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12 live-service games, $300m PC sales, "aggressive" mobile strategy: PlayStation lays out its plans

Platform holder details growth priorities as it expands beyond PlayStation 5

Sony released a document detailing its strategy for the coming years, with an increased focus on live games, PC and mobile, among other things.

Called '​​PlayStation: The Road to Profitable Transformation', the document was part of a wider presentation on Sony's strategy across all business segments.

While the presentation includes an in-depth look at the PS5 and, among others, its supply constraints, this is something that was covered at length in its recent financial report and subsequent earnings call.

What's interesting is PlayStation's detailed strategy in areas that the Japanese company has previously been cautious about.

Live service games

One such area is live games. When breaking down PS5 investment by business model, 'traditional' games currently represent 88% of that investment, versus 12% for games-as-a-service.

Sony estimates that live service investment will reach 49% by the end of FY22, and hopes to reach a 55% vs 45% split by FY25, with live games taking the lead over the traditional business model.

Digital add-ons represented $15 billion for PlayStation during the calendar year 2021, versus $9 billion for digital console software and $11 billion for physical console sales. For 2025, Sony estimates that digital add-ons will be worth $24 billion, digital console software $10 billion, and physical console software $7 billion.

This growth in the live services area will also go through increasing Sony's first-party live games portfolio, the report added. At the moment, PlayStation only has one live game: MLB The Show. And it's not even a PlayStation exclusive. The company is hoping to grow that number to three by the end of FY22 and ultimately to 12 by FY25.

PC games

Another area of growth identified by Sony is expanding its audience beyond its first-party platforms. PC sales represented $80 million for PlayStation in FY 2021 and the company is estimating that it will reach $300 million in FY22.

As of March 2022, the combined release of Horizon Zero Dawn, Days Gone and God of War on PC had made $108.9 million in revenue for Sony. Life-to-date unit sales for Horizon reached 2.3 million on PC, 852,000 for Days Gone, and 971,000 for God of War.

Mobile

PlayStation also wants to double down on mobile in what it described as "aggressive growth plans."

The company said it's going to "leverage partnerships to build leading mobile development and publishing capabilities within SIE." This could be achieved by "establishing [a] network of internal studios and projects," the presentation added.

It also detailed the possibility of co-developing titles with mobile developers to "extend [its] franchises to more players and regions."

PlayStation is also open to "publish external games that fit within the broader PlayStation Studios portfolio" on mobile and "expand to cross-platform where relevant."

New IP and PlayStation Plus

On the IP front, Sony is to increase its investment in new IP. When looking at PlayStations Studios investment by IP type, existing IP currently represents 77% of said investment, versus 23% for new IP.

For FY22, PlayStation estimates new IP to rise to 34% of all IP investment, with hopes to reach a 50/50 split between new and existing IP by FY 2025.

Elsewhere, Sony also shared its ambition to add 50 million subscribers to its revamped version of PS Plus by the end of FY 2022.

It also said that PS Direct is going to be expanded to Spain, Portugal, Italy and Austria in early 2023, with revenue from the branch expected to triple in FY 2022.

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