The division responsible for the development of PlayStation mobile games created by Sony, which clearly indicates the seriousness of the company’s aspirations beyond consoles. The Japanese giant announced on Monday the formation of the PlayStation Studios Mobile Division, which will operate independently of the console business. The company also made another announcement, acquiring Helsinki and Berlin-based Savage Game Studios. The team is considered relatively young as it was founded in 2020, but it is actually backed by industry veterans, names like Michail Katkoff (Rovio, Zynga), Nadjim Adjir (Wargaming, Riot), Michael McManust (Wargaming, Insomniac).
At the end of May, the company announced its game publishing plans for the future, one of the pillars of which is that it would like half of its games to be run on PC and mobile by 2025. This also means that the proportion of spending on the PlayStation console would decrease. Currently, only 10 percent of Sony’s games are available on smartphones, which would double to 20 percent in the next three years.
According to Jim Ryan, CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, with the expansion, they have the opportunity for Sony to be more prominent everywhere, leaving a narrow segment. And strengthening the mobile foothold can be a big opportunity: according to Newzoo, consoles cover about 27% of the $196.8 billion gaming market, while mobile devices already account for more than half of the revenues.
The acquisition of Savage Game Studios continues Sony’s acquisition trend to speed up cross-platform development. According to the announcement, the studio is working on an unannounced, AAA-category live-service action game, which will receive continuous updates and content for longer life (and also longer revenue generation). According to Daniel Ahmad, the company’s senior analyst, the success of mobile Call of Duty Mobile and Diablo Immortal (both originally designed for console and PC) indicates that there is a demand for porting already well-known franchises to smaller screens, as long as they offer a quality gaming experience .
In addition to the Japanese giant, other players in the market cannot ignore the importance of the mobile market: Microsoft’s Xbox unit has also started to wink at mobile devices, and Nintendo has also made smaller or larger efforts in this direction in the last three years. Looking at the global market, however, Sony will compete with names that were not direct competitors before, such as Chinese giants such as Tencent or NetEase.
Analysts are optimistic about Sony’s chances in mobile gaming despite the crowded market, with its strong brand and valuable IPs an unprecedented resource for the Japanese.
In addition, the company continues to experience supply chain difficulties and is unable to meet demand for the PlayStation 5, resulting in price increases for PlayStation 5 consoles in many regions including the UK, Japan, China, Australia, Mexico, Canada, and Europe. A 10 percent increase in prices can be expected in Europe and 6 percent in the United Kingdom, but players living in the United States will not be affected by the measure based on the company’s recent announcement.
At the end of July, Sony also announced that it expects less profit this year than previously forecast, after the decline in PlayStation game sales became spectacular. While hardware sales rose slightly year-on-year, the numbers in the software field are weaker, the company posted a 26 percent drop in the second quarter, and the number of monthly active users of the PlayStation Network also fell by 3 percent to 102 million. As a result, Sony cut its annual profit forecast by 16 percent and expects a decline in the next quarter as well as the costs of its $3.7 billion acquisition of game studio Bungie.
At the meeting held for investors, the Japanese company explained the result with a more restrained offer of the more dominant, big PlayStation titles, and with the fact that the time spent with games among users generally decreased. Falling sales figures clearly show that the game industry is also starting to slow down after the momentum seen in the initial stages of the epidemic.
By the way, 79 percent of PlayStation game sales were digital sales. Sony’s new PlayStation Plus service has recently launched worldwide, but it is expected that signs of the reimagined service’s impact on users will be visible only in the next quarter. The number of PlayStation Plus subscribers is currently 47.3 million, and the number of monthly active users of PlayStation Network reached 102 million in the last quarter.
Source: HWSW Informatikai Hírmagazin by www.hwsw.hu.
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