Sony looks to boost PC, mobile expansion

Sony looks to boost PC, mobile expansion

The Sony Group Corp gaming business is looking at new investment to bolster its push into PC and mobile, a senior executive said, as the PlayStation 5 maker competes for talent with deep-pocketed rivals and industry dealmaking heats up.

Hermen Hulst, head of PlayStation Studios, told Reuters in an interview that there was no further information regarding further investments in areas that will strengthen the expansion on PC, mobile and live services.

Sony has plans to publish titles on PC and mobile and offer live service games, which provide continuous updated play, because of the studios that are known for single player console games such as Spider-Man and God of War.

The studio behind the multiplayer Destiny franchise that Sony operates outside its PlayStation Studios network is a place where the radical shift has been reflected in its recent deals, including the $3.6 billion acquisition of Bungie.

Other investments include the purchase of a minority stake in Japanese developer FromSoftware whose action role-playing game Elden Ring has sold more than 16.6 million units.

It's not unthinkable with the PlayStation Productions efforts that we explore opportunities because of the FromSoftware investment, so you should think of collaborations on the game development side first and foremost.

Sony is producing a growing number of game adaptations, with Uncharted movie grossing more than $400 million and a TV series based on The Last of Us franchise from its Naughty Dog studio launching next year on HBO.

Hulst, who is based in the Netherlands and took up his post in 2019, has overseen the growth of PlayStation Studios to 19 studios, with additions including Nixxes, which port console games to PC, and the mobile developer Savage Game Studios.

Analysts expect further dealmaking from Sony given the scope of the transformation targeted by the gaming business.

According to Serkan Toto, founder of Kantan Games consultancy, "I think they're still going to add studios."

The strength of PlayStation's studio network has been praised as a key difference between Microsoft and Xbox, which is trying to buy Activision Blizzard.

Sony gaming chief Jim Ryan has raised objections to the $69 billion mega-deal's impact on PlayStation users.

If Sony can pull off what they did with single player experiences, but also as multiplayer experiences across platforms, on the PC, on consoles and maybe even on the phone, all bets are off, said Toto, pointing to the success of online games such as Fortnite from Epic Games.