The Last of Us Multiplayer PS5

A new report from Nikkei claims Sony will be increasing its monetary investments into Research & Development sectors by around 10 per cent this financial year to aid its push into the live service space. This investment will total around 300 billion yen ($2.13 billion) and represents roughly 40 per cent of the entire company's R&D costs for the financial year.

In comparison, Sony's gaming sector spent 271.1 billion yen on R&D in its previous financial year, and then 144.5 billion yen the year before that. As such, this financial year's R&D expenditure represents a substantial increase over the past financial blocks. "Having long relied on sales of its PlayStation game console, the company will now focus on live service games that let customers purchase add-ons for titles streamed online," the outlet claims.

Sony has already begun sharing what its live service future — alongside traditional single player games — will look like with the announcements of Fairgame$ and Concord during its most recent PlayStation Showcase. An online title from Naughty Dog based on The Last of Us Multiplayer is also in the works, but it appears to have encountered development issues. In total, Sony plans to have 12 live service games on the market by the end of fiscal year 2026, and it brought Destiny maker Bungie on board to help make sure they're all of good quality.

According to a Bloomberg report from Jason Schreier, this is the reason why Naughty Dog has put its multiplayer project on the back burner for now. "Bungie raised questions about the The Last of Us multiplayer project's ability to keep players engaged for a long period of time, which led to the reassessment," the journalist claimed in May.