The brand will be used on games developed and managed by Sony, including an opening video featuring characters from Uncharted, LittleBigPlanet, God of War, Ratchet & Clank, Horizon: Zero Dawn and The Last of Us.
As well as first-party games developed by the likes of Naughty Dog and Media Molecule, the PlayStation Studios brand will also be used with games made by work-for-hire developers under Sony’s direction.
Sony’s PS4 games will also carry the PlayStation Studios branding, but it won’t be ready in time for the launch of The Last of Us: Part II or Ghosts of Tsushima, SIE’s marketing boss Eric Lempel told GI.biz.
“Over the last few years — and even the last decade — the strength of the titles coming out from our studios has been stronger than ever,” he said.
“We have been thinking about how we unite all of these great games under one brand, and really the purpose of that is to make the consumer understand that, when they see this brand, they’re getting ready for a robust, innovative, deep experience that they’ve come to expect from games coming from PlayStation. So we came up with PlayStation Studios.”
Lempel said the PlayStation Studios brand will exist in “a lot” of different places, including trailers, advertising and game packaging.
“We think this is a good way to let consumers know that, if they see it, then the quality games they’ve come to expect from us are here,” he added. “And this brand will exist for well-known existing franchises, as well as brand new franchises that we have yet to explore.”
The PlayStation Studios marketing follows Sony Interactive Entertainment’s centralising of its operations into one global organisation, headquartered in San Mateo, California.
Commenting on the restructuring process in a November interview with GamesIndustry.biz, PlayStation boss Jim Ryan dismissed suggestions the company was becoming Americanised and claimed the new-look organisation had been designed to be more efficient ahead of the PlayStation 5 launch in 2020.
“I really want to reinforce the point that globalisation does not mean Americanisation, or vice versa,” he said.
“Becoming a global organisation does not, in any way, shape or form, mean becoming an American organisation. I’m living proof of that, as a good Geordie boy sitting here running PlayStation.”
Another European, Guerrilla Games co-founder Hermen Hulst, was named PlayStation’s new head of Worldwide Studios. The move saw Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida leaving the role to lead a new initiative that will look after smaller independent studios.
In the past PlayStation’s regional arms were able to act autonomously, signing their own games and setting their own marketing budgets.
This allowed regional departments in the US, Europe and Japan to specifically cater to their own audiences, but it also had the downside of creating a disjointed group operation, which some third-party publishers are said to have expressed frustration with.