social elements of games like Fortnite.
This lines up with comments from Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan, who recently pledged that the PS5 would see more exclusives than any previous PlayStation generation.It will be interesting to see what form those exclusives take – we’ve recently heard reports of dissatisfaction inside Sony’s studios about the company’s exclusives, with multiple members of Sony Bend seemingly leaving the company after a Days Gone 2 was rejected and the studio was assigned to Naughty Dog projects. We’ve said previously that Sony’s focus on too-big-to-fail games is concerning.
Undoubtedly, the lure of Sony’s exclusives is fuelling PS5’s huge success, with the console outstripping PS4’s sales in the first fiscal year, and breaking US sales records. In the short-term, the company has two next-gen exclusives on the horizon, with Returnal and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart on the way soon.