Last week, several live service games announced they are shutting down. These titles included critically acclaimed games like Knockout City and Rumbleverse, releases which had been well-received by both players and the media, but had seemingly failed to attract a large enough playerbase to make sustaining them worth the ongoing outlay. It raises difficult questions about Sony’s strategy.
For those out of the loop, the platform holder has said that it has more than ten live service games in production, and these numbers don’t appear to include existing releases like MLB The Show 22 and Gran Turismo 7. Upon acquiring developer Bungie, it announced that it was establishing a live service centre of excellence: a division designed to maximise its output in the space.
Live service games differ from traditional releases in that they’re intended to be updated and refreshed constantly post-release. The gold standard for this style of project is Fortnite, a title which constantly reinvents itself with new seasons, game mechanics, and an ever-revolving content store to keep players engaged and, perhaps crucially, spending money.
The risks are high, as it requires consistent investment to keep players occupied. But the rewards are unrivalled: the likes of Genshin Impact are among the biggest earners on the PS Store. Sony has gradually seen a significant chunk of its annual revenue come from the royalties it earns on top of microtransaction sales in digital storefronts such as the aforementioned Fortnite Item Store.
And now it wants its own persistent hit. Among the titles it has in development, there are reports of an online Horizon Forbidden West spin-off, a brand new Twisted Metal, and Naughty Dog’s hotly anticipated The Last of Us Factions. But with gamers restricted by finite time, it begs the question: how many live service games can players realistically support?
Sony will have an uphill battle converting fans of existing titles, like Fortnite and Genshin Impact, to try something new – and it’ll require significant investment to keep them engaged beyond launch day, too. The platform holder would argue that its purchase of Bungie for over $3 billion shows that it’s taking the strategy seriously, but is there enough oxygen to support all of these titles at once?
The strategy will be buoyed by the firm’s relaxed stance on hardware platforms: PS Studios boss Hermen Hulst has already admitted that live service games could launch day one on PC as well as PS5, massively expanding the potential audiences it’ll be able to reach. It’s also finally exploring the lucrative smartphone space, where titles like Genshin Impact perform best.
That means there are millions of players it may be able to reach with this strategy, potentially reducing some of the risk. But with so many other games available to play, it’s going to have to create some truly special titles to attract players, and as the closure of titles like Knockout City and Rumbleverse prove, sometimes making a good game isn’t even enough.
The platform holder would never publicly admit it, but there’s a quiet understanding that not every project in its portfolio needs to be a success: if one of its ten titles hits even half as hard as Fortnite, then it’ll have a multi-billion dollar game in its catalogue. But while Sony’s marketing and branding gives it an advantage over other publishers, its success is by no means guaranteed.
The company employs incredibly smart people, and it’ll be well aware of the risks. It’s important to underline that it claims it’s doing all of this without any impact on its more traditional, single player output, too. The firm’s been good at expanding its market of late, with HBO’s The Last of Us proving it can successfully adapt its brands to television, driving interest back to the PS5.
But with the live service sector so erratic and unpredictable, this feels like a real acid test moment for PlayStation’s current hierarchy. We’ve learned not to bet against the organisation of late, but with its past efforts at major multiplayer hits being inconsistent at best, it already feels like the firm may be fighting an uphill battle. Let’s see if it can make it to the top.
How do you feel about Sony’s live service strategy? Does it have an uphill battle with these in-development projects, or do you think its plotting the right path? Do you think the closure of several well-received titles is a cause for concern? Let us know in the comments section below.
Sony needs just one of these projects to succeed. At that point the rest can flop and they'll be painless write-offs. And they will, as the live service space is already overcrowded as is. At this scale, chasing that 'next Fortnite' is worth throwing all kinds of projects to the wall to see what sticks.
Personally, hoping to see a new Killzone. If only so I can enjoy it for six months before the plug is pulled.
@Golem25 Damn, just deleted everything I've written. What you said, lol.
I think fractions is going be huge and twisted metal has potential, it has a long history, tv series coming and there's not too many other vehicle combat games out there.
Yes, they should and always had to.
I think there should be concern with flooding the market with too many new live service offerings, especially when games that appeared to be relative successes, like Konockout City, close down.
