Hermen Hulst talks about the future of PlayStation: more live service, more PC, more new franchises

The PlayStation brand has been in development for a while. The word “PlayStation” no longer just means the console that sits beneath your television, but now applies to movies, television shows, or even the brand’s exclusive console games that appear on PC.

Now, in a conversation with a handful of media outlets, head of PlayStation Studios Hermen Hulst has outlined a little more of what the future of PlayStation has in store.

A clear pillar of PlayStation’s future business strategy will be live-service games, as previously evidenced by Sony’s $3.7 billion acquisition of Bungie. According to Hulst, Bungie’s role in the PlayStation family will be partly to serve as an example for handling the live service model.

“I’ve been an admirer of Bungie for a long time,” the director told GQ. “They speak our language and so they’ve been doing this for ten years since the original release of Destiny. So the battle scars they’ve earned, coupled with their absolute transparency, means I can’t think of a better partner to have in that space. ”

Meanwhile, Hulst told Axios that PlayStation has green-lit a total of 12 projects in the live ops space. This matches the number Sony CFO Hiroki Totoki said in February when we learned that PlayStation plans to launch more than ten live service games by March 2026. At the time, Totoki also cited the Bungie acquisition as a major reason for developing, releasing, and supporting as many live service games as should be possible in that window.

You can probably expect PlayStation’s live service offerings to be a mix of new IP and recognizable franchises. Hulst told GQ that PlayStation has “about 25 titles in development” and that about half of the projects in development are new IP. He also said that PlayStation “doesn’t rule out the inclusion of some of our beloved existing franchises in live games.”

Sony’s recent AAA offering has largely abandoned multiplayer, with games like The Last of Us Part II, Horizon Forbidden West, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and the upcoming God of War Ragnarok serving as solo experiences. There are exceptions, however, with Ghost of Tsushima Legends and Returnal’s multiplayer support both arriving post-launch.

As we know, some Sony studios are developing standalone multiplayer projects instead, rather than grouping them together with single-player experiences. We know that The Last of Us is getting a standalone multiplayer title, and recent rumors suggest a multiplayer Horizon game may be in the works.

The Last of Us on HBO – Trailer Screenshots

While Sony will start devoting more resources to offering live multiplayer services, Hulst appears to remain committed to Sony’s flagship single-player titles, telling Axios that the single-player narrative games aren’t going anywhere. However, it seems to be taking longer to get here, with a history of delays for Horizon Forbidden West and God of War Ragnarok, while Spider-Man 2 is currently the only major Sony exclusive published in the books for 2023, outside of the company PSVR. 2 subscriptions.

As the wait for new exclusives on PS5 continues, PC players are finally starting to experience some of the best games PlayStation 4 has to offer. Recently, franchises like God of War, Spider-Man, and Uncharted have appeared on PC, which will seemingly continue into the future.

Hulst told Reuters that “further investment in areas that will strengthen the expansion to PC” is a clear possibility.

It’s not just a PS5 and PC party from now on, though. In the interview with Axios, Hulst also mentioned bringing more games to PS4 on a “case by case basis” and discussed building Sony’s “internal capacity” to make mobile games. Earlier this year, Sony founded its PlayStation Studios Mobile Division. to start working on mobile games based on new and existing IPs.

Finally, when Hulst spoke to Reuters about Sony’s recent investment in Elden Ring developer FromSoftware, Hulst said it’s “not inconceivable” that PlayStation Productions could be working on an entertainment adaptation of a FromSoftware property. FromSoftware is the developer of Elden Ring, Bloodborne, Sekiro and the Dark Souls series.

For even more on PlayStation, check out how Sony apparently plans to make 2 million PSVR 2 units before launch. Or read how the PS5 is apparently jailbroken, with people already installing Hideo Kojima’s PT.

PlayStation VR2 – Photos

Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN for video game and entertainment news. He has over six years of gaming industry experience with bylines at IGN, Nintendo Wire, Switch Player Magazine and Lifewire. Find him on Twitter @LoganJplant.

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