Shawn Layden Reveals How Sony Chooses Which Games They Publish

Shawn Layden Explains Sony’s Continued Publishing Successes 

Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios has produced some of the best games worldwide. In fact, over the last year along they’ve seen huge success with games like God of War and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. So what’s the secret to their success? Shawn Layden recently shed some light on this in an interview with VentureBeat.

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In addition to the games that have already seen Sony skyrocket to the top of their game, there are still quite a few highly anticipated titles set to launch in the near future including Spider-Man, Ghost of Tsushima, and of course, The Last of Us Part II. So how then does Sony pick and choose which games to make/publish? How have they been so damn successful? In a recent interview with VentureBeat Shawn Layden, CEO of Sony, shared what it takes to get the green light from the publisher.

When asked about which games Sony’s first-party studios will make Layden stated the following criteria:

“First, best, or must. The game you’re working on has to fulfill at least one of the criteria, preferably too. First means creating a first of its kind game — a genre that doesn’t exist, a market that hasn’t been actualized yet. Will your game do that? Best is probably the easiest one to explain. If you’re best, it means if you’re making an action-adventure, you’re making Uncharted or God of War. If you’re making a racing game, you’re making Gran Turismo. Or a golf game, Everybody’s Golf, my favorite golf game. You must be the best in class. If someone came up with a plan, did all the spreadsheets, and said, ‘Shawn, this is going to make money for us and it’s going to be the fourth-best racing game ever,’ I’m not interested in doing the fourth-best anything. That wouldn’t be something we’d get behind. Must is probably the other thing that reflects our position as first-party development attached to the platform. There are some games we must do, even if initially the profitability might be hard to make. For example, an easy one for that is PSVR games. When you’re trying to grow the PSVR installed base, how many units are in homes, it’s difficult for some third parties to look at that addressable market and get the business to work for them. But we need games to move the platform. It’s a chicken and egg thing. So at Worldwide Studios we took on a number of PSVR projects in order to support the launch of that platform and getting it off the ground. So first, best, and must. We look at all of our games through that lens. It helps us make the right decisions, most of the time.”

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Do you think their strategy is a good one to have? Are you excited for what they have coming down the pipe? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and don’t forget to keep it locked for updates!