It has been an interesting 12 months to say the least for Sony, which was 'highlighted' by the PSN outage in Q2 2011 which cost the company $170 million. Fast forward to the lackluster sales performance of the Vita out of the gate upon release in Japan and new leadership, fans have to wonder what's next for the company.
A few weeks ago, Sony made headlines for announcing that they spend more money on first-party games for their PlayStation consoles than both Microsoft and Nintendo, but such expenditures do not always see similar large numbers in terms of sales. Resistance 3 for instance, despite being one of the best FPS titles of last year, sold poorly.
When asked why Microsoft's Gears of War 3 sold more units than all of Sony's exclusive PS3 offerings combined (including 3 million in its first week), Sony’s Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida, in an interview with Game Informer, said that their marketing efforts were stretched too thin and there was not a singular focus.
"It’s a combination of many things. First, we have to be very honest about our games’ quality as well. We love our games, but we can point out many issues when you look at the titles individually.
Another thing is focus. When you have ten games coming out in a year compared to two or three, how much focus you get from our business and marketing side is very hard. From a portfolio side, we were very excited about the games we had last year, but we probably diluted support for each title."
On the topic of developing fewer games, Yoshida said that, despite the great games that the company has made, there needs to be fewer games and a much stronger focus and support for specific titles.
"It’s easy to say, 'Yeah, let’s make three games a year.' But game development is dynamic. You cannot plan to do that. You already have to have a certain number of games in the pipeline hoping they hit in a certain year. We love working on new IPs. It’s really hard to predict when these games get finished.
It’s a challenge, but I think we could and probably should be focused on a smaller number of titles so each one gets the best support."
Many of Sony's offerings, despite critical acclaim, seemingly struggle to achieve market-wide popularity that is seen in many Microsoft titles that are exclusive to the Xbox 360. Having strong competition is always good, regardless of the industry; hopefully Sony has discovered the underlying issue for their lackluster game sales and can compete more strongly with Microsoft, especially with the new generation of consoles on the horizon.
With Eat Sleep Play ending their work on the Twisted Metal franchise after supporting tomorrow's release, the re-release of Killzone delayed indefinitely, Insomniac no longer making Resistance games, we're seeing evidence of this coming to pass already. Let us hope these franchises alongside the likes of Uncharted, LittleBigPlanet and others continue in their quality releases and earn the recognition from the community they deserve.
Ranters, what do you think of Yoshido's comments?
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Source: Playstation Lifestyle