PlayStation is using Bungie to ‘rigorously’ vet its upcoming live service games
CEO Jim Ryan says the Destiny studio has “surpassed my expectations”
PlayStation is using Bungie to ‘rigorously’ vet its in-development live service games, it’s said.
During a business webcast on Tuesday, Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) reiterated that it’s planning to have 12 live service titles in the market by its fiscal year ending in March 2026 – up from three during its last business year ended this March.
The company said that by the end of this timescale it expects live service games to make up 60% of its annual game development budget. This is a notable shift for SIE, which is best known for its single-player games such as God of War and The Last of Us.
And SIE says it has made Destiny studio Bungie – which it acquired last summer for $3.6 billion – an integral part of ensuring these titles have the best chance of success, by taking learnings from the studio’s wealth of experience in the genre.
The timing of this disclosure is notable, considering a live service game in development at PlayStation-backed Deviation Games was recently reported to have been cancelled.
Discussing Bungie’s first 10 months at PlayStation, CEO Jim Ryan claimed the two have a mutually beneficial relationship, with Bungie benefiting from SIE’s global marketing machine.
“We have been working with Bungie for almost a year, and the learnings in both directions have been very significant,” he said. “They surpassed my expectations and equally, I think Bungie is extremely excited by what they can take from SIE in terms of market reach, marketing, collaboration and the ability to amplify their IP.”
He added: “We’ve brought quite a lot to Bungie, just as they’ve certainly brought quite a lot to us. They historically have been a heavily US-focused publisher [with] their IP underexploited in key markets of Europe and Asia.
“SIE is extremely strong and extremely experienced in Europe and Asia, and we are just starting the process of reigniting Bungie’s presence and game-awareness in those regions.
“I’d also say… we have a marketing machine that, in my view, is world class and setting them to work on activating Bungie’s games, IP and brand I think is going to take their awareness and size of their business to a size that they’ve never seen before.”
PlayStation Studios boss Hermen Hulst later described how Bungie has become involved in all its in-development live service games.
Among the 12 titles in development are a The Last of Us online game, a Horizon online game and an original IP from its London Studio.
“The learnings from Bungie have been very substantial in many areas,” Hulst said. “Of course, when you’re developing live service titles, you [require] capabilities that you don’t have when you’re working on single-player, narrative-driven games.
“And these capabilities that we’ve set up inside PlayStation Studios have been helped and guided by Bungie. We also more deeply understand what success means in live services. Historically, our games always worked towards an end, and this is a large cultural shift… the launch of a game is just the beginning, and it comes with a whole set of different [key performance indicators].
“We also work with Bungie on a pretty rigorous portfolio review process that we apply to all 12 live service titles that we have in production, and these are just brief examples of some of the learnings that we have gained from working with Bungie.”
During the call, Jim Ryan also confirmed SIE was “having conversations” around bringing Bungie’s properties to non-game media, which he said the company considered important.