Sony Faces Hurdles With $10 Billion Loss From PlayStation & Disappointing Turnout From Bungie

Posted on March 27, 2024 by Nick Moreno

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Thus far, the PlayStation 5 is appearing to be on a track to possibly outpace the previous PlayStation 4. In its most recent financial report, nearly 55 million units were sold. However, despite that achievement, the number of PlayStation Plus users did decrease. And while Sony did mark yet another milestone for itself, users are questioning the direction this generation is heading. In one statement, it is said that PlayStation 5 is already at the halfway mark of its life cycle.

What’s more, despite the continued success Sony Interactive Entertainment is opening to multiplatform support. One report, Sony president Hiroki Totoki did press on a new drive for multiplatform releases of its titles. Additionally, Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida did express that this new pursuit will go beyond console; although clarifying that console will be a focus moving forward.

One outlier for this decision was indicated in a report from CNBC. Analysts have found that Sony lost $10 billion in stock value following its decision to cut sales forecast for the PlayStation 5 back in February. What’s more polarizing is the dip in operating margin that now accounted for 6 percent in December 2023 – less than the 9 percent of the year prior. “The shipment forecast cut for PS5 … is not what is disappointing … What is disappointing is the low level [of operating margin],” Atul Goyal, Jefferies equities analyst says. 

Adding more weight to the same side of the scale, the recent layoffs that affected PlayStation is also requiring PlayStation Studios & Sony Interactive Entertainment to rethink its approach to titles moving forward. The largest concern for PlayStation has yet to come in 2024 as legacy IPs will take the bench as new properties, live-service are expected to ship periodically.

At the same time, our industry has experienced continuing and fundamental change which affects how we all create, and play, games. Delivering the immersive, narrative-driven stories that PlayStation Studios is known for, at the quality bar that we aspire to, requires a re-evaluation of how we operate.

Herman Hulst, PlayStation Studios Head

“Delivering and sustaining social, online experiences – allowing PlayStation gamers to explore our worlds in different ways – as well as launching games on additional devices such as PC and Mobile, requires a different approach and different resources,” Hulst injected. This follows further shelving of free-to-play projects backed at PlayStation. Amid a power change in leadership, the firm is also returning to its single player approach as well.

One of its largest investments for live-service, Bungie, is also in shallow water. At one point considered the future for PlayStation with then’s emphasis on the business model, is now scrutinized by corporate Sony for its mismanagement in meeting release date promises. The latest example of this is the delay for Marathon. Thank you Video Game Chronicle for transcribing the statement:

“I visited the Bungie studios and had meetings with [the] management, and I saw that employees working at the studios were highly motivated, showing great creativity as well as an impressive knowledge of live services. However, I also felt that there was room for improvement from a business perspective with regard to areas such as the use of business expenses and assuming accountability for development timelines. I hope to continue the dialogue and come up with some good solutions.”

One of the most evident symptom of the recent shift in focus for Sony Interactive Entertainment is the sudden support planned for PlayStation VR 2. Already coined to be a market it struggles to grasp financially, it is now set to be made compatible with PC in 2024. You can read the full report by heading here.

What is your biggest concern for PlayStation?

Source: CNBC, Sony Interactive Entertainment

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