Jim Ryan, President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, has revealed that the company is seeking to increase the number of its studios, either through direct acquisitions or mergers. The aim of this strategy is to help Sony compete against companies such as Microsoft and Google and their upcoming gaming product, Stadia. Microsoft have recently been acquiring more studios in order to expand the range of Xbox exclusive titles. The total number of Microsoft’s studios is now fifteen.
In a recent interview, which was translated by Gematsu, The Sony boss explained how content has become increasingly important in the last few years. He went on to say that while Sony has 25 years of experience in the industry, the company is open to new studios starting out with fresh ideas for the market.
Sony have a much larger roster of exclusive titles for PlayStation 4 than Microsoft currently do for Xbox One. With Project Scarlett it seems as though Microsoft hope to change this, indicating that a deciding factor for consumers between the two platforms was the number of exclusives available, and their quality.
Epic Games are also securing exclusives for the Epic Game Store. However, these titles are often either only available for PC and Mac, or will also release for consoles. While some PC gamers don’t like the fact that there are games exclusively available on the Epic Game Store, the platform is helping developers earn more from sales and gives consumers the choice to support that.
Microsoft and Sony are likely to offer the industry standard split of 70/30 to developers selling games on their platform, so there’s no motivation for them to release exclusively on one or the other. Sony is probably more open to acquiring new studios, or merging with them, now because it will give them the opportunity to secure more exclusives for the next PlayStation.
With the next console generation starting in Christmas 2020, when Project Scarlett is set to release, Sony is doing as much as they can for the next PlayStation console to upgrade PlayStation 4 owners, and entice new customers away from Microsoft’s platform. Microsoft is likewise acquiring as many studios to create exclusive titles as they can, as is evident with the recent launch of games such as The Outer Wilds.