In a new interview published on Monday, Shuhei Yoshida from PlayStation spoke about how difficult and expensive it is to create video games and explained that the company behind hits like God of War And The last of us breaks “so many games” to “save” developers from getting stuck.
From 2008 to 2019, Yoshida served as President of Sony Interactive Entertainment. In 2019 he resigned from this function in the midst of a corporate restructuring and former boss of Guerrilla Games Herman Hulst took over the presidency while Yoshida focused on helping outside developers with new projects as leader of SIE’s Independent Developer Initiative. Though he may no longer be at the helm of the ship, he is still involved in video game development at Sony and its studios. And as part of the processsays Yoshida that many game projects are frozen before they see the light of day.
Yoshida told it recently The guard that while PlayStation “assimilates new ideas,” many of them fail. That’s just part of the job, and to see what works and what doesn’t, he explained that the company does a lot of testing and prototyping.
“We prototype, we evaluate, we decide whether to invest more time and resources or just stop,” Yoshida said. “We cancel so many games.”
While this may sound harsh or cruel, Yoshida says he needs to “convince” studios and developers to move or stop in order to “save” those developers from being stuck on projects or games that just don’t work.
“We tend to work with people who have very strong ideas, we love those people, so it’s so difficult to change or stop their project,” Yoshida said. “This industry is all about talent. I tried to help them as much as possible.”
Making games is more expensive and riskier than ever
As stressed by The guard, in 2023 it has become more difficult and expensive to develop video games than it was in the 90s or early 00s. In 2010 God of War IIIa “AAA” animal game by Sony, cost about $44 million to develop. 2022 at the latest God of War entry, Ragnarok, cost about $200 million. As such, taking risks is riskier than ever, and abandoning projects, while painful for those involved, can often save studios and publishers a lot of money and future pain.
However, Yoshida still wants Sony and other developers to take those creative risks, rather than the industry being dominated by live service games like it is Fourteen days.
“The industry is growing and growing and I hope it continues to support and pursue creative ideas and people trying to work on new things,” said Yoshida. “You don’t want the top 10 games to be almost the same every year and all games to become service games… That would be a bit boring to me.”
I guess nobody at Sony told Yoshida Sony planned that destiny 2 Developer Bungie.