With more information being slowly revealed by Sony for the upcoming PlayStation 5/PS5, the same could not be said for what has been going on behind-the-scenes. From major players like Gio Corsi and Shawn Layden moving on, Shuhei Yoshida transitioning to a new post with ex-Guerilla co-founder Herman Hulst taking the reins at Worldwide Studios, to a brand new united front as a brand, things are certainly changing.
In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, SIE’s president and CEO Jim Ryan stated that the aim was to bring PlayStation North America, Europe, and Japan together, and that extends to even the daily operations.
“We feel we need to become a more global organisation, but this is absolutely not at the expense of our in-market strength at a country level,” Ryan said. “I really want to reinforce the point that globalisation does not mean Americanisation, or vice versa. Becoming a global organisation does not, in any way, shape or form, mean becoming an American organisation.”
This has resulted in a more streamlined approach to developing the PS5 as a console. Everyone is having their say in one discussion, rather than “three different regional conversations, where they needed to reconcile positions that were often conflicting or contradictory, with an endless process of iteration and consensus. That’s not happening anymore. We have one conversation and we get on and do stuff.”
The marketing campaigns are more globalised as well, with Marvel’s Spider-Man being cited as a successful example of one global campaign. However, the regions will still be able to utilise their strengths to their full potential, such as Europe being the lead for FIFA, or Japan showcasing Final Fantasy VII Remake.
The PS5 is also set to have fewer games that are just catered to a specific audience, an example Ryan gave was 2010’s Invizimals. Such focus will now be helped by the indie program spearheaded by Shuhei Yoshida instead.
The nature of AAA PlayStation 4 and certainly PlayStation 5 development… We’re obviously not going to have Worldwide Studios make a game for one specific European country. And that might have been the case back in the PSP times with Invizimals [which was popular in Spain].
I think this will be where Shuhei Yoshida’s new task [of working with indies] will come in. If we are nimble, flexible and global, we can work with smaller developers to allow those countries’ specific needs to be met.
With the PS5 arriving in Holiday 2020, there is much to do for Sony and PlayStation to maintain their lead at the top. By consolidating all the operations and marketing efforts, it is likely we will see the best approach to launching a console from the company since they pushed out the PlayStation in 1994.
When asked about new innovations and competitors, Ryan emphasised that the company is well-prepared.
“Yes, there will be new entrants with deep pockets and strengths in areas where distribution of content creation might move. But those new entrants don’t yet have the strengths that we have, which have taken us many years to painstakingly accumulate,” Ryan stated. “And all of those strengths [the brand, content and community]… They may not be readily understood in business terms, but they’re much valued, much trusted and much loved by those who play PlayStation games. If we play to those strengths, I see no reason for us not to be really optimistic about the future.”
We look forward to the changes that are happening, and we cannot wait to jump in when Holiday 2020 rolls around.