I'm very interested in LoU Factions. I'm tentatively interested in an online Horizon game. I'm curious, at best, about a persistent online Twisted Metal. Maybe I don't have to play all of these games for them to be successes, but I would personally be a whole lot more likely to buy and play each if they were games designed to end from the get go.
I get I am not the target audience though.
I may not like it, but a quick glance at the top selling games on the PS Store or a look at the Steam concurrent player stats make a strong case for doing it.
Sony should be worried, but w/ 10 games underway maybe it was already worried enough to cover all the basis?
I don’t know the strict definition of GaaS but it does seem like there are different ways to go. I play Fortnite every day for about an hour, spent $9 on it once. I bought Splatoon 3 for $60 but so far all of the additional content has been free. My kid got Destiny 2 for free then spent $100 to preorder the next chapter and season pass. And Sony also PS+, PS++ and PS+++ where it can stick games “at no extra cost” but then charge for DLC. So there are several ways to go. Something might click.🤷🏻♂️
It's obviously something to be aware of and you'd think Sony knows the risks involved.
Successful live service games need to be able to stand out from the crowd, and Sony's IPs can definitely do that as long as they're adapted with confidence and quality.
Still, ten live service projects is an incredibly big ask. That said, we don't have enough information to start making predictions one way or the other.
It'll be super interesting to see how it all pans out, though.
@Americansamurai1 Don't you think this is because they aren't popular anymore? I was jazzed for PS3 TM and it was just really boring. It felt like a PS1 game.
The genre desperately needs a rethink.
Look at the projects all their devs are working on and there are a worrying amount of live-service games. Insomniac are the only dev I can remember who’re working on actual games. This won’t end well, if companies as big as Epic, EA and Ubisoft have live service games shutting down only this week then the wave is truly dead.
I think the new one is going to be a lot different than the ps3 one. Pretty sure none of the original devs are working on the new one, so hopefully they change it up. Just need one great game to bring it back, but you never know
I've never cared that much about live service games so I can't meaningfully on this. All I'll say is that Sony's bread and butter will probably always be in high quality single player games, and those continues be the most evergreen part of the games industry. As long as they keep that strength, i can't really blame them if they want to experiment in other areas.
@nessisonett don't forget Santa Monica
We should celebrate that.
Live service is videogame cancer
Like, I understand them wanting to try it with a game or two. But the idea of ten of them releasing in the coming 2 or 3 years is just insane. At least half of them are bound to flop by the sheer fact that they're planning on releasing so many of them.
@Golem25 ''Sony needs just oneof these projects to succeed. At that point the rest can flop and they'll be painless write-offs.''
Not for the people that invested their time and money in those games. If they already plan on shutting half of them down a year or so after release, then that's just a great way to garner a bunch of negative attention. People will be annoyed for sure, and rightly so. Also, that reeks of desperation, throwing stuff at the wall until something sticks isn't a great strategy in the long run.
It will be interesting to see how it all plays out. Im not all doom and gloom, but I'm not interested in live service games either. But not every game has to be for me. My worry is this huge live service push must be having an impact on money/resources that could have been spent on 1 player games. I think in the end its going to mean less games I am interested in, but I could easily be wrong.
All they need is one of those 10 games to be a hit, absolutely. I'm sure they have expectations for them all to do well or they wouldn't invest in them, but as long as one succeeds in a big way it will have been worth it.
And their past failures are for sure why they picked up Bungie.
I always say that there's never been an online game or mmo that could hold my attention for long.
Century has done a fair job of it, and I loved the original Factions, but I always get bored and drift away eventually.
I've been waiting decades for someone to make an online game that I stick with for years.
If anyone can do it, it'll be PlayStation.
I don't think they have to worry about much as they are great at what they do. But I feel most of their projects will be short lived, especially Twisted Metal. Live service games doesn't mean it will be bad if they do it right. It's it's made pay to win then I'd glady skip it.
Not sure what to think of The Last of Us factions. I've enjoyed the multiplayer in the original game but I think this multiplayer game is one I'll end up dropping pretty quickly. Having too many games doesn't leave enough time for something like that so it has to something to keep me hooked.
