Sony plans to release 10 live service PlayStation games by 2026, it's been revealed.
During a recent earnings call (via VGC), Sony discussed its acquisition of Bungie and revealed that it plans to release 10 live service titles by 2026, harnessing Bungie's expertize in the genre to do so.
"Our studios will learn from Bungie, that is a strong wish we have the Bungie side is willing to work closely with us," Sony's Chief Financial Officer Hiroki Totoki said during the call.
That doesn't necessarily mean Bungie will be working on any of these live service games, but it's likely the "major new IP" that the studio is working on - which has been described as a "multiplayer action game" - will be part of that release schedule.
While Sony hasn't officially confirmed these titles will land on PS5, it seems like a no-brainer given that it's the company's latest hardware - whether we'll see them land on PS4 (or other platforms) is less certain. However, at the very least, it's likely Bungie's new IP will land on other platforms.
"We want the worlds we are creating to extend to anywhere people play games," Bungie said in its FAQ about the recent Sony acquisition. "We will continue to be self-published, creatively independent, and we will continue to drive one, unified Bungie community."
Analysis: but what are these new live service games?
While these live service games haven't been confirmed, we do know that there are quite a few Sony studios working on multiplayer projects right now that could have live service elements.
For one, as we touched on above, Bungie has been working on a new IP outside of the Destiny universe - the studio's first new IP in almost a decade. This new title will be a "multiplayer action game" (according to a prior job listing) and is rumored to be called 'Matter', following the studio's trademark registration of the name.
As of 2021, the game appeared to be in early development, with job listings describing it as in its "incubation" period. While it's not been confirmed that this game will be live service, with Bungie's experience in the area and Sony's push into the live service space, it seems likely that it will be.
While the new Bungie IP seems the most likely to be a live service game, there are a few multiplayer projects in the works at PlayStation Studios that also seem primed for live service. Marvel's Spider-Man developer Insomniac Games was hiring for a multiplayer project back in 2021, as was Ghost of Tsushima developer Sucker Punch, while Naughty Dog has been working on its "first standalone multiplayer" which is a spin-off of The Last of Us 2.
We also know that Sony has teamed up with Deviation Games, made up of ex-Treyarch devs, to work on a new IP (which we imagine will be a multiplayer shooter) and PlayStation and Firewalk Studios have a publishing partnership to develop a new multiplayer IP.
If all of these games include live service elements (which isn't certain right now), then that leaves four games unaccounted for. We're hoping that, in the coming months, Sony will share more details on its plans for live service - but it's possible it might not share the full breadth of its vision until its acquisition of Bungie is finalized.
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