Sony is investing a further $300 million into its first-party PlayStation studios as a two-pronged strategy to grow its gaming business – alongside releasing games on “multiple platforms”.
Revealed in its latest earnings call, Sony made clear this investment is for developing software at existing studios – such as God of War’s Santa Monica Studio or Horizon: Forbidden West’s Guerrilla Games – and is separate to its acquisition plans.
“We plan to increase software development expenses aimed at strengthening first-party software at our existing studios by approximately ¥40 billion [$308 billion],” it said.
“Going forward we aim to grow the game business by strengthening our first-party software and deploying that software on multiple platforms.”
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Sony didn’t go into what platforms it means, but it likely refers to the joint PlayStation 4 and 5 release of games such as Spider-Man: Miles Morales and the incoming God of War: Ragnorok, in addition to its recent venture into releasing PlayStation console exclusives on PC.
Regardless, Sony clearly sees great value in its first-party software, as it has continued to increase its investment in owned studios each year, highlighted in a graph (below) that shows first-party sales growing in line with that increased funding.
Sony added: “In addition to acquiring studios such as Bungie and Haven in recent years we have significantly increased our investment in content development in our existing studios. As a result our first-party software development has increased at a high rate.”
That’s not to say it’s necessarily slowing down its purchasing of other developers, of course, as just last week Sony advertised a new position for director of corporate development to help identify acquisition opportunities.
It purchased Bungie in February for $3.6 billion and in the last year has also acquired several other studios, including Bluepoint and Housemarque. Sony Interactive Entertainment president Jim Ryan also said in April that it already has more purchases planned.
While software continues to do well for Sony, its hardware underperformed this year, as it also revealed in its financial results that PS5 hardware missed its initial sales target by 3.3 million units.
The underperformance was put down to ongoing component shortages that are slowing the production of consoles, which forced Sony to make a last-minute adjustment of its sales expectations.
Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelancer who occasionally remembers to tweet @thelastdinsdale. He’ll talk about The Witcher all day.