Shawn Layden Reveals The Reason Behind Sony Skipping E3

Shawn Layden who used to work with Sony’s US Playstation team now is the head of the game development division, he recently discussed with Cnet the vision of Sony for the future, he affirms that Playstation is focusing on the quality of the game the industry giant won’t mind releasing fewer games in order to raise the bar for the developers at Sony.

While Xbox might be stealing the show lately with the acquisition of famous studios, is fair to point out that Sony has some of the best development teams in the world:

In Asia they own studios like Japan Studios (Ape Escape, Patapon Loco Roco, Bloodborne) Polyphony Digital (Gran Turismo). In North America they own some of the best development teams in the industry: Naughty Dog (Uncharted, Crash Bandicoot, Jak and Daxter, The Last of Us), Santa Monica Studios ( God of War). In Europe Sony counts with Guerrilla Games (Killzone, Horizon Zero Dawn.)

If we study the behavior of this studios they like to release fewer games  with a much more detail overall comparison with other developers, comparing Forza Motorsports with Gran Turismo Sports is a great example, while Forza features hundred of cars and the “simulation” mode GT lacks of,  the Polyphony Digital game does have a lot more details in each car.

Digital Foundry did made an awesome video about this I strongly recommend you to take a look if you’re either a Forza fan or a GT guy.

Shawn Layden was asked about the reason behind Sony ditching this year’s E3. He points out that is not that Sony lacks of information to announce, it’s the fact that E3 doesn’t have the same impact as it had perhaps a decade ago.

When we decided to take video games out of CES, back in 1995 during the PlayStation 1 era, E3 served two constituencies: retailers and journalists.

Retailers would come in — you’d see a guy come in, and he’d say, “I’m from Sears, and I handle Hot Wheels, Barbie, VHS and video games. So what are you about?” There was a huge educational component.

Then you had journalists who had magazines and lead time and jockeying for position on the cover. And there was no internet to speak of. So a trade show at that time of year for this nascent industry was exactly what we needed to do.

Sony used to be one of the biggest fixtures at the annual E3 video game show each June.

Now we have an event in February called Destination PlayStation, where we bring all retailers and third-party partners to come hear the story for the year. They’re making purchasing discussions in February. June, now, is just too late to have a Christmas holiday discussion with retailers.

So retail has really dropped off. And journalists now, with the internet and the fact that 24/7 there is game news, it’s lost its impact around that.

So the trade show became a trade show without a lot of trade activity. The world has changed, but E3 hasn’t necessarily changed with it.

And with our decision to do fewer games — bigger games — over longer periods of time, we got to a point where June of 2019 was not a time for us to have a new thing to say. And we feel like if we ring the bell and people show up here in force, people have expectation “Oh, they’re going to tell us something.”

We are progressing the conversation about, how do we transform E3 to be more relevant? Can E3 transition more into a fan festival of gaming, where we don’t gather there to drop the new bomb? Can’t it just be a celebration of games and have panels where we bring game developers closer to fans?

Read the full article at Cnet.

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