Sony announced its latest game developer acquisition yesterday, having agreed to purchase Jade Raymond's Montréal-based Haven Studios. Sony already had partnered with Haven to work on a triple-A live service multiplayer game, and this is clearly an additional step that shows the confidence in the project.
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz in a fresh interview on the deal, Head of PlayStation Studios Hermen Hulst reassured fans that Sony will still keep making its highly acclaimed single player games, even while it pushes for an expanded lineup of live service titles.
Obviously we will always carry on making these single-player narrative-based games such as Ghost of Tsushima, The Last of Us, and Horizon Forbidden West. But you've spotted correctly that we have invested in live service games, because that's incredibly exciting for us.
We have quite a few now in development or conceptualisation, so yes we are setting up capabilities internally. But exactly for that reason, it is so exciting for us to welcome to the family a group of people who have a lot of experience with live service games. To have those central capabilities that we're setting up interact with people who have been doing it for a long time... that notion that demanding customers create great capabilities, that usually holds true in game development.
It's really exciting for our central services and technology groups. For these to be working with a world class outfit like Haven... that's great. And it is aligned with the strategy of diversifying the kinds of games we are offering to our fanbase.
In early February, as part of its Q3 2021 earnings call, Sony confirmed its plan to release ten live service games by March 2026. The lineup should include Bungie's new game, the long-anticipated The Last of Us standalone multiplayer experience, and projects from Deviation Games, Firewalk Studios, Insomniac Games, Guerrilla Games, Firesprite, London Studio, and of course, Haven itself.
At the same time, following Gran Turismo 7's mishandling of microtransactions, some users wonder if that's the type of monetization that can be expected in the upcoming Sony live service games. We can only hope that won't be the case.