Sony plans to release an undisclosed number of mobile games based on some of its PlayStation properties by the end of this fiscal year, which runs until March 2022.
PlayStation boss Jim Ryan made the announcement during a Q&A session on its Investor Day on May 27th where he was speaking about the company’s efforts to expand its gaming catalogue beyond consoles.
Ryan noted that PlayStation’s efforts to bring its games to PC — such as Horizon Zero Dawn and Days Gone — have proven “very successful” so far. For that reason, the company is looking to achieve further profit by leveraging its extensive lineup of intellectual properties (IPs) on mobile.
“In FY21 [Fiscal Year 2021] we will begin to publish some of our iconic PlayStation IP on mobile and we anticipate that in 2021, that will not provide a significant profit flow, but we do anticipate that as we learn from that experience, and as we increase the number of titles that we publish on mobile, the contribution from both PC and mobile will start to become steadily more important as time passes,” said Ryan.
While the executive didn’t specify which of its IPs will make the jump to mobile, he did go on to highlight just how lucrative mobile can be. Citing research, Ryan noted that the mobile gaming market having generated $121 billion USD (about $146 billion CAD) in the calendar year 2020, versus $62 billion USD (about $75 billion CAD) on consoles and $42 billion USD (about $51 billion CAD) on PC during this period.
Ryan didn’t mention it, but a Sony job listing also suggests that the company is thinking about mobile in the long-term. Last month, it was revealed that PlayStation is hiring for a ‘Head of Mobile’ who would help develop a three- to five-year roadmap for PlayStation games on mobile.
So what does this all mean?
At the moment, it’s unclear exactly how PlayStation’s mobile plans might unfold.
As VGC notes, Sony’s most popular franchises by sales are Gran Turismo, God of War and Uncharted. That said, there was no indication by Ryan that these series, specifically, will come to mobile. It’s worth noting that there already is an endless runner Uncharted on mobile called Uncharted: Fortune Hunter, although it’s unclear how successful that’s been for PlayStation. There’s also a LittleBigPlanet 2D runner on mobile called Run Sackboy! Run! that released in 2015.
Beyond these efforts, though, PlayStation has so far arguably been the least invested in mobile games out of the three main console manufacturers. While Nintendo’s efforts in this area have somewhat slowed in recent months, the company has released seven mobile games since 2016, with 2017’s Fire Emblem Heroes and 2019’s Mario Kart Tour being especially big successes. The company is also currently working with Pokémon Go developer Niantic on a new mobile AR experience based on Pikmin.
Xbox, for its part, has dabbled in mobile releases, such as the moderately well-received Halo: Spartan Assault and the now-defunct Gears Pop. But the company has shifted its focus over the past year towards bringing dozens of console/PC games to mobile via its Game Pass Ultimate service’s ‘Cloud gaming’ feature.
Given all of that, there are many different ways that PlayStation could approach mobile, so we’ll have to wait and see what the company ends up doing.
Image credit: PlayStation