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PlayStation exec: "Sometimes we announced games too early"

PlayStation Worldwide Studios SVP Michael Denny on why Sony took as long as it did to announce Sucker Punch's new IP, Ghost of Tsushima

Publishers may be waiting longer to unveil new games in development. That's the message from PlayStation Worldwide Studios SVP Michael Denny, who explained to GameSpot that keeping Sucker Punch's new project, Ghost of Tsushima, secret was a deliberate move. The game, which is the Infamous studio's first new IP in eight years, was revealed during the PlayStation briefing at Paris Games Week last month.

"I think we're learning and a lot of publishers are learning ... there is a right time to announce games," Denny explained.

"In the past, I think it's fair to say sometimes we announced games too early. And this is such a great project for Sucker Punch. It's a game they've always really wanted to make themselves. And I think it's the right time to announce that, and they've been working on that game for a long time now. There is great [playable version of the game] already. So we're just excited to let everybody know about it."

Ghost of Tsushima still doesn't have a fixed release date, so it's hard to say what "too early" means in Sucker Punch's case. That said, it's not uncommon for some high-profile games to be unveiled years in advance. For example, Sony's Bend Studio announced that it's working on post-apocalyptic title Days Gone back at E3 2016 and that game still doesn't have a date.

This isn't the first time that a major platform holder has questioned the industry's announcement strategy either. Earlier this year, Shannon Loftis, general manager for Microsoft Studios Publishing, said she regrets that Crackdown 3 was announced years in advance.

"I think in the past we have made the mistake of announcing some exclusives a little bit too early," Loftis commented in August. "We're trying to learn from that mistake and do better, so we have a bit that's in development now that we're not talking about. We're in this for the long haul, and we wanna make sure that not just in the spring of 2018, but in the summer, and in the fall, and the spring of 2019 that we'll have great, unique, fun experiences for Xbox gamers."

Letting gamers into the process early on and getting feedback on a title can be immensely valuable, but having to manage expectations, marketing and a hype cycle for an extended period of time can also be taxing. It'll be interesting to see how the major publishers continue to evolve their announcement timings moving forward.

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James Brightman

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James Brightman has been covering the games industry since 2003 and has been an avid gamer since the days of Atari and Intellivision. He was previously EIC and co-founder of IndustryGamers and spent several years leading GameDaily Biz at AOL prior to that.

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