Killzone and Resistance would be my safe bet. They can always be supported with new maps and maybe add in Co-op story missions. They would be good to jump on from time to time, easy to pick up and play without needing to try remember how it's played. Shadow Fall still had real players up to the end.
Gaas would need to be on as many platforms as possible. Make a new handheld and get the game on that too or make a phone version
@Americansamurai1 What are they working on now that God of War’s come out?
The market is already crowded enough with a lot of GaaS games. To even succeed you need to bring something so good it is going to draw the people away from the established ops like warzone, fort nite apex etc.
Currently a lot of projects draw a lot of people for a short while and that fomo chasing crowd just seems to follow the next new thing until that gets old again.
The only interest I really have in GaaS games are mmorpg type of games. But without monthly fees like final fantasy xiv has for instance. So only pve and no pvp unless it's optional. Something like Elder Scrolls Online but with better combat
i really think Sony should put at least some multi platform.
otherwise the player base is relatively small.
we can be pretty sure the quality will be better than those that failed
Live service just doesn’t work 90% of the time. I agree with @golem25 here you only need one and the rest will fade away but you’d be damaging those failures brand wise exponentially. They are always time eaters and people just don’t seem to want that right now.
The only thing I’m trying to keep in mind is Sony already owns Bungie so they have Destiny in the bag and it’s staying multiplat. So are these live service games or games with live service elements? Seems odd to want that many strictly GaaS going at once.
Live services games are even more winner takes all than ordinary games.
But the thing about most of the recent shut downs is that they were niche games that couldn't generate the publicity, bad games, or targeting the crowded mobile market.
Sony won't have that problem. They have a built in target market, a huge amount of talent at making games, and the ability to generate massive marketing pushes.
I'm sure there's going to be some flops, I'm sure there's going to be some bad games, and I would rather they didn't focus on live service games, but one or two successes won't be a bad thing. Playstation should serve a lot of users, and Sony should dip their toes in a lot of pools.
I have question is games like destiny considered live service game? I honestly think I'm only one that as long as there's fully fledged game upon release I honestly don't mind continued support for that game.
Honestly for live service especially if free to play, they should really try to put them everyone including xbox to ensure max players are reached.
I’m sure they’re expecting heavy losses over the next few years. Personally I only have time for 1 or 2 ongoing games at once, so I imagine I won’t play most of Sony’s live service offerings. I’ll just play whichever one is best or none at all.
I think the big thing is that they need to pull players away from existing live service games, so whatever they make will need to be “better” than Fortnite and Warzone, which is a tall order.
Technically they have Destiny already so they're off to a good start 🤣
People need to remember that not all live service games are multiplayer reliant. Ubisoft treat their single player games as live services too.
Sony are in a far better position to make their games more popular then most publishers due to higher profile of exclusivity that they bring, Bungie's experience and having access to more revenue streams to offset any shortcomings.
Voted: Yes, this is all going to end in tears
Yes, I'll try all or most of them
I don't believe any of them will have success anywhere near something like Fortnite, Warzone or even Apex Legends they're clearly chasing even when it comes to their own platform. What I worry about is what will happen to the talent they assembled just to chase this dream.
Also, I don't like any current live service game. I never liked Fortnite. Don't play Destiny. Don't play Apex or any of them games currently. I'll try PlayStation's upcoming live services because they're coming from PlayStation but I very likely will not play them long term neither.
@3Above Flawless victory!
It will definitely backfire on them. They are trying to join this way to late. I don't care how good they turn out the main live service games like Fortnite, Apex Legends, and Rocket League eat up what free time most people that play them have. These games require a huge commitment from gamers and people just don't have enough time for all of these. That's why alot of these are failing as we speak. I think over the next four years once these Sony live service games start releasing you'll see a huge financial hit from their software side and alot of backlash from their fans that are here primarily for their cinematic sp games.
I've made a conscious stand against these games and even won't let my children play them. Because I know these companies are trying to mold the youth into thinking this is okay and I refuse to let my kids grow up thinking that.
Even Fortnite was a failure at launch, before they decided to remake the whole game as a PUBG-style Battle Royale.
