Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) wants to increase its foothold in the live service games market.
In an investor relations presentation on Thursday, SIE said it intends to “develop more service-led experiences” within its first-party roster for release both on and off console, in line with its growing focus on mobile and PC releases.
In a slide related to this strategy, SIE said MLB The Show 21 has attracted the “highest paying user spend of any sports title in the US PS Store” since its release last month, while pointing out that it is now a multiplatform IP after the series debuted on Microsoft consoles via Xbox Game Pass.
MLB The Show 21’s Diamond Dynasty mode enables players to buy randomised packs of cards to try and build a dream team, either by earning or buying in-game currency called Stubs.
“We intend to build upon our growing experience and ambition in the games as a service space to complement our continued strength in the narrative-led titles that PlayStation fans know and love,” SIE president and CEO Jim Ryan said on Thursday.
Sony also published live service game Destruction AllStars earlier this year. Developed by Lucid Games, the vehicular combat title was originally planned as a $70 PS5 launch title, but its release was delayed until February 2, when it was made available through PlayStation Plus for two months at no additional cost to subscribers before releasing for $19.99/ £17.99.
Ryan also said on Thursday that free to play games supported by microtransactions accounted for over 25 percent of total PlayStation Store consumer spending during the company’s business year ended in March 2021 (FY20), up from five percent in FY16.
SIE said this month that there are currently over 25 first-party PS5 games in development. Former Guerrilla Games head Hermen Hulst, who currently serves as PlayStation Studios boss, revealed the figure in a new Wired feature.
While Sony is known to be working on sequels including Horizon Forbidden West, God of War Ragnarök and Gran Turismo 7, Hulst told the publication that nearly half of the first-party projects in development are entirely new IP.
“There’s an incredible amount of variety originating from different regions,” he said. “Big, small, different genres.”
Sony also claimed on Thursday that the standard PS5 model will break even beginning in June 2021 and confirmed that it intends to launch its PlayStation Direct online store in Europe in FY21.