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Bringing new IP to the market is “very risky” says PlayStation boss

By Dom Peppiatt, Sunday, 22 November 2020 14:16 GMT

PlayStation boss Jim Ryan has revealed a few choice comments about the development of triple-A games and the risk involved with launching new IP.

In an interview with GQ, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan stated that releasing a new IP – that is, a title in a wholly new franchise – is a “very risky” move thanks to the massive costs associated with such a release.

“We’ve invested a lot organically over the course of the PS4 generation, more than people realise,” explains Ryan. “We’ve added Insomniac Games through acquisition. We’re making great games now and we certainly plan to continue making great games.

“The thing with those blockbuster games is that they need a box office release. They cost more than $100m dollars to make these days and in order to be able to do that and bring new IP to the market – which is a very risky thing that we did four times in the PS4 generation – you’ve got to have a box office release.”

It’s interesting to see Ryan note that we only saw four completely new IP from Sony and its Worldwide Studios launch over the whole PS4 generation. But with the likes of Ghost of Tsushima and Horizon: Zero Dawn becoming iconic franchises for PlayStation, the company’s investments and strategies have clearly led to the risk paying off.

“We have a management organisation that sits over the individual studios and one of the things that we look at a lot is the portfolio and we look at is the balance between new iterations of much-loved series such as God Of War or Uncharted and shaking things up with new IP such as Horizon Zero Dawn or Ghost Of Tsushima. We think about this very deeply and very carefully.”

So despite the massive costs incurred for developing and shipping these new titles, it’s nice to see Sony isn’t deterred from putting new products on the market; the likes of Ghost of Tsushima is given as an example of a game in a new IP exceeding Sony’s expectations and providing notable organic growth for the company.

Ryan has been running the media gamut recently and has spoken about a Game Pass-style service that’s in the works for PS5 and the uncertainty about Starfield and The Elder Scrolls 6 coming to PS5.

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