In an industry where financial issues are increasingly important, many managers try at all costs to keep their tongue, hoping to keep a few internal decisions a secret. And then there are the “ex”, freed from this duty of reserve, like Shawn Layden.
It is an understatement to say that the former director of Sony Worldwide Studios has not had his tongue in his pocket since his departure in October 2019: between the criticisms on the pharaonic cost of the industry’s AAA games or those who question Sony’s all-out buyout strategy for several years, everything is going, and it is obviously not its last release that risks reversing the trend.
I will sleep at your house
Guest on the aptly named YouTube channel What’s Up PlayStation, Shawn Layden had the opportunity to come back to the importance that exclusives still have for the attractiveness of a brand in the video game industry, and the difficulty of bringing these titanic projects to completion. During more than an hour and a half of interview, the person concerned offers his light on the strategy of the brand, not without specifying that he is now unaware of all that is going on internally. Asked about PC ports of Playstation Studios exclusives, such as Days gone and Horizon Zero Dawn, Layden justified his desire for openness:
Offering our games on the PC was an idea that had been trotting in my head for a while: how do we expand our audience if we only target players who already have a PlayStation? They might buy more DLC or expansions, but they are already customers. When I was in office, we were developing a strategy vis-à-vis the PC that consisted of finding new players where they are.
However, the former director of Sony Worldwide Studios cannot imagine the manufacturer changing his mind, and considering this platform competes with the same temporality as the home consoles:
We need to reach out to them because they have decided to stay at home. We are the ones who invite us. And what’s the best way to do it? Why not offer them one of our bestsellers, a game that has already been successful and which came out a year and a half or two years ago, which is no longer necessarily on the shelves. The idea is to say, “You chose not to play on PlayStation? Well here’s what you’re missing out on. That’s why we headed to the PC. Never say never, but I don’t think you’ll ever see a PlayStation exclusive coming out the same day on PC.
Sony Interactive Entertainment President Jim Ryan will he be so categorical? With the recent takeover of studio Nixxes, specializing in PC ports and the promise to increase the speed, everything seems possible …