Sony reportedly plans to increase research and development spending at its gaming business by about 10% this financial year.
That will represent around 40% of the group’s total R&D spending for the period, surpassing investment in its electronics and semiconductor businesses.
The increased R&D spending at PlayStation is being used to help drive the company’s push into live service games.
Sony reiterated in May that it’s planning to have 12 live service games in the market by its fiscal year ending in March 2026 – up from three during its last business year ended this March.
Live service games will account for 55% of its PS5 development budget during the current business year, rising to 60% in the fiscal year ending in March 2026.
Sony expects the market for add-on content associated with live service games to reach $19.2 billion in calendar year 2026, compared to $7.4 billion for digital full game sales and $12 billion for subscriptions.
PlayStation Studios boss Hermen Hulst said in May that Bungie is helping to vet all of Sony’s in-development live service games.
“The learnings from Bungie have been very substantial in many areas,” he 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”.
Nikkei’s report also claims that Sony plans to “combine the resources of the nine overseas game studios it has acquired or invested in during the last two years to aid extended reality development”.
Sony’s metaverse ambitions have seen it invest around $1.45 billion in Fortnite maker Epic Games since July 2020.