Sony Interactive Entertainment chairman Shawn Layden hinted that new PlayStation multiplayer games could be coming from Sony studios soon. The PlayStation brand has long been closely tied to story-driven, single-player titles, but it appears Sony wants to get a piece of that multiplayer pie.
Speaking to Business Insider, Layden touched on a wide range of topics pertaining to the PlayStation brand. Layden said that while the company’ single-player games have largely been successful, their multiplayer forays haven’t garnered a lot of attention. Business Insider then asked if he meant couch co-op or online multiplayer games.
“Couch co-op—I mean that’s a whole category I think the industry needs to look back at. We have that with sports titles and some racing titles, but not with much else. And I think that speaks to the power of the internet on the one hand, but otherwise, we might wanna revisit that to get more family engagement in the gaming experience. But, no, I was referencing more with the things like GTA Online or you look at Call of Duty or Fortnite or any of those experiences. Worldwide Studios, like I say, we’ve been going really heavy into story-driven gaming. The power of the narrative. Big, spectacular experiences. But not a whole lot in the multiplayer side of things, I think. That’s an area where you will likely see us start to make more noise in the new term.”
A greater focus on multiplayer makes sense for the platform holder, as the games-as-a-service model rakes in massive profits regularly. The mega-popular Fortnite made over $2 billion alone last year for Epic Games, and titles like Call of Duty and League of Legends keep customers engaged and spending for a lot longer than a one-time game purchase.
However, Sony’s multiplayer track record has been a mixed bag over the years. The PlayStation 2 saw SOCOM build a sizeable and passionate community, but Zipper Interactive was shut down following the poor performance of SOCOM 4 on PS3. Arguably the most successful PlayStation multiplayer games have been the Killzone series developed by Guerrilla Games. Guerrilla took a step away from Killzone and released Horizon: Zero Dawn in 2017 to critical and commercial success. Rumors that Guerrilla was working on a new multiplayer game surfaced when Rainbow Six: Seige director Simon Larouche and Seige game designer Chris Lee joined Guerrilla last year. Larouche had previously worked at Guerrilla on Killzone 2 multiplayer as a senior designer.
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