I'm surprised more devs aren't following that example and try to recreate their games as whatever is more popular the moment.
Also: Mr.Beast has one punchable face. Perfect for any VR boxing game!
The problem with live service games is that they're much more of a zero sum game than single player games, in terms of attracting a player base.
We all know the feeling of having a massive backlog of games to complete - and that poses no issue for developers at all. They've already made their money on the single player games that we've bought, they can maybe get us to buy some expansions (unless we bought a fancy GOTY bundle)
Live service games can't get away with that. They can't sit in people's libraries waiting for them to get around to them - and they can't afford for you to spend too much time in the latest bit of single player brilliance while their multiplayer servers are left to fester. I mean, some of them can, e.g. Fortnite age a few others with a very dedicated fan base - but even if you assume that there's a good chunk of gamers who only play live service games, to the exclusion of everything else - any new live service game that wants to thrive, has to do so at the expense of another, because they need people actually playing and spending money on them, they can't afford to just fester in everyone's backlogs
I suppose live service games ultimately depend on whether or not they make a good first impression. There are times where this doesn't matter (see Destiny) but how many live service titles have you seen that completely fizzle out after a month or two due to a lack of marketing, content or both specifically at the start? Roller Champions, Destruction All Stars, Babylon's Fall (....OK tbf there was no saving BF but you know what I mean): all live service titles with either little to no marketing past the reveal that ended up feeling barebones when they eventually released.
Do I think Sony's going to backpedal on their 'bajillion live service games'? HELL NO. But it'll certainly be interesting to see how they go about showing them off in the wake of these shutdowns.
"Live Service" is basically a misnomer at this point.
It's 2023, damn near every game is a "live service". It's not just Destiny or COD or Fortnite or stuff with battle passes and seasons...Assassin's Creed is a "live" game, Monster Hunter is a "live" game. Dead Cells is still being supported with new content 5 years post launch, that could be considered a live service. Anything that gets regular updates that add new content is a "live service" game.
So when Sony says they have 10 "live service" games in development, that doesn't necessarily mean they have 10 Destiny-alikes in development.
@Americansamurai1 There are literally a bunch of vehicle combat-based live service games out there. World of Tanks, for instance, is huge.
Twisted Metal is probably one of the ones that will die sooner rather than later, if you ask me.
I only think there'd be cause for concern if their focus shifted near-entirely to live services like, say, Ubisoft.
Sony is simply adding live service titles as a way to bring back certain IP, expand others, and as you mention, try and get a bigger chunk of a lucrative pie.
I think what isn't mentioned a lot is that the problem with so many live service games isn't that they exist, it's that they're not able to carve out a niche. Or, they're not doing so well enough.
For any game to succeed it (almost always) has to be a good game first and foremost. You cannot just slap a name on it and be a subpar, un-fun experience and expect billions. You need to be something WORTH PLAYING.
I think there is plenty of space in the market for some more unique experiences in the live service space. I think the age of paying for stuff like access to multiplayer is dying. Only a few hang-ons can manage to pull it off (COD first and foremost) in the market. So I think stuff like Factions has a unique opportunity. Not EVERY niche is being catered to.
But also, you can't be an also-ran. "Just another shooter" won't cut it. Players have too much time and energy literally invested in too many similar titles. So bring originality, bring quality, and focus on fun gameplay. You're more than likely to be a hit. Whether you're a live service game or not.
@nessisonett back in 2021 they said they were working on a couple other things. their next game is rumored to be Cory barlogs dream project
@MFTWrecks I think twisted metal will be one of the more successful ones. You can underestimate synergy , if the show is successful it will carry over to the game
I just think they had the wrong approach by announcing so many. I don't mind them experimenting with it, although I'm not interested myself. I like to buy a game and play it. I'm not interested in in-game subscriptions, recurring spending, microtransactions or endless grinding.
It just seemed weird of them to announce so many live service games whilst we know very little about their future single player games. Insomniac has Spider-Man 2 and Wolverine. But beyond that we know nothing.
@Americansamurai1 To a point. I mean, the last TM was multiplayer-focused and it crashed and burned pretty quickly. And that was when it was still helmed by the original creators, iirc.
