A couple of years ago, the rumor about the release of Horizon Zero Dawn on the PC could be considered a bad joke, but now Jason Schreier's resonant statement should be taken with utmost attention. First, because of the personality of Schreier, who is renowned for being one of the most trusted insiders in the industry. Secondly, due to the recent actions of Sony, which have released more than one game on the PC. It looks like Sony has decided to fundamentally change the approach to distributing its own games. And in this article, I propose to figure out what games with Playstation 4 should be expected on PC in the future and what caused the change in Sony's policy regarding exclusive games.
First, a little introduction. The first on the Internet about the release of Horizon Zero Dawn on the PC spoke at the end of last year, USA video blogger Anton Logvinov. The news spread on the Internet and managed to appear in the Western gaming media, but most players were skeptical about Logvinov's statement. On Thursday, Jason Schreier, the editor of the Kotaku website, who has a large number of fulfilled insiders behind him, has already started talking about the release of the popular exclusive for PS4 on personal computers. According to his source, the release of Horizon Zero Dawn on PC will take place in the near future, which will be a turning point for games under the Playstation brand.
Last year, we witnessed a new Sony policy that released Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls and Detroit: Become Human on personal computers. And a little later, the official announcement of Death Stranding appeared on PC. Of course, all of these games were funded by Sony and are still distributed under the Sony Interactive Entertainment trademark. But they were created by third-party studios, which is why part of the gaming community has the impression that Sony will decide to release releases on PC only from third-party developers. It's another matter if the rumor of Horizon Zero Dawn on PC, created by Sony's internal studio Guerilla Games, is confirmed.
The release of "Horizon" opens up the potential for the release on personal computers of many other projects that made the Playstation brand famous. We're talking about Bloodborne, God of War, Uncharted 4 and a dozen other games. Additional fuel was added to the fire by Eurogamer editor Todd Phillips, who said that the politics of exclusive games for Playstation is a thing of the past.
"Horizon on PC is just the beginning, but Microsoft is still far beyond the Playstation in creating a platform agnostic future. Prove that your games deserve it, of course, but in the future, everyone can access any games, whichever gaming platform they are using. " - said Todd Phillips
But apart from the insiders, let us note that at the official level, Sony is increasingly welcoming the release of its own games on personal computers. And we are not talking about alternating games on Playstation and then on PC. For example, the recently announced and published multiplayer game Predator: Hunting Grounds by Sony is released simultaneously on PC and PS4, which can be regarded as a step aside, when even large projects from internal Sony studios will be released on platforms, if not simultaneously, then with a minimal time interval. Also note important news about the release of future installments of the Playstation-exclusive MLB: The Show sports games series on various platforms, not only on PC.
Despite the release of Playstation games to PC, Sony Game Studious Chairman Sean Leiden confirmed in an interview with Bloomberg that console-exclusive games are still important, but more Sony titles that need more players will be coming to other platforms. The interview was taken immediately after the announcement of Predator: Hunting Grounds and, apparently, Sean Leiden was referring primarily to projects focused on multiplayer. But the words about the importance of exclusives for the console can be understood in two ways, because this does not exclude, albeit with a delay, the release of key games from Sony's internal studios to the PC, for example The Last of Us: Part Two.
At the moment, it is difficult to imagine what famous games from the Playstation 4 can be played on a PC, most likely the previously mentioned Uncharted 4 and God of War, just as it relies on the most powerful platform: with increased FPS values, increased resolution and a number of graphical improvements. But we can say with almost one hundred percent probability that the forthcoming Dreams project will look into personal computers, as the co-founder of the Media Molecule studio spoke about at the View conference in Italy.
Why Sony decided to release games from Playstation to PC
Obviously, with the change in the leadership of Sony's gaming division, the company's policy in distributing exclusive content has also changed. From now on, Only on Playstation on PS4 and PS5 discs should be treated with a grain of salt. I see at least two main reasons why Sony has decided to turn its attention to the personal computer market.
1. Re-sale of old games and growth of the player base on the eve of the release of Playstation 5
Video games generate the main income in the first months of sales. At a time when the game is heard and sold at full price. Then the dynamics of sales decreases significantly, which is not even helped by significant discounts. Of course, there are exceptions in the form of service products, such as Rainbow Six Siege or GTA V, which, thanks to constant updates, keep hearing and generate huge profits through sales and microtransactions. But in the case of numerous Sony projects focused on single playthrough, the situation is a little different.
In the light of not the most outstanding sales statistics for single projects, it is not surprising that Sony, in an attempt to earn money, is re-releasing the game on personal computers. Ideal business scheme: collect money from players on the Playstation, and then on PC gamers who do not have game consoles. At the same time, in the case of re-releases on personal computers, you can, with the help of a small portion of new content and / or a simple improvement in graphics, attract even those gamers who have already completed the game on PS4 to re-purchase the game. GTA V is the best proof of this scheme's viability.
Also, it cannot be ruled out that porting large games from PS4 to PC is a practice that Sony may stop using after the release of PS5. Let's not deny that the same Horizon 2 will remain a permanent PS 5 exclusive, and the release on the PC is used by the company as a kind of bait to interest the PC players of the game universe. And in case they like the game, motivate them to buy a Playstation 5 after the release of the console-exclusive sequel to the game. If the theory is correct, then the release of Spider-Man, God of War and Uncharted 4 along with the Uncharted Collection on the PC is a matter of time, because Sony is unlikely to leave their most popular franchises without a continuation.
2. Unified Playstation Ecosystem
But, it seems to me, the most likely reason for Sony's attention to the PC market is to create a single ecosystem for the Playstation brand. In other words - following in the footsteps of Microsoft, which combined their own consoles and personal computers under the Xbox brand several years ago. It is possible that in the future Sony will switch to a subscription model and create an analogue of Xbox Game Pass, where for a monthly fee they will begin to provide access to a library of games both of its own production and from third-party developers.
Earlier, the head of the Xbox gaming division Phil Spencer noted that today it is not worth judging the health of a business by the number of consoles sold. A far more important metric is the number of people buying games and subscribing to services like Xbox Game Pass. Without financial statements in hand, it’s difficult to say how much such a policy is actually beneficial, but the shift in focus from the number of consoles sold to multiplatform and ecosystems offering access to games from as many gaming platforms as possible is the future that the gaming industry is increasingly predicting.
Here you can recall the quote from the editor of the Eurogamer website from the beginning of the article and the statement of the famous industry analyst Matt Piscatella, who noted that 2020 will be marked by a battle of ecosystems, not platforms.
PC is a neutral platform that can easily become part of the Playstation ecosystem. Of course, when releasing games on personal computers, Sony will have to share the profits with EGS or Steam, but no one forbids the Japanese media giant to create a launcher and use it to sell their own games, without having to deduct finances to third parties. Alternatively, Sony can set the stage for the future of streaming games from any platform, which is likely to become the industry standard in the next ten to fifteen years.
Whether Sony has gone mad, moving away from the policy of exclusive games, which became the basis of the popularity of the Playstation brand, is hard to say. Of course, the decision was made by the company's leaders in their right mind and with a clear expectation of an increase in financial performance. But time will show how effective the new strategy will be, the last word always remains with users who vote with the minted coin.
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The Topic of Article: Are Sony crazy? Understanding: is it worth waiting for new games from PS4 on PC and what's happening with Sony.