“This is the story of a very distant time, the time of myths and legends. The ancient gods of the gaming industry were in turmoil, times when Sony believed in generations and Microsoft had no inter- Okay, come on, you got the joke, let's proceed.
The strange dance of Playstation continues in an apparently inexorable way, which in recent months has proved to be much less attentive to its audience, at least in terms of communication, and in a state of uncertainty worthy of the Xbox One Mattrickian period. The news that has been bouncing in the last few hours is that of a remake of The Last of Us, and the addition of Bend Studio to Naughty Dog, in support of a new Uncharted title. But the news, the real one, which is hidden under the headlines, comes from the harsh criticism - which from his words is a mere deduction - of Jason Schreier on Sony, exclusively focused on supporting blockbuster titles. In the article by Bloomberg, what can you do? read here (so we also avoid that this becomes exclusively an adaptation and translation article), Schreier reports some events regarding Bend Studio and the Visual Arts Service Group, in which there is little interest on the part of the Japanese giant in projects and studios not involved in triple projects A is generally only interested in producing highly profitable stocks.
In the case of Visual Arts Service Group, it is a missed dream (if we want to put it in a more romantic perspective), a team that has always lived and worked as an appendix to more famous studies and has sought artistic emancipation by proposing its own project. In this case, the team is also looking for a less risky goal as possible, focusing on the realization of a remake of The Last Of Us, the project starts but soon Sony shifts the attention, almost nil to the Service Group, to the original team and Naughty Dog passes immediately in a prominent position, with all that that entails. In the second case, the one that is certainly more "striking" being involved Bend Studio, which not only would have received a sharp "no" to the pitch of Days Gone 2 but it would also have risked being incorporated by Naughty Dog definitively, only to be able to break away and start working on a new project independently. In itself, to be honest, Sony's behavior does not even cause such a sensation, even reading the two episodes on which Schreier's editorial hinges would not say events extraneous to the "modus operandi" of companies of this or other industries, yet what makes it more affiliated and relevant is the context in which this piece arrives and, to some extent, also the reaction of the public.
It's the drop that pierces the stone - or the one that breaks the camel's back, you judge - maybe, but this news combo has created a strong rift in the most active forums in the world, as well as in our own, yet another keyboard skirmish that, if on the one hand it does not tell us anything new, on the other it shows us how even the most avid fan (boy) can give in in front of a string of little choices. happy adopted by the multinational for which he cheers with so much ardor. Yet another demonstration, if there was still a need, that net of huge earnings and financial reassurances towards investors, the damage to image can shift, especially in the long term, the balance of the value of a brand and the importance that the players damage to it. In short, after a launch of Playstation 5 exhilarating only on paper (honorable mention to the touts who contributed so much fervor to the success of the Sony flagship), because of the sales figures we can cheer as much as we want but in the end they are not the ones who we insert in the console if we want to play, there has been a succession of events, statements and leaks that have put the current state of health of Playstation in a different light.
Quel "We believe in generations" for example, which contained a "veiled" jab at Microsoft, clashes with the decision to continue PS4 support with cross-generational titles, such as the highly anticipated sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn, or with the non-closure of Japan Studio, which will now put its focus on ASOBI team, and the bleeding of the same in recent months, just to name two of the most striking examples that in recent months have made everyone turn up their noses, although, if seen as mere economic choices, they will certainly give their own fruits. Moreover, these choices are perfectly integrated with Schreier's "criticism" of Sony, that of focusing exclusively, or almost exclusively, on blockbusters with the highest economic profile. To date, all the discussions we can have are speculative, of course, but it is also true that this is the moment when the giants of the industry begin to show their cards, discovering the foundations they are building, they are not the one relating to the current generation but also structures of a more remote future. And it is here that, net of his own personal thoughts, Schereier's words find an echo.
Sony's merit in the past generation was, among others, to give new luster to its internal teams who had lost their bearings - or were about to - and at the same time "update" them to the video-playful context of the time, the "reboot" of God of War is perhaps the best example in this sense: taking a brand loved and successful and refurbish it, without affecting its essence but rather giving it new life, proving not only to be able to do a job of adaptation but also to be attentive to the wishes of the fans, without remaining a slave to it. Still, from today's perspective Sony actually proves to have it in its arc undoubtedly powerful, but not very diversified arrows between them in purely structural terms, increasingly meeting the "cookie cutter" model that dominates the industry, focusing perhaps a little too much on the Open World model, then backed up by the triple A of Naughty Dog and extraordinary support from third parties , which, however, also seems weaker today.
Of course, there is no shortage of examples such as Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart or the more modest games born to accompany the launch of the new console (which, however, are born expressly with the intent of being small playful experiences to shore up the initial stability of the title park) and that in any case they have little to do with Jim Ryan's vision, having been in production long before he came into play as CEO. In short, it is clear that the doubts of the players are at least legitimate about the future of the PlayStation 5 line-up, there is no reason to bandage your head however, I say it right out of your teeth, if you reject the sequel to Days Gone, which at the net of its merits it is certainly not a risky or risky IP and among other things also well received by the public, there is a problem.
There really seems to be a lack of that willingness to take risks and invest in more modest games and if it really turns out to be that, it would be a big mistake. And the point is not even that the idea of yet another remake of a game released "half an hour" ago goes into production at the expense of some more singular and courageous idea, it will be neither the first nor the last time it happens, so that a team that demonstrated capability would be rewarded with takeover by another study (it happened recently at Vicarious Visions and no one was desperate), as to whether adopting this modus operandi prove laziness and myopia. Not only because having a line-up as varied as possible is good for players but also, if not above all, given the extraordinary success achieved by games supported by small funding that, without a minimum of gamble, would never have come to light.
And I'm not even here to point out that direct competition in this period seems to continue to ring in successes, first because it does not want to be an article capable of fueling discussions on the competition, which despite all the "it is absurd to still talk about console war today" to me it seems more alive and ferocious than ever, and above all because, although Microsoft really seems to have found its direction, it still has everything to prove, but it is clear that Sony is not showing itself too far-sighted in this period. Simple communication problems? Possible, but unlikely because we already have so many tangible proofs and if there are already those who shout at the plot and run for cover to defend the house of Nihonbashi, it is difficult not to hear a little deja-vu of the early PS3 era. Perhaps, due to an unwritten rule of industry, the various giants must perform in a sparkling gen and then collapse on themselves, or seek every means to self-sabotage, but Schreier's point, however piqued, is totally acceptable. This does not mean that minor or more experimental products will be totally lacking on Playstation 5 but doubt the seed of doubt has been planted and we know well now that in the public, this seed always germinates fruitful. In short, in the coming months, thanks to the highly anticipated events dedicated to the media, Sony will have to demonstrate that it has a clear and effective idea, not only to dispel the present doubts but also, and above all, to give new luster to that “For the Players” which today sounds much less convincing.