I think the new one REALLY has an uphill battle because of it. It's an older IP, the new show is set to be a different tone than diehard fans are used to... it may get a boost from the show, but it doesn't guarantee success.
Let me be clear, I don't WANT a new TM to fail. I LOVE TM. I'm just saying I am heavily skeptical of it, in particular, because the series has messed up before and has a lot of change coming its way.
Everyone's looking for the next Fortnite. These games can't be that expensive to make, and the companies would probably argue that if they find it, it'll have been worth ten flops.
No interest, but it makes sense. Especially if using existing franchises and their assets. It only needs one big hit to offset 100 shut down games that didn’t make it…
As to what it does to Sonys reputation and the value of its IP’s, well, that depends how many casual gamers would have bought those games anyway. If they are hitting the smartphone market, then not many at all.
Yes I do their audience and success last gen was built of being one of the few companies not chasing live service crap and providing quality single player story driven games. If they abandon that it will spell disaster.
The Gamers have spoken. Live service needed no more.
I get that if they can get at least one of them to succeed then it will be considered a success. However I gotta say that's a grim outlook if your essentially saying "well 9/10 of these games failed but at least we got one!" Doesn't mean they shouldn't try but I'll just say for the devs working on these titles...you might want to keep your resume up to date.
It's sad but I wouldn't be surprised to see many of these studios either close down or be relegated to a support studio for the successful ones. Just be ready should it all come crashing down.
@MFTWrecks yeah I understand where your coming from, but to be frank the last one was from David jaffe and he hasn't made a successful game since 2005. I'm hoping having a new dev involved brings new ideas, but it's not my most anticipated game or anything
@Shepherd_Tallon My brother from another mother. Couldn't agree more. In fact, I'd love to have that one "safe haven" game I can always return to that keeps me entertained. High hopes for Factions when it comes to that.
Im not too worried, i always assumed they were going for a 'throw everything at the wall' approach with it, how could they maintain 10 live service games at once? All they really need is for one or two to be successful and they can drop the rest (and let their first party return to what they like best). If their racking in multiplayer cash, it helps support singleplayer games that are expensive to make and less profitable. Im not much of GaaS gamer but Horizon in style of Monster Hunter could actually be fantastic, so im actually excited for that rumored one.
Here is the reality. Horizon and TLoU Factions will have legs. They are billion dollar franchises at this point. Their mainline entries sell in the 10s and 20s of millions. The other 10?....uphill battle for sure. Even twisted metal will be a hard sell imo and I love that franchise
GaaS is the same problem as mobile. ALL the money is in that direction. But only one or two players get the whole pot. If you can get your game to be the one that sticks, you're the champion. If you're not, you're the one airlifted out. That's where it's all gone wrong for Ubisoft. They've tried and tried, but never landed the one that stuck, and all that money, time, and resources went down the drain with nothing to show for it. EA tried and succeeded, then tried and failed, then tried and failed some more, and finally decided the cost and risk is too great to throw most of your eggs in that basket.
Sony seems to be a little late to the party, throwing their hat into the ring for this market, after Ubi, EA, and others have learned the hard lessons that the grass is always greener. They may be hoping the Sony brand makes a difference, but pulling people into dedicating their life to one game with endless spending takes more than either a brand, or a good game, it takes a lot of luck and just happening to go viral. Sony's last big online game was Everquest, and that wasn't actually theirs...they're hoping to buy "know-how" from Bungie, in a market where "luck and timing" has as much if not more to do with success than know-how.
If this is 100% ancillary to their normal production schedule, then there's low risk other than the money thrown at it. But it doesn't seem realistic they can suddenly produce all this live service content, much of it from their primary studios, without it impacting those studios traditional output. I don't expect this to have a particularly happy ending. I don't think that's in question. The only question is does it quietly go down with a wimper, or does it keep the company so distracted for a decade they scramble t rebuild like EA had to and Ubi is trying.
10 seems like an awful lot. How about starting with 1 or 2 games and see how it goes? Maybe have some others in active development that could be shifted to non-live should the others fail? Maybe that's the plan already. Releasing 10 live service games around the same time would be competing with each other I assume.
