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Sony teases push into live service and cross-platform publishing

The first information of future plans lands prior to tonight's PlayStation Showcase 2023 event
Sony teases push into live service and cross-platform publishing

With the hours counting down to Sony’s PlayStation Showcase later today, we’ve already got a whole host of business and investor news to unpack.

Sony’s briefings precede the showcase, setting the scene in purely business terms in advance of the graphics and gameplay overload to come. This time around we got a good overview of how things have improved for Sony regarding sales of the PS5 - which suffered well-publicised supply issues - and an interesting insight to where the company's attentions will lie in the future.

SVP of finance, corporate development and strategy, Lin Tao, went through the growth strategy for Sony’s games division (that being PlayStation, their studios and more), and noted they were actively exploring mobile and PC in their new strategy, one "with cross-platform enabled live service at the very core”.

It’s a none-too-subtle hint that the gaming giant plans that liveops will form a core part of their growth in the future.

For Sony it seems that cross-platform rather than exclusive mobile titles is the way to go - but that doesn’t mean we won’t see a Sony mobile studio for example. Meanwhile live services from studios like Bungie, Haven, Accelbyte and Firewalk are all cited as key inspirations for how Sony want to push forwards.

Sony’s briefing document highlights three key elements for their growth strategy when it comes to mobile, “Co-developing top IP with industry leaders, establishing internal capabilities and building a world class publishing team.” Establishing internal capabilities could mean any number of things, but the most obvious would be establishing a studio, or at least a greater mobile division within existing studios and sections of the company.

More mobile, more cross-platform, more liveops

While we’re unlikely to see Sony's revenues become mobile-first any time soon it certainly seems they’re not burying their head in the sand and are eager to get the liveops word out. Such intentions could mean first-party titles developed specifically for mobile by Sony, or at least cross-platform games available to players across PlayStation, PC and mobile, as with MiHoYo’s smash-hit and industry defining Genshin Impact. We already have the PlayStation App after all, so it’s not a stretch to imagine such tech being used in ways beyond just assisting users with their accounts.

And mobile growth has begun its ascent upwards. In 2019 by Sony’s own estimates mobile didn’t make up any of their releases, where by 2023 it has reached around 10% of output and predicted to grow even further by 2025. As for details of the games. we'll wait for the showcase later today, but right now we're getting all the signs that Sony are wising up with cross-platform and liveops a key part of their plans.