Live Service games are almost everywhere nowadays, with plenty of popular console and mobile titles offering incentives to keep players coming back for more. Rather than releasing a game in its entirety, a Live Service game releases small, continuous amounts over time to engage gamers over long periods. While the concept of Live Service games started as a way to provide real-life methods of interacting with players, it has quickly turned into quick cash grabs and FOMO strategies that a lot of people have become frustrated with.
Hearing the consumer’s call for titles not based on greedy pay-to-win strategies, Sony Entertainment announced recently that it is going to cut down the Live Service games it had planned to release between now and March of 2025. Earlier this year, the major gaming company started a proactive foray into Live Service Gaming, showcasing a dozen new games and exclusive services that would be coming up in the next two years.
Hiroki Totoki, Sony President, announced in an earnings meeting that new Live Service games will be cut in half. (Image source: Recruit-Holdings)
Insider sources at PlayStation revealed that during a recent financial meeting, Sony President Hiroki Totoki announced that the company will be reducing the number of Live Service games coming out from 12 to just 6. Many of these games remained unannounced, and they will now be delayed until further notice.
A major reason for this delay seems to be related to quality control. PlayStation worried that many of these new Live Service releases would not be up to the same quality standards that fans have come to expect from their original games. Now, only six games are guaranteed to be released by the 2025 financial year.
This is not the first of the cutbacks we’ve seen regarding Live Service games. Marvel’s Avengers, which was on the market for over three years, recently announced that it is shutting down. Many newer Live Service games have barely gotten off the ground before their host companies have had to shut them off due to low player engagement (and high financial costs).
Marvel’s Avengers was delisted in September 2023, officially declaring it a “dead game”. (Source: Crystal Dynamics)
This new move by Sony Entertainment shows that stakeholders are paying attention to the mixed reception Live Service games have been getting. Some still hold out hope that Live Service games will become a more popular avenue as time goes on, but most of the gaming industry’s big players are going to take a gradual approach to this new type of game service for the foreseeable future.
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