A part of most of the big live service games is they can be played almost on any device with crossplay. It could be an issue getting a live service game to really explode in popularity when only releasing on ps and pc, as I imagine they will
@dschons 'that one "safe haven" game'
The Souls games are another series that I keep coming back to. My favourite series actually. Still, after a few expansions those games tend to wrap things up and move on. I want that one game that survives for years.
Like you I'm hoping Factions is the one that finally does it.
@NEStalgia ubisoft has rainbow 6 and EA has fifa and madden.
Unbelievably I'm not anti-gaas. In fact my favourite game last gen Rocket League is. Then my second favourite Dreams, kind of is.
However when I was playing them both (big props to my bro @kyroki on RL and the MNC from Dreams) I didn't play anything else. It was all my spare time gone. No other game could get a look in. Even big games I was looking forward to. Also the rush of Rocket League makes other games boring and is dangerously addictive.
So is it sensible to go after the gaas crowd? He'll yes. But give us a great single player mode too. Forza Horizon does it very well. Destiny was great as well - you could go out on your Todd and practice. Sony have all the skills to make it work but please Sony, don't forget about the single player gamers who just want to chill and have a great story. Dopamine is great but having a great single player game can be even better.
@Shepherd_Tallon Yep, Souls games are also sort of my go to "when you don't really know what to play but want to play something"-games 😁
@themcnoisy R6 is definitely successful, but, it's also kind of reached peak and is backing away a bit, and still failed to hit that Fortnite/CoD/Apex critical mass they were hoping for. They had a lot of GaaS projects, only 1 hit meaningful success, but that success was well below the threshold they were looking for.
EA has the sports games, and they did get Apex out of it, but after Anthem, BF, and "that other one" went down they also realized that's not the best basket to put all their eggs in, to the point of removing the multiplayer from the new DA. EA is noteworthy because they're the company that declared the single player game dead, and put all their eggs in the service basket, then some eggs got cracked and they realized it's not a buffet.
I, too am not immune to the Dopamine of a good GaaS, in that I can be quite a Splatoon addict. I played nothing else from September to the end of December, daily addicted to that loop. But at the same time, it's the only GaaS to addict me, ever, or even keep my attention more than an hour, and I don't think I'd put recurring money into it, though I realize the new generation of gambling addicts spend like crazy on this stuff.
I tried Genshin and found it hollow and bland almost immediately. World's hooked on it though....
For me, it would depend on the game. Basically, whether that game was any good. Even if I found it good, I can only really play one game at a time so it needs to be really good to retain my attention for a prolonged period of time.
@nessisonett What about Bend, Sucker Punch, Asobi, and Blue Point.
Sony should focus in what they do best: single player story-driven games. Most Playstation players do not care for multiplayer-life service garbage and disposable games.
Yes but first let's see the games. Some services are very good if they can make of those it's always welcome.
And even if they can't make a legendary service they need to fail first, like any company. They won't change their mind to anything but their own failure. We are lucky they will survive a failure in their service plans.
@Fizza Destruction All Stars LMAO who remembers that game. And that's ultimately the fate of most of these. It's a waste of resources and talent IMO.
@pharos_haven Not sure what any of them are actually working on at the moment. The only single player things I know are coming at some point are Wolverine and Spider-Man 2.
This list debunks it all, lol.
The problem with live service gamea nowadays is that they are trying to chase the same train of success of Fortnite. The problem is that it's already too little too late. Just look at Destruction All Stars. While I'm glad the developers tried to improve the game, because of the lack of any big updates (or any new characters) makes it obvious that the game's future is looking dim. If Sony is not leaning on supporting and improving destruction all stars, then who's to say they'll be any different with their other upcoming live service titles?
Sony should stick to what they do best. Single player games with optional multiplayer modes/components. It's a shame cause their IPs have potential for some MP growth. Imagine a Monster hunter style Horizon spinoff, or a hero shooter more for Rift Apart, or even something like GoT:Legends for God of war or spiderman 2. Dumb ideas I know, but still...
Honestly, I don't care. I have yet to play a live service game and will continue to have no desire to. I stopped online gaming whenever I got the PS3 in the middle of that generation. I only have so much time to play and I want to experience as many single player games as I can.
@dschons Same brain, my friend 😌
I don't see this ending well, the way things are looking 2023 will be a live service graveyard and with so many live service games in development from PS Studios, the quantity of PS Studios traditional single player experiences is probably massively reduced (either that or there's a load of TLoU Part 1 type releases incoming).
I’m a little worried all their eggs are in the live service and VR baskets, and I’m not sure of either’s long term future.
It's very simple.
They're working on 10 live service games. If ONE of those games is a hit on the level of Fortnite or Genshin Impact, it pays for the other nine to be absolute, abject failures. It would still be a net win - a major win.
Sony's strategy is absolutely destined for failure. We've known from the beginning that they're trying to rush a whole bunch of stuff out the door to see what ends up attracting people, and they'll happily demolish anything that doesn't.
That said, I still expect Ryan to full steam ahead anyway, out-of-touch numbskull that he is.
Let’s see. There’s Fortnite. Warzone. Minecraft. Roblox. Apex. Genshin. Final Fantasy XIV. Maybe a few more like Rainbow Six Siege and WoW - the old timers. Some other ones, like Fall Guys, Rocket League, and PUBG that have died down lately, after a good start. The hardcore e-sport crowd with their League, DOTA, and Overwatch. Maybe more that I’m forgetting.
That might be 90% of the live service game audience right there. And there’s only a handful of people that may be looking to play something new.
I’m not saying there’s no room for another game to sneak in there. Most of those games started small as well. It can be done.
But to make a game that competes with all of those? You’ve gotta be extremely lucky and have a huge marketing budget. No one can predict the former, and Epic just proved - with Rumbleverse - that the latter isn’t enough.
Sony will have to have to have something magical cooked up to get just one of those 10 live service games to break through.
Live service games seem to be a complete dice roll, there's no predicting what is the next big thing. Even having a solid franchise behind them doesn't seem to help.
Problem is they need to be a success from the start, it seems to be very difficult to recover. People are attracted to games that other people are playing as far as multiplayer ones are concerned. Noone playing in the first place means noone probably ever will.
I Don’t play multiplier games outside classic MMOs (mostly FFXIV.) I know they claim this investment on service games won’t hurt their single player offerings, but this year we only have Spider-Man 2 in the calendar. They can try to pad the year(s?) with exclusivity deals like FF16, but that is not a replacement for actual first party games.
100% Sony should be rethinking their approach. It's absolutely moronic that Sony is going in so hard on a field that is only (what) 10 or 20% effective. I'm being generous with that BTW.
Factions is gonna see a Fortnite type of explosion in popularity when it launches especially with the synergy of the show.
100% not going to play MP/GAAS crap.
I prefer traditional games with traditional content at a traditional price.
I’m not a fan of GaaS overall. I just don’t have time for another job.
I know the point that some of you have made that Sony only need one of these live-service games to be successful however you’re missing the ton of resources that will be wasted in all the other games that don’t reach their desired level of success, we’re talking about hundreds of millions of dollars which could’ve been invested in single-player experiences that have positioned Sony where they’re right now, and even if they make 20, 30 or 50 live-service games there’s no guarantee that a single one of those games will be their Fortnite or Warzone.
Yes, also good, live service games are a blight on gaming, just like others gaming trend (like mmo rush back then). I hope it died so we can get more normal awesone single player games that end normally, more dead space remake or hogwart legacy, and less of babylon fall.
Its so much you can do and so many options for twisted metal its insane. you can do it the oldschool way with story, offline vs , splitscreen & online modes . , or live service
nonetheless another twisted metal has to be made , theres nothing in competition with it.
I wouldn't gamble on that with sony, they killed off the online for a good chunk of their games too early, gravity rush 2 online was going to shut down in under a year initally.
@RobN That's what square-enix thought and Avengers alone cost them 200 million in losses.
They are lucky they have one that worked after a revamp (ffxiv), but everything else failed and now they have a terrible rep. Players are less willing to trust a publisher/developer that doesn't support their games. I am afraid none of these games will hit the market and it will end in tears and rage for everyone involved.
Gaas is not about throwing stuff to the wall until it sticks. It requires a strong enough playerbase to deliver a good player experience. Aka queue times.
The top games will still be the top games unless they screw up and open space for something else. As it stands, the market is saturated.
@GeneJacket thank you , i've been saying this alot , people have no idea why they are mad at live service games and they don't even really fully understand them. games have been live service games before that phrase was even created.
yes one of them will succeed and financially sony will be ok financially out of this.
problem is as a player if your not into the one that succeeded
Yes, they should.
What they're probably banking on is that if they make a dozen of these things, eleven can fail and if one is even close to a Fortnite level success it will pay for the rest and then some.
Whether they manage to create one of those remains to be seen. I'm doubtful. Hopefully they're working with a lot of second parties on these live service games so we can still get plenty of actual games from them this generation.
Yes and No. It completely depends how it is implemented.
E.g. Games like GT7, Forza Horizon 5 are live service games, it doesn't have to be something the whole game is structured around.
As a hater of liveservice games I have to honest.
They can work but there is a big but.
You can make a liveservice game work but all the developers and publishers need to remember all liveservice games are timesinks if you are lucky you make one that people stick with.
And because they all are made to suck up your time most people have time to play 1 game/ liveservice game you have to remember if you make to many of them people won't be playing them because of the limited time in a day.
I can't handle more then 1 liveservice game, with daily tasks, login bonusses, special events it's that simple.
@themightyant Then it's not a real liveservice game in my eyes. Liveservice games are timesinks with weekly events, daily tasks and massive FOMO.
These games are games with updates with some breathing time the real liveservice don't give you that luxury.
"there’s a quiet understanding that not every project in its portfolio needs to be a success: if one of its ten titles hits even half as hard as Fortnite, then it’ll have a multi-billion dollar game in its catalogue."
This. Only one needs to hit to make megabucks. The non-financial downside of cancelling or killing some of the others that don't make the cut is that Sony will earn a reputation in the eyes of its customers for being an unreliable publisher. The gamble is that the payoff of the hit will outweigh the loss of player goodwill.
@Flaming_Kaiser My whole point is they don't have to be that worst form it.
Like you I dislike the FOMO led daily, weekly, timesinks. I don't want that. But I don't believe live service games have to follow that template either.
I've never played an MMO or any live service game. Been Single Player all the way for over 25 years now!!! Guess I should change my handle to Solitary Jaguar!!!
The reason I do not own an Xbox is that it relies too heavily on online/live-service games. If Sony leans too far into this then I will become just a nintendo gamer, just like the days of old haha
@Golem25 ahh I see you listen to Sacred Symbols too.
@Nem I agree with much of what you said, except that I think you vastly underestimate the value of having that hit winner and its power to wash away all the failures. Sony is big enough - and has enough different studio brands - that it can risk 9 failures chasing one mega-hit.
@OnceaThief I have no idea what those are actually :B
I'm not interested in live-service games, but I don't bash on them either. If people enjoy them, I say let them be.
@themightyant The problem is 95 % of these games are just that and thats a pity. And the worst thing about it you know how much better these games would be without these annoying things. Fallout Shelter is one of the best examples for me of how much better a game could be without being gimped.
@Flaming_Kaiser I agree many live service games ARE that now but my point is they don't have to be. I don't think it's as high as 95% it's just that you might not consider many of them live services (like GT7, Forza Horizon, Assassin's Creed Valhalla etc.)
How many times in the past did you finish a game and wish there was more? I know I have done.
I think/hope there is a world in the middle somewhere that both offers the typical benefits of a single player game with more things to do IF you want to pay for more without being scummy.
Re: Fallout Shelter specifically: I was hopelessly addicted since launch day (I think before they massively added MTX.) But ultimately that game was just a waste of time like Farmville, etc. requiring multiple log ins a day to maximise your energy. It's what I like to call "Broken by design" it was designed to be a timesink and drip-feed progress, built around slot-machine like mechanics. And there is no end... Time is precious.
E.G. It was interesting that Vampire Survivors was developed by one guy who used to work in gambling and designed it to have the same sensory pleasure you get when gambling, but without the gambling.
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