Sony has developed a new umbrella brand to unite its first-party PlayStation titles.
The PlayStation Studios brand will go live in PlayStation 4 and 5 games later this year, and will only be featured on games developed and managed by Sony Interactive Entertainment's Worldwide Studios organization.
Alongside the logo, PlayStation has created a new opening video that will appear at the start of its games. The video features characters from Uncharted, LittleBigPlanet, God of War, Ratchet & Clank, Horizon: Zero Dawn and The Last of Us. You can check out the video below.
"We are really excited about this," says Eric Lempel, senior vice president and head of global marketing at Sony Interactive Entertainment. "Over the last few years -- and even the last decade -- the strength of the titles coming out from our studios has been stronger than ever. We have been thinking about how we unite all of these great games under one brand, and really the purpose of that is to make the consumer understand that, when they see this brand, they're getting ready for a robust, innovative, deep experience that they've come to expect from games coming from PlayStation. So we came up with PlayStation Studios.
"You've seen the animated asset that will exist primarily during the beginning of our titles, but the brand will exist in a lot of different places. There are different, shorter animations that will exist in trailers... It will exist in advertising. It will be in any other creative assets, such as the game packaging and the game discs themselves.
"We think this is a good way to let consumers know that, if they see it, then the quality games they've come to expect from us are here. And this brand will exist for well-known existing franchises, as well as brand new franchises that we have yet to explore."
The PlayStation Studios branding won't be ready in time for the launch of The Last of Us: Part II or Ghosts of Tsushima, which are both due to arrive this summer. It will also miss the launch of Horizon: Zero Dawn on PC, although Lempel says that any future games it releases on other platforms will also carry the branding.
There will be variations on the video asset, Lempel tells us. And although the clip may look like something you would see before a Marvel movie, the inspiration for the branding came from the games themselves.
"What we really wanted to do was create a way to bring the consumer into the world," he says. "When they play our games that's the nice robust piece that happens, and then you're transported into an adventure with rich worlds, old characters, and really captivating stories. We're all huge Marvel fans. One of our biggest games of all time has a Marvel character in it with Spider-Man. But this is really about doing something specific for our games and our industry.
"The cinematic you've seen is the one that has multiple games in it. But over time, as we introduce well established franchises, we can tailor that opening a bit to possibly show the franchise over the years, new characters that have come into play... There's a lot we can do that we're really excited about."
"For the average consumer, it's not always clear what games come directly from our Worldwide Studios"
Alongside games developed by Sony's first-party studios -- such as Naughty Dog, Insomniac, Santa Monica Studio, Media Molecule and Guerrilla Games -- the PlayStation Studios brand will also apply to games made by work-for-hire developers under Sony's direction.
"If our studios are managing the production of these games and working with an external developer, it will still come out under the PlayStation Studios brand," Lempel details. "It doesn't mean that we outright own the developer, but it just means we brought it up as a first-party. In a lot of cases we don't own the developer."
PlayStation's first-party line-up has proven to be a big selling point over the lifecycle of PlayStation 4. The company has become known for its story-driven, single-player games, with the likes of Uncharted 4, Spider-Man, God of War and Horizon: Zero Dawn winning awards and selling in excess of ten million units worldwide. Yet Lempel says that the average consumer isn't necessarily aware that these games all come from Sony.
"It's something we've thought about for a while, and especially as we move towards the next-generation we really want to back our games in an even bigger way," he explains. "We've done everything in terms of massive robust marketing campaigns, and this is an even better way to bring together these games, united, in an easy way for fans to understand what they're getting into."
He concludes: "We've never had any problem getting people to play these games. They're usually critically acclaimed, award-winning franchises that are games of the year, but for the average consumer it's not always clear what games come directly from our Worldwide Studios. And to your point, they've come to understand in many cases that these are really robust, innovative, single-player experiences. Of course, there is a variety of other games that don't fit into that mould, but nonetheless we wanted to make sure people know that these are the games coming from our Worldwide Studios."