2 thoughts on “Learning and Innovation”

  1. Right now that specific failing is on display at Sony’s gaming cash cow:


    They’ve been successful for so long with pixel pimping single player one and done narrative, exclusive games that they stopped doing all other kinds and they kept raising the bar on”photo realistic” graphics that costs have gotten out of control and their response–raising prices–didn’t compensate. At which point they committed all their single player game studios to creating online multiplayer “live service” games (12!) just as the market for those looks to have plateaued. And when the studios ran into trouble, they spent $3.6B buying Bungie, home to one of the most successful live service games of the *past* decade just as their signature game is rraching end of live and shedding players ($$$) to the tune of 50%.

    Their Playstation-only tunnel vision led them to ignore the live-service multiplatform market, the mobile gaming market, and the PC gaming market. And to float a second-class over-priced subscription service.

    Meanwhile, Microsoft has always shipped their games day and date on console and PC, hosted a half dozen live service games with 10-30M players, a 34M deep subscription service with support for (hardware-less) cloud gaming, and a few mobile games. Not satisfied, they went out and bought ActivisionBlizzardKing to fortify all their segments but most particularly mobile. In the process they’ve moved from fifth in global revenues to second, leapfrogging both Sony and Nintendo. And where both Japanese companies are still wedded to their classic console-driven business model, MS is evolving XBOX games to a “everywhere there is a screen” platform agnostic model, keeping only a handful of signature games exclusive to support their console (4-10 a year).

    Gaming is changing and most of the major publshers are tightening their belts, laying off staff, trying to rein in development cost ahead of an AI-driven sea change.

    AI chaos is coming to gaming and, of course, MS is adjusting ahead of the new era.

    Sony? Looking at a new world where the successful old ways are no longer working.
    They still have brand loyalty (and Spider-man) to keep them afloat but what they did in years past is no longer sufficient.

    • And this just dropped:


      “Sony has revealed that it’s canceling multiple PlayStation Studios games while reevaluating the division’s operations. This news comes amid the announcement that PlayStation is laying off 900 employees worldwide, with PlayStation Studios boss Hermen Hulst penning a separate blog to explain how the redundancies affect first-party developers.

      “Hulst confirmed that Insomniac Games, Naughty Dog, as well as PlayStation’s Technology, Creative, and Support teams will be impacted by the layoffs. As previously announced, London Studio will be shut down permanently, and Firesprite will have its headcount reduced. Hulst’s former company Guerrilla Games is also undergoing layoffs.

      “With all of the above comes cancellation of projects as well. “We looked at our studios and our portfolio, evaluating projects in various stages of development, and have decided that some of those projects will not move forward,” Hulst wrote. It has been previously reported that a Spider-Man multiplayer game by Insomniac has been canceled along with The Last of Us multiplayer. The multiplayer game that London Studio was working on is presumably dead as